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September 6, 2005 10:48 PM   Subscribe

Apologist!: There are too many things in this thread to flag individually.
We start out with unsupported speculation from a wonk with a blog, whose source article doesn't back up his suppositions; we move into a screeching match where those who are critical of Bush but aren't willing to drink the Kool-Aid get called "apologists" for the administration; we have a melting pot of conspiracy theories and ignorant frothings; we have yammering and emotional appeals... The list goes on and on.
Have we just had too many decent Katrina threads, so we're now stuck stirring the hurricane's flotsam? The discussion wobbles between shitty assertations of opinions and shitty snarks, and S@L, PP and Dios aren't even there (without them, Delmoi seems to be the whipping boy de jour).
I understand that people are still angry about Katrina and the Federal response. And I'm not above getting into a scrap just for scrapping, but jesus. I hate it when Metafilter looks like how ParisParamus imagines that we do all the time. And something to note is that we seem to have that problem more when it's liberals vs. left-wingers, treating each other with all the consideration of rodents eating their young.
This post is ugly; the comments are shitty. Can we have an end to Katrina now unless there's something that really needs posting? Or is Metafilter going to by Prometheus's liver for the next week or so?
[I'd make a "more inside" thing, but I don't know how]
posted by klangklangston to Etiquette/Policy at 10:48 PM (91 comments total)

[More inside] here means that you only put the beginning of your post on the front page, and then you paste the rest of it, which you've already composed in an outside text editor, into the box for the first comment. And that's all I have to say about that.
posted by ludwig_van at 10:56 PM on September 6, 2005


you just type "More inside" and then post the rest of your message inside the thread. Check it out: More below.
posted by jonson at 10:56 PM on September 6, 2005


See, here's the rest of my message.
posted by jonson at 10:56 PM on September 6, 2005


Noise, noise, noise, noise, noise, noise, noise etc...
posted by klangklangston at 10:59 PM on September 6, 2005


Yeah. Got it.
posted by klangklangston at 10:59 PM on September 6, 2005


At least ortho's back though...
posted by klangklangston at 11:03 PM on September 6, 2005


Uhm, welcome to the internet.
posted by cmonkey at 11:10 PM on September 6, 2005


Yeah ludwig, I learned that the hard way.
---
And klangklangston, I see, so what you object to is all the "Bush-bashing". I got it.

But you've supplied no contrary examples, either of what the "Bush-bashers" would call "victim-blaming" or of people asking if we can quit talking about U.S. partisan politics, despite the presence of many examples of the former and a few of the latter (which should be easy enough to find without me spoon-feeding you several links). I wonder why you did that.
posted by davy at 11:13 PM on September 6, 2005


Davy: You'll also notice that I didn't link to every "noise" comment in the thread. I wonder why I did that?
Conspiracy?
(It's not the Bush bashing that I object to per se. It's the particular octane of the attitude meeting malignant fantasy).
posted by klangklangston at 11:40 PM on September 6, 2005


Umm..what do you want klangklangston? Like tangents built on meagre facts are a unique phenomenon here. Seems like the usual rabid feeding frenzy and although I only skimmed much of it, there wasn't too much blatant abuse of each other was there? Are you after mass timeouts or thread deletion or ??
posted by peacay at 11:56 PM on September 6, 2005


Oh.....you want an end to Katrina. Fat chance.
posted by peacay at 11:58 PM on September 6, 2005


"I hate it when Metafilter looks like how ParisParamus imagines that we do all the time."

I agree 100%. There are plenty of places on the Internet where you can find people who are willing to agree with anything that bashes Bush, but I try not to visit them.
posted by jacobm at 12:08 AM on September 7, 2005


Things are pretty shrill in that thread and delmoi is doing a good job.

It's just you know, something about hundreds or thousands of fellows citizens needlessly dying makes some people cranky.
posted by fleacircus at 12:20 AM on September 7, 2005


"It's just you know, something about hundreds or thousands of fellows citizens needlessly dying makes some people cranky."

Amen. And a double amen.

But it does get very tiresome that quite often if anyone deviates from the party line, for whatever reason (maybe they're just critical thinkers?), they are immediately assumed to be The Enemy and attacked and ridiculed. I don't know how many times I've seen people write "Hey, I've never voted Republican and I hate Bush but I don't agree with you about this". Usually, people don't believe them.

The only people who get away with this at all are people like me who are so visible that everyone knows I'm a liberal and I hate Bush. Otherwise, though, bam!, look, witch! burn him, burn him!
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 12:30 AM on September 7, 2005


Things are pretty shrill in that thread and delmoi is doing a good job.

