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MEFI disucsses fundamentalists civilly!
January 9, 2007 5:19 AM   Subscribe

Kudos where richly due. I'm delighted to see a thread I had actually feared would be deleted, about the sensitive nexus of fundamentalist Christianity and earthly power, close in on 100 comments and never once descend into vituperation. Nuanced disagreement, even principled difference of opinion, but no name-calling and no shit-flinging. It's a wonderful thing. Can we do this more often?
posted by adamgreenfield to Etiquette/Policy at 5:19 AM (39 comments total)

Better link pls?
posted by poxuppit at 5:24 AM on January 9, 2007


D'OH! Abject apologies.
posted by adamgreenfield at 5:30 AM on January 9, 2007


But I do need more MetaFilter in my life....
posted by Sk4n at 6:01 AM on January 9, 2007


This is like the bat signal for the shit flingers to go to that thread. Good job.
posted by smackfu at 6:19 AM on January 9, 2007


How can you be sure that this isn't an example of quick-fingered moderation by Mathowie and/or Jessamyn? Since AskMe is pretty well sanitized at this point, I'd assume MeFi is too.
posted by grateful at 6:26 AM on January 9, 2007


Robin: Holy Humpin' Heffalumps, Batman! It's the Bat Signal!

Batman: We've been summoned...
posted by The Confessor at 6:45 AM on January 9, 2007


What an ironic username.
posted by mzurer at 6:45 AM on January 9, 2007


this guy, I mean
posted by mzurer at 6:46 AM on January 9, 2007


Nice try, Confessor. Better luck next time, though.
posted by adamgreenfield at 7:04 AM on January 9, 2007


*Confessor shakes his head*

There are those who posit legitimate arguments, and then there are trolls.

And there are also people who lack the resources or determination to deal with the former, and thus label legitimate arguments as troll-bait so to marginalize them sans confrontation.

Cowardice.
posted by The Confessor at 7:36 AM on January 9, 2007


Classy.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 7:49 AM on January 9, 2007


Cowardice.

You obviously don't know who you're dealing with, so I forgive you.
posted by adamgreenfield at 7:58 AM on January 9, 2007


[I fixed the link in the post.]
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 8:06 AM on January 9, 2007


Forgiveness is appreciated, but I'd much rather be educated.

Who am I dealing with, and why (if not cowardice) do you not consider my argument worthy of any response?
posted by The Confessor at 8:07 AM on January 9, 2007


Though I've begun to answer the first question for myself; the second eludes me.
posted by The Confessor at 8:17 AM on January 9, 2007


Perhaps you would be so kind as to enlighten us as to your identity, then? Seems only fair.
posted by IronLizard at 8:33 AM on January 9, 2007


Thanks, jessamyn.
posted by adamgreenfield at 8:34 AM on January 9, 2007


IronLizard

Nathaniel Arnold

... although you could have discovered that for yourself easily enough via a whois on the domain linked in my profile.

But I don't really see what our respective identities have to do with the question.
posted by The Confessor at 8:49 AM on January 9, 2007


Also, I didn't trim anything from that post. Except for total derailing shit flinging, I stay out of adminning MeFi comments.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 9:00 AM on January 9, 2007


He is currently best known for his 2006 book Everyware: The dawning age of ubiquitous computing (ISBN 0-321-38401-6), which has been called "groundbreaking" by Bruce Sterling: "One puts it down with a strange conviction that web-designers have transcended geekdom and achieved Zen soulfulness."

oh. he's one of those...

holding a succession of prominent positions culminating in employment at the Tokyo office of Razorfish, where he was head of the information architecture department.

who wrote this? adam greenfield?

He is also credited with having coined the word "moblog"

and for that alone he deserves eternal scorn.

so, who ARE we dealing with here?
i vote "non-notable non-celebrity".
posted by quonsar at 9:34 AM on January 9, 2007 [1 favorite]


Thanks for the derail attempt, quonsar. I preferred you when you were at least occasionally amusing.

As for "you obviously don't know who you're dealing with," I (sigh) meant in the general sense that Confessor is casting aspersions on the integrity and honor of those he knows only via a message board. My own identity is not the issue, and discussion of it detracts from any discussion of the issue.
posted by adamgreenfield at 10:06 AM on January 9, 2007


adamgreenfield

Your response to my comment in your MeFi post was to marginalize it; to dismiss it out of hand for no good reason.

Everything I have done since then has been to persuade you to re-examine that decision or justify it. An accusation of possible cowardice seemed most likely to at least provoke a response.
posted by The Confessor at 10:32 AM on January 9, 2007


Yes, calling somebody a coward often has the effect of generating a thoughtful, deliberate response and never escalates a situation. Thank God you didn't politely ask why he dismissed your comment!
posted by Roger Dodger at 10:37 AM on January 9, 2007


Btw, any time you guys want me to stop trying to get a straight answer out of The Confessor, let me know. I can seem that all my attempts to get one have been fruitless thus far, so I'm just about ready to resign my attempts in order to allow discussion to continue without interruption. ::sigh::
posted by CitrusFreak12 at 10:42 AM on January 9, 2007


adamgreenfield, I enjoyed your post and agree the discussion was worthwhile, and that generally people who blather on about how mefi can't "do" religion are mostly just people who get uncomfortable around the subject.