Yes it is. He's a better man than I. Answering to 10 people at once is not fun (for most people).

we move into a screeching match where those who are critical of Bush but aren't willing to drink the Kool-Aid get called "apologists" for the administration

You know how some on the right would label anyone who spoke against bush as "hating america"? It appears that the mirror image is some on the left calling anyone who doubts bush is anything but evil or responsible for everything wrong in the world today apologists.

Which is kinda funny when you see it happen to people who obviously are not bush fans.

(but ya ain't gonna stop it)

The only people who get away with this at all are people like me who are so visible that everyone knows I'm a liberal and I hate Bush.

If you're not well known you simply need to start your opinion with "I hate bush as much as the next right thinking american...".
posted by justgary at 12:39 AM on September 7, 2005


"Let both sides explore what problems unite us instead of
belaboring those problems which divide us."
posted by veedubya at 12:51 AM on September 7, 2005


...you simply need to start your opinion with "I hate bush as much as the next right thinking american...".

Maybe we could come up with an abbreviation for that.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 1:34 AM on September 7, 2005


IHBAMATNRTA?

Nah, too unwieldy.

/derail
posted by ZakDaddy at 1:55 AM on September 7, 2005


I suppose this type of hysteria is one of the reasons thousands of people ran from a suicide bomber to their deaths in Iraq recently.

People are on tenter-hooks and clutching at anything that they can grab. Not to mention that the US loves its conspiracies.

However, I don't think that this is a particularly egregious example of a noisey thread. People are upset.

klangklangston writes "At least ortho's back though.."

Yeah, that is something to celebrate. I did a little in-chair dance when I saw the name!
posted by asok at 3:35 AM on September 7, 2005


ZakDaddy writes "IHBAMATNRTA?

"Nah, too unwieldy."


How about either:

IHBB (I Hate Bush, But)
or
IHBTB (I Hate Bush Too, But)
posted by Bugbread at 4:13 AM on September 7, 2005


I'm not really sure about this callout, it's not clear to me what its supposed to accomplish. However, I agree that one of the more annoying things around here lately has been that even heterodox left opinions are treated as if they represent some kind of Republican agenda. It's strange, given how utterly ineffectual the Democratic party has been for the past severaltoo many years. It's a drag. Oh, sorry, IHBTB.
posted by OmieWise at 4:43 AM on September 7, 2005


Noise, noise, noise, noise, noise, noise, noise etc...
posted by klangklangston at 10:59 PM PST on September 6 [!]


My comment was quite mild, thanks. I wasn't calling anyone an 'apologist' or any other names. Your callout is very poor, never mind the deletion.
posted by Rothko at 5:35 AM on September 7, 2005


If the original FPP has to go for "crazy speculation with a source, but no support for crackpot theory", then this other speculative FPP would have to go for the same reason (though I might agree with it). Where's your same outrage, klingklangston?
posted by Rothko at 5:43 AM on September 7, 2005


So calling someone a Bush apologist is really nasty but responding with "you're an idiot" and "you have some kind of learning disability or something" is "doing a good job"?
posted by If I Had An Anus at 6:44 AM on September 7, 2005


I suppose this type of hysteria is one of the reasons thousands of people ran from a suicide bomber to their deaths in Iraq recently.

Suicide bombers.
Posts on the Internet.

ONE OF THESE THINGS IS NOT LIKE THE OTHER. What the fuck is wrong with your sense of proportion?
posted by darukaru at 6:58 AM on September 7, 2005


if anyone deviates from the party line

What party line? What party? The public record is clear: this administration is implicated in many, many illegal and/or immoral activities.

Concerns regarding the conduct of our elected officials are not bound to any ideology or party, except [Godwiny word here], which irrationally excuses all malfeasance on the part of authority figures and transfers culpability to the citizens.

There's no party line. I've never voted for a Democrat at any level of government. Due to their actions over the last 5 years, I've sworn off Republicans. Corruption and irresponsibility on the part of public servants (i.e. OUR EMPLOYEES) is a far greater concern than any left/right false dichotomy.

People who think that "Bush bashing" is based on knee-jerk liberal hatred are fooling themselves.
posted by sonofsamiam at 7:24 AM on September 7, 2005


Things are pretty shrill in that thread and delmoi is doing a good job.

Sorry, but he was being pretty shrill himself. And obnoxious.
posted by loquax at 7:59 AM on September 7, 2005


"(though I might agree with it). Where's your same outrage, klingklangston?"
I save my outrage for people who misspell my name, Rathko.
And, you know, you posted that at 8:30am my time. I was just waking up and making coffee. That's a crap post too.
But then again, I don't really expect you to understand what I'm objecting to, as you're one of the groupthink knives-out folks.
posted by klangklangston at 8:04 AM on September 7, 2005


Oh, and Rothko, your comment was noise. Hence being labeled as noise. Almost a 1:1 correlation. How 'bout that?
posted by klangklangston at 8:06 AM on September 7, 2005


I have to say being called a "bush Apologist" was pretty weird.
posted by delmoi at 8:11 AM on September 7, 2005


Sorry, but he was being pretty shrill himself. And obnoxious.

Recently (like the past year or so) I've been trying to be more polite here, but more recently (like the last week or so) I just to have the 'emotional energy' to politely respond to every idiotic thing that gets said. Sorry if I offended you.
posted by delmoi at 8:12 AM on September 7, 2005


Obvious:

IANABA.

But yeah, what's really needed is for the knee-jerk condemnation to stop, instead of people having to somehow prove their loyalty.
posted by soyjoy at 8:20 AM on September 7, 2005


There's a difference between requesting/authorizing help from FEMA, and turning over control of the National Guard. Seriously, how fucking hard is to pay attention to these details? Do you have some kind of learning disability or something?

Well delmoi, if you feel that the best way to respond to people is by asking them if they have learning disabilities, without even substantively addressing what they had to say, I wish you luck in your future discussions, but I'm afraid I won't be participating. I also have a suggestion, if you feel like you can't politely respond, there's an alternative besides rudely responding - not responding at all.
posted by loquax at 8:42 AM on September 7, 2005


if you feel like you can't politely respond, there's an alternative besides rudely responding - not responding at all.

I realize that. But if you don't want to be insulted, perhaps you shouldn't say things that are so stupid.
posted by delmoi at 9:28 AM on September 7, 2005


I don't mind being insulted, I was just trying help you with your stated goal of being more polite.
posted by loquax at 9:33 AM on September 7, 2005


Perhaps I should explain myself a little better. You orgionaly posted this comment:


Wait. It's already been established that FEMA was responsible for New Orleans and the Gulf Coast after Katrina, and that they and the federal government were negligent in not fulfilling their duties earlier than they did. So now is this story saying that Louisiana was blocking FEMA and the federal government? Was the reason federal resources weren't getting to NO because of the state government? Or was LA just cutting off their nose to spite their face? Or is it accusing federal agencies of not being willing to put their resources under the care of Ray Nagin(sp?)?


Which offended me because you're basically accusing everyone who's upset with the Federal government for not getting the AID there immediately of being contradictory. In other words we were mad that A didn't happen and B did happen and you are calling us stupid because you thought that A and B were the same, for some reason. And so you post that snarky little insult.

A lot of people on the right are cropping up with these idiotic talking-point based attempts to defend themselves with red-herrings and it's very frustrating.

If you don't want to be insulted in the future, you should probably not make such ignorant posts.
posted by delmoi at 9:35 AM on September 7, 2005


On preview:

I don't mind being insulted, I was just trying help you with your stated goal of being more polite.

Oh, okay. Thanks! :P
posted by delmoi at 9:35 AM on September 7, 2005


you're basically accusing everyone who's upset with the Federal government for not getting the AID there immediately of being contradictory.

See, that's the problem right there delmoi. I wasn't accusing anybody of anything. Believe it or not, those were honest questions regarding the posted article from WaPo. I thought it was a given that the Federal government had been slow to act, for whatever reason, but this article seemed to state as fact that the state government had in fact prevented the federal government from acting. Obviously, I wasn't the only one confused about the facts stated in the article, or the conclusions reached. It wasn't an insult, nor was it snark, and I would have been happy to have this discussion with you.

I may disagree with you (even though I generally don't, in this case) delmoi, but I would never call you stupid, or learning disabled, or tell you to "fucking pay attention". Maybe you think you're emotionally or cleverly getting your point across, but it reflects badly on you and your argument. I don't mind, I've been called a lot worse and taken my share of shots, both deserved and otherwise, but there are a lot of people who I'm sure would love to join in the discourse here who are either intimidated by that kind of thing, or simply have no time for discussions that degenerate into ad hominems and random cursing. You seem like a smart, passionate guy, it would be unfortunate if you wasted your time with nasty posts like this.
posted by loquax at 9:54 AM on September 7, 2005


Also, mek managed to address my questions without calling me names and taking me at face value, so thanks for that mek.
posted by loquax at 9:59 AM on September 7, 2005


But then again, I don't really expect you to understand what I'm objecting to, as you're one of the groupthink knives-out folks.
posted by klangklangston at 8:04 AM PST on September 7 [!]


Flagged as noise. Thanks.
posted by Rothko at 11:15 AM on September 7, 2005


if you don't want to be insulted, perhaps you shouldn't say things that are so stupid.

Insulting people makes them say more intelligent things? I hadn't noticed that, thanks.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 11:20 AM on September 7, 2005


Oh, and klingklang, this was about as far from groupthink as it gets, as far as Metafilter groupthink goes, just to give you another reason why you're full of shit.

I took a lot of grief for even suggesting the idea in that thread, and I was very restrained about my response. Your callout really sucks badly.
posted by Rothko at 11:21 AM on September 7, 2005


No, Rothcrap, that was a moment where a) you hewed to your already well-established talking points and b) shows that you have no idea what the fuck you're talking about. Again.
And, again, while I'm sure you're a nice enough person, you're definitely not someone who has a tremendous amount of credibility with regard to independent, non-partisan or critical thinking. If you don't believe me, take a poll.
posted by klangklangston at 12:53 PM on September 7, 2005


No, Rothcrap, that was a moment where a) you hewed to your already well-established talking points and b) shows that you have no idea what the fuck you're talking about. Again.

What about implicit association testing is a "talking point"? But you didn't even bother to look at the link, I'm sure, since you don't know what it is, nor what research is involved. Just grindin' that axe. Again.

If you don't believe me, take a poll.

That's more groupthink. Can't you form an opinion for yourself?
posted by Rothko at 1:24 PM on September 7, 2005


See, that's the problem right there delmoi. I wasn't accusing anybody of anything. Believe it or not, those were honest questions regarding the posted article from WaPo. I thought it was a given that the Federal government had been slow to act, for whatever reason, but this article seemed to state as fact that the state government had in fact prevented the federal government from acting.

Oh, sorry then. I did think you were being sarcastic, certainly there have been a lot of pro-government people out there spinning things, making ridiculous assertions, etc. I only 'planned' to write the first sentance of that reply. Everything from "Seriously..." on just sort of came out on the spur of the moment.
posted by delmoi at 1:46 PM on September 7, 2005


Speaking of the spinners, etc. Really what they're trying to do is confuse the issue. Turn straightforward facts into "he-said-she-said" so that unless people are paying careful attention, they'll just throw their hands up and say 'who knows'.
posted by delmoi at 1:48 PM on September 7, 2005


Alex: "What about implicit association testing is a "talking point"? But you didn't even bother to look at the link, I'm sure, since you don't know what it is, nor what research is involved. Just grindin' that axe. Again."
Do you even know what the words you're using mean?
Ok. Someone posts a link to a follow-up on the looting/finding story where the guy who took the shot says that he wasn't racist; he actually saw the "finding."
You fire back with a link to a Harvard study on implicit bias, which isn't really all that germane to the discussion (there's no way to tell whether this was an instance of implicit bias or not), which conforms to the general bias of Metafilter posters (that there is demonstrable implicit bias is generally accepted here). You use that as an example of thinking away from group consensus? And you don't see your attempt at reframing the conversation as a confirmation of your bias, especially when coupled with your quip about "heads in the sand"?
Again, the fact that there is often an unconscious bias isn't disputed, but isn't particularly germane there, as there's no way to prove it. If you'd wanted to bring it up as a discussion point, you would have phrased it as something that wasn't an attack ("heads in the sand"). Instead, it was a point that you returned to over and over, as if it proved something there.
Then you bring it out here, to accuse me of axe grinding because you got called out on being bizarro world somewhere else? And my refusal to see your martyrdom is "ax grinding"? What axe am I grinding, Alex? I want you to be explicit in your response to this point. Spell it out for me. Articulate it.

YOU were posting a remark that called for an affirmation of the premises behind it, even if they were irrelevant, and an affirmation that you were likely to get because of the bias inherent in this site. That's pretty much the fucking definition of groupthink, Alex. Something that you'd realize if you didn't think that groupthink had to do with polling, for some strange, retarded, reason.
Groupthink has to do with conforming your communication to the norms of a group, not polling them to find out what they think, Alex.
And axe-grinding means returning to the same grudge over and over again, without an attempt to link it to the conversation.
YOU'RE THE FUCKING METAFILTER GROUPTHINK AXE-GRINDING POSTERBOY! And you DON'T EVEN KNOW WHAT THOSE WORDS MEAN!
posted by klangklangston at 3:37 PM on September 7, 2005


MeTa: just throw their hands up and say 'who knows'.

I like delmoi's posts, mostly, and I'm sure he's a decent guy, not a Bush apologist by profession, but I ridiculed his circular reasoning in this thread.

His argument was "Bush wouldn't do X, because X would be insane".

That's classic apologist reasoning, I'm afraid, so if the cap fits...

Naturally, KK dislikes emotional Bush-bashing, for purely partisan reasons, IMO.
posted by cleardawn at 3:47 PM on September 7, 2005


KK's commentary here doesn't suggest much care over restraint or dignity, either. All caps?

MeTa: pretty much the fucking definition of groupthink
posted by cleardawn at 3:51 PM on September 7, 2005


Incidentally, there's a positive side to groupthink: it's called consensus.

And if we want consensus, the trick is to focus on the actual posts people make. Politely point out the errors in the post, rather than attacking the person.

Eventually, we might find that we're not all like this:

FUCKING METAFILTER GROUPTHINK AXE-GRINDING POSTERBOY! And you DON'T EVEN KNOW WHAT THOSE WORDS MEAN!
posted by klangklangston at 3:37 PM PST on September 7 [!]

but actually mostly sane, reasonable, imperfect people trying to reduce our ignorance enough to help.

Naiive and simplistic, I know.

Please tell me if you have a better plan.
posted by cleardawn at 4:30 PM on September 7, 2005


darukaru writes "fuck"

Hysterical!
posted by asok at 4:51 PM on September 7, 2005


"That's classic apologist reasoning, I'm afraid, so if the cap fits...

Naturally, KK dislikes emotional Bush-bashing, for purely partisan reasons, IMO."
And yours is classic ad hominem reasoning.
And purely partisan reasons? Why don't you spell those reasons out to me, Cleardawn. What, exactly, is my partisan reasoning here?
posted by klangklangston at 5:10 PM on September 7, 2005


" Politely point out the errors in the post, rather than attacking the person."
You mean, rather than calling them an apologist?
And you might want to remember that consensus is only really valuable when divergent views are brought to agreement, not a synergistic reinforcment of already held views which tends to structurally weaken the quality of thought, and when that consensus will lead to action. Neither of those conditions are met here.
But hey, try to peg my politics again. Have fun.
posted by klangklangston at 5:13 PM on September 7, 2005


Hysterical!
Oh, pardon me if I have strong feelings about some guy using a tragic event to make a lame analogy instead of infinite reserves of ironic detachment.
posted by darukaru at 5:23 PM on September 7, 2005


I don't know who klangklangston is but I love his work. Seriously.
posted by Krrrlson at 5:24 PM on September 7, 2005


When I do it, when you do it, when anyone does it, extended bickering is very boring for everyone else. Just, you know, a random thought.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 6:07 PM on September 7, 2005


EB: Many people would chafe at such a rebuke from you. Instead, I can only say that you're probably right.
As an addendum that I'm sure you'll understand, though, I'll say that sometimes it's hard to present the argument that you would like with the brevity that you would like.
posted by klangklangston at 6:45 PM on September 7, 2005


Naturally, KK dislikes emotional Bush-bashing, for purely partisan reasons, IMO.

Erm, cleardawn, had you been around here longer, you might have an inkling of just how stupid this comment is.
posted by Kwantsar at 6:53 PM on September 7, 2005


I didn't mean "extended" to apply to individual comments, but to an argument continued through the thread and for several days.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 7:49 PM on September 7, 2005


EB's comment after an appropriate ellipsis to make it more truthful/relevant:

When I do it... extended bickering is very boring for everyone else.
posted by Hat Maui at 9:50 PM on September 7, 2005


Fuck off.

That was concise.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 2:19 AM on September 8, 2005


YOU'RE THE FUCKING METAFILTER GROUPTHINK AXE-GRINDING POSTERBOY! And you DON'T EVEN KNOW WHAT THOSE WORDS MEAN!
posted by klangklangston at 3:37 PM PST on September 7 [!]


Flagged as "batshitinsane". Thanks.
posted by Rothko at 7:53 AM on September 8, 2005


You fire back with a link to a Harvard study

Well, more like a body of research than a single study, but go on...

...on implicit bias, which isn't really all that germane to the discussion

Your opinion.

...(there's no way to tell whether this was an instance of implicit bias or not)

Which I explained here, despite others' (and your) prior assumptions. But that doesn't mean the subject isn't germane.

...which conforms to the general bias of Metafilter posters (that there is demonstrable implicit bias is generally accepted here).

Well, again, you didn't bother to read the thread, because clearly there were a number of people at Metafilter who were very uncomfortable with the idea. All I needed was one counterexample to your assertion, so your accusation of groupthink is evidently incorrect. Keep grindin' that all-caps axe, though.
posted by Rothko at 10:04 AM on September 8, 2005


"All I needed was one counterexample to your assertion, so your accusation of groupthink is evidently incorrect."
Wrong.
Please go and look up how groupthink works.
But keep on with your "Don't know what the words I'm using mean" jeremiad. (If I were you, I'd call your comments "grinding your lack-of-reading-comprehension axe," but I actually know what axe grinding means, dipshit).
posted by klangklangston at 10:25 AM on September 8, 2005


Please go and look up how groupthink works.

I did, and, wow, you're wrong:



I was called "dogmatic", a "fundamentalist", and other terms by a few others for simply posting an alternative perspective. I think one person found my link interesting, but I suppose if that meets your definition of "groupthink" then all I can say is check out some George Carlin to figure out what a "group" means.
posted by Rothko at 12:33 PM on September 8, 2005



Naturally, KK dislikes emotional Bush-bashing, for purely partisan reasons, IMO.

Erm, cleardawn, had you been around here longer, you might have an inkling of just how stupid this comment is.
posted by Kwantsar at 6:53 PM PST on September 7 [!]


Au contraire, Kwantsar, I've been round here long enough to see Klanger in effect on several occasions. The impression I get is like Christopher Hitchens: "I'm as leftwing as anybody, so when I say Bush is right about everything, you'd better take it seriously."

I've never seen KK deliver any attacks of any significance on the Right, but lots of nasty, snidy, pointless stuff about Liberals and The Left. Look through his posts, and you'll see what I mean.

Just because Comrade Dear Leader Kim-Il-Sung calls himself a Communist, we don't have to believe him. Judge by actions, not words.
posted by cleardawn at 2:28 PM on September 8, 2005


Here he is, in his own words:
"Further, it is in the US's interest to remain on top of the global hegemony, and for that to occur, the interests of the entire globe have to be provided for at least to the extent that they do not organize themselves against us. "

Obviously, he isn't a NeoCon, and some of his posts make perfectly good sense, and I'm not saying he's a nut. Just that his views are in line with the centrist faction of the Republican Party, but he expects everyone to treat him like a neutral, independent voice.

Here again, in this very thread:
something to note is that we seem to have that problem more when it's liberals vs. left-wingers, treating each other with all the consideration of rodents eating their young.

Now if he was to turn his powerful, emotive rhetoric against my enemies, I might come to see him as my friend. But ... you know .... ?
posted by cleardawn at 2:51 PM on September 8, 2005


And klangklangston, please note that I didn't call delmoi an apologist.

I said that his reasoning, in one post, was classic apologist reasoning. Which it was. (His conclusion was probably accurate. It was the apologist reasoning I objected to. Usually I like delmoi's posts. I said that too.).

Nor are my comments about your posts ad hominem attacks. I'm just pointing out what I see in your posts, not making comments about your history, sexuality, personality, or other attributes. I'm just commenting about YOUR POSTS.
posted by cleardawn at 3:04 PM on September 8, 2005


Metafilter Adwords. If you liked arguing with Alex Reynolds, perhaps you'll enjoy:

- Pissing into the wind.
- Swimming in a sewer.
- Teaching ancient history to a Pomeranian.
posted by Krrrlson at 3:57 PM on September 8, 2005


Alex: There's a wikipedia. Use it over dictionaries. "Groupthink is a term coined by psychologist Irving Janis in 1972 to describe a process by which a group can make bad or irrational decisions. In a groupthink situation, each member of the group attempts to conform his or her opinions to what they believe to be the consensus of the group."
posted by klangklangston at 5:12 PM on September 8, 2005


You're not reading very clearly, are you? Keep ignoring reality.
posted by Rothko at 5:55 PM on September 8, 2005


posted by Krrrlson at 3:57 PM PST on September 8 [!]

Flagged as noise. Thanks.
posted by Rothko at 5:56 PM on September 8, 2005


klangklangston: From your own link:

Janis listed eight symptoms that he said were indicative of groupthink:

1. Illusion of invulnerability
2. Unquestioned belief in the inherent morality of the group
3. Collective rationalization of group's decisions
4. Shared stereotypes of outgroup, particularly opponents
5. Self-censorship; members withhold criticisms
6. Illusion of unanimity (see false consensus effect)
7. Direct pressure on dissenters to conform
8. Self-appointed "mindguards" protect the group from negative information


I'm curious. Which do you see on MeFi?

What I'm interested in is real consensus, not false consensus. Do you accept that there is a difference?

Do you accept that real consensus, or near-consensus, can sometimes be built without points 1-8 above being required?

If someone wants to prevent a group achieving consensus, they behave as you keep behaving.

Is it deliberate? Accidental? Are you afraid we might turn out to all pretty much agree with each other?

I'm not attacking you. I don't hate you. I, er, want to agree with you!

Please read the link and think about it.

krrrrison: I don't know Alex Reynolds, but you're making evidence-free insults that make you look dumb. Just sayin'.
posted by cleardawn at 5:59 PM on September 8, 2005


cleardawn, as others have noted, paragraphing each sentence really makes reading your comments annoying. Would you please adjust your writing style. Thanks.

I was looking for the 'insightful' flag for krrrlson's comment myself..
posted by peacay at 6:10 PM on September 8, 2005


I was looking for the 'insightful' flag for krrrlson's comment myself..
posted by peacay at 6:10 PM PST on September 8 [!]


Surprise, surprise.
posted by Rothko at 6:40 PM on September 8, 2005


Rothko (in reference to inherent bias link) : "clearly there were a number of people at Metafilter who were very uncomfortable with the idea."

Well, two: Citizen Premier and Ynoxas.
posted by Bugbread at 7:07 PM on September 8, 2005


Sorry, Peacay. I do tend to use short paras, because I'm aware of information mapping.

Long, unbroken blocks of text are generally poor style, especially for readers in a hurry or with low attention spans, because readers tend to skip the last couple of sentences, among other reasons.

Most of my political posts are designed to be easy to read for people in a hurry or with low attention spans, because frankly, they're the ones currently voting Republican.

If you really want more rows of unbroken text, make your window narrower. That should work. If you don't want to read my rants, skip 'em. I don't mind!

I also note that people often criticize y2karl for the exact opposite reason (long blocks of text), and I wonder if it's not just a form of ad textinem attack (who says Latin isn't a living language?) rather than a valid formatting concern.

Maybe that's paranoia. But in this world, if you"re not paranoid, you're not paying attention.

And as you read that link, consider this. If you think there's no active racism in American society and broadcast media, you've got your head stuck so far up your own ass it's back out the other side.

So to find consensus on the fact that there IS racism does not demonstrate the existence of "groupthink", merely the existence of a relatively sane group of people.

In my opinion, anyway.

I eagerly await your refutation.
posted by cleardawn at 7:43 PM on September 8, 2005


cleardawn this is a discussion board, not a political bullet point action sheet. And it's style, not formatting that makes it easier to read. But hey, if you want to paint yourself as some cavalier informatics protagonist go right ahead. But by pissing off people with amazing postmodern deconstructive whizz-bang presentation you won't have as wide a listening audience for your ideas.

So it's either standing out for no valid reason (and looking like a [insert abusive word of choice]) and inviting criticism or following the usual writing style of english that's been established for aeons and getting your points across.
posted by peacay at 8:34 PM on September 8, 2005


MetaFilter: amazing postmodern deconstructive whizz-bang presentation.

If you really think I'm an [insert abusive word of choice] for using shorter-than-average paragraphs, then I'd humbly suggest that not only are my paragraphs of inadequate length, but also your [insert word of choice].

(I was thinking "fuse", but there are so many possibilities, I thought I'd leave it to the reader).
posted by cleardawn at 9:30 PM on September 8, 2005


Cleardawn: You're channelling Stalin again. Because I don't leap in to sufficiently condemn this administration in the elaborate Metafilter Leftist Kabuki chorus, I'm a member of the right? Perhaps I rarely feel the need to echo sentiments that I agree with.
As for your list, 2, 3, 4, 6, 7, and you're playing #8 right now.

If you'd like to further suss out my political beliefs, you're free to ask me about them. Or even post a list based on what you'd guess from my comments. You could even skim back through my comments further and try to suss out why I believe what I do. I think I'm pretty clear on it pretty often. I mean, Kwantsar and Krrrlson know. Shouldn't you be able to figure it out?
posted by klangklangston at 9:38 PM on September 8, 2005


Oh, and "twinkling" is retarded.
posted by klangklangston at 9:40 PM on September 8, 2005


Yes, KK,I should be able to figure it out. That's my point.

I should be able to figure out what you believe from your posts.

If all your posts that I've seen have been attacking liberals (and they have) then I will justifiably conclude that you are someone who attacks liberals.

Surely, you may have done many good things elsewhere. But you can't fault me for not knowing that. I can only judge on the basis of what I have seen.

Accusing me of "channelling Stalin" is not a great example of your liberal credentials, or intelligence, either. Am I really supposed to debate that with you? Where should I start? Stalin: 15 million deaths. ClearDawn: Zero deaths. Where should we go from there...?

As for 2,3,4,5,6, you now have to find examples of these behaviors:
2. Unquestioned belief in the inherent morality of the group
3. Collective rationalization of group's decisions
4. Shared stereotypes of outgroup, particularly opponents
5. Self-censorship; members withhold criticisms
6. Illusion of unanimity (see false consensus effect)

None of which, obviously, bear the remotest possible resemblance to this discussion, in which nobody has self-censored, there is no unanimity, not much morality, no rationalization, etc etc etc.

Eh, I don't think there's much left to add.
posted by cleardawn at 12:03 AM on September 9, 2005


And using quotation marks is "retarded."

Well, thanks. What a truly informative post.

Thing is ... after all that ... I still don't hate you. I still feel pain that we can't achieve a shared view of the world, and mutual respect.

That doesn't surprise me, though. Does it surprise you?
posted by cleardawn at 12:09 AM on September 9, 2005


"Yes, KK,I should be able to figure it out. That's my point. I should be able to figure out what you believe from your posts. If all your posts that I've seen have been attacking liberals (and they have) then I will justifiably conclude that you are someone who attacks liberals. Surely, you may have done many good things elsewhere. But you can't fault me for not knowing that. I can only judge on the basis of what I have seen."

That's a paragraph; that's where you should have double-spaced.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 7:12 AM on September 9, 2005


"Sorry, Peacay. I do tend to use short paras, because I'm aware of information mapping.

Long, unbroken blocks of text are generally poor style, especially for readers in a hurry or with low attention spans, because readers tend to skip the last couple of sentences, among other reasons.

Most of my political posts are designed to be easy to read for people in a hurry or with low attention spans, because frankly, they're the ones currently voting Republican."


Your judgment of "not long" is excessive. A paragraph is an idea, a logical grouping of minor points that make up a bigger point. (If you're actually making something even remotely like a structured argument, then you can usually determine where the paragraph break should be by identifying what seems like the concluding sentence.) Paragraphs in series make up an argument.

What you're doing reads, to me, like a sloppy Power Point bulleted list with little structure. If it's true that people tend to skip the concluding sentence in a paragraph (an assertion I question), your style doesn't seem to me to be an improvement because a) more paragraphs mean more sentences that will be skipped; and b) because you're writing single- or double-sentence paragraphs, I suspect that many people are skimming or skipping at least every other one.

You can write how you choose regardless of how it is received by your audience—as do I—but if your choices are indeed based upon utility (and reaching the widest audience, which you claim is an aim of yours!) then I strongly question them.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 7:28 AM on September 9, 2005


"I should be able to figure out what you believe from your posts."
Maybe the trouble is you being dumb, not my posts.
Again, you're free to post what you think I believe, and I'll give you a simple yes/no.
posted by klangklangston at 7:37 AM on September 9, 2005


I don't know why I'm bothering to "help" you, cleardawn, because I absolutely loathe you, but here's an example of klangklangston's failure to "deliver any attacks of any significance on the Right."
posted by Kwantsar at 10:13 PM on September 9, 2005


"Maybe the trouble is you being dumb, not my posts. "

Yeah, maybe. Then again, your endless series of baseless ad-hominems might be something to do with it.

I'm "channeling Stalin" (not Hitler? Are you sure?) - no evidence provided.
I'm "dumb" - no evidence provided, unless you count the ability to use "retarded" quotation marks.

Kwantsar is "helping" me with his link to this:
many, many people in America, even ones that voted for Kerry, just wanted a quick "He's the one."

which is typical Klangston! a full-on, lying, pro-Republican point, pretending to come from the Left. Here's the refutation: Those who voted Kerry wanted KERRY. Not a quick one up the bush.

(I think you meant Gore, too, but anyway).

Klangklangston, if you want me to consider you as offering a left-of-cente view, you need to post some left-of-centre views. It isn't up to me to post them for you.

Kwantsar, with help like yours... well, help klangston, I think he needs it. I'm out of here.
posted by cleardawn at 6:44 PM on September 10, 2005


Nice, cleardawn, that you quoted:
many, many people in America, even ones that voted for Kerry, just wanted a quick "He's the one."
While ignoring:
There was real malfeasance here, and if we had a special prosecutor, we'd be able to do something. Instead our best hope is that the coin scandal takes out the Republicans in Ohio.


Maybe we should add "dishonest" to the list of ad hominems.
posted by Kwantsar at 9:15 AM on September 11, 2005


"I'm "channeling Stalin" (not Hitler? Are you sure?) - no evidence provided."
If you don't recognize the reference to the ideological purges and the murder of Trotsky for not sufficiently holding the ideological line, perhaps you should move out of politics.

(Thanks Kwantsar, rereading my own posts is hopelessly boring...)
posted by klangklangston at 10:37 AM on September 11, 2005


kwantsar, it's not dishonest to quote only the relevant part of a post. Particularly when it's the key part, and the link is here so anyone who wishes can see the context.

klangklangston: Since I have yet to murder you, your analogy seems a little weak. Additionally, I'm happy to debate you, as you've seen here.

I've merely politely pointed out that your posts (those I've read) have primarily expressed right-of-center, Republican viewpoints, attacking the Left, albeit sneakily dressed up as though you in some way represented the Left.

Strange that you should find that observation so annoying, given that it's so obviously true. We've now had three clear examples of it in this thread, unrefuted by you, as yet.
posted by cleardawn at 7:01 PM on September 12, 2005


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