But yeah, what smackfu said: This is like the bat signal for the shit flingers to go to that thread. Good job.

(Today's religion thread looks pretty good too, for the most part. In both cases I think, the articles are worth reading regardless of your own theological take.)
posted by bardic at 10:52 AM on January 9, 2007


Roger Dodger

So I answered a slight with a slight.

What, did you expect me to turn the other cheek? That's a good way to get slapped twice.

CitrusFreak12

(The exchange he's cross-advertising begins here.)

Honestly, this whole exchange kind of reminds me of the tattoo sequence from Dude, Where's My Car?, or trying to teach simple mathematics to Verizon employees.

I threw up my hands in frustration when I concluded you were being deliberately dense. I apologize; that may have been premature. Hopefully my latest response is coached in simple enough terms.
posted by The Confessor at 10:53 AM on January 9, 2007


No, I was not being deliberately dense.
If someone could explain to me what I seem to have missed, it would be greatly appreciated.
posted by CitrusFreak12 at 11:01 AM on January 9, 2007


bardic, sadly, you seem to be right. I guess my optimism got the better of me. I'll know better next time.
posted by adamgreenfield at 11:03 AM on January 9, 2007


I threw up my hands in frustration when I concluded you were being deliberately dense. I apologize; that may have been premature. Hopefully my latest response is coached in simple enough terms.

You didn't bother getting around to describing how you planned to oppose/confront Christianity until your last post, which contained the key phrase: with rhetoric. Until that point your point was that you will oppose Xianity by confronting it! And confront Xianity by opposing it! (paraphrased for simplicity). When someone asks you a question about a comment you've made, you link right back to the comment brought up the original question, as if that's supposed to answer something.

So, in the end, your whole point that you've been beggin poeple to come and respond to you about in the thread is that you plan on arguing with Christians (about what? with what end goal? who knows!!). Well, good for you, dude. No one's ever tried that before.
posted by LionIndex at 11:10 AM on January 9, 2007


All I'm saying is your inflammatory posting style may lead some to believe that you are in this specifically to garner attention, or to get somebody to argue with you. That's why people think you are a troll. If your goal is to discuss your ideas, you'd be more successful if you left out the attacks. If your goal is to argue with somebody, anybody, then continue in the same vein.
posted by Roger Dodger at 11:11 AM on January 9, 2007


Oh thank god. Thank you LionIndex. I thought I was going crazy or something.
posted by CitrusFreak12 at 11:21 AM on January 9, 2007


adamgreenfield

Ah! Witness the suffering servant as he departs the thread in quiet dignity, having already forgiven his detractor.

Here's my hypothesis, sir:

If your forgiveness was worth a damn, some explanation of your slight upon my own comment would have also been forthcoming. In the spirit of reciprocation, however, I'll match your meaningless gesture: you're also forgiven.

LionIndex

I often neglect to take others' context and lack thereof into account.

For instance, it was perfectly evident to me that my 'circular' link referred to the rhetoric of my previous post; that rhetoric would be the extent of my opposition.

Also, it was perfectly evident to me that though 'oppose' and 'confront' have similar definitions, they are at best inexact synonyms. 'Confront' implies action ('rhetoric', in this case), whereas 'oppose' is more passive.

Roger Dodger

I'm contrarian, and even inflammatory; I've been that way for quite a while... ever since I lost the remnants of my own faith.

Maybe it's for want of a convincing secular analogue to the Golden Rule, or turn the other cheek. Or maybe the mere fact that I require such incentive is evidence of basic inhumanity.

*Confessor shakes his head*

Maybe I need a shrink; maybe I need to be committed.
posted by The Confessor at 11:50 AM on January 9, 2007


Maybe you need God.
posted by konolia at 12:23 PM on January 9, 2007


For instance, it was perfectly evident to me that my 'circular' link referred to the rhetoric of my previous post; that rhetoric would be the extent of my opposition.

Also, it was perfectly evident to me that though 'oppose' and 'confront' have similar definitions, they are at best inexact synonyms. 'Confront' implies action ('rhetoric', in this case), whereas 'oppose' is more passive.


A lot of that didn't make any sense to me, but hey, what else is new.

It seems you're assuming too much will be communicated in your posts.
It helps to be specific and explain yourself, rather than thusting your hands into the air with frustration when I/others don't understand what you're trying to communicate.

Just so you know.
posted by CitrusFreak12 at 12:59 PM on January 9, 2007


Echoing CirtrusFreak, perhaps read ReligionPolitics and the English Language. I'm serious.

I have a severe aversion to organized religion, Confessor, so you and I probably share many viewpoints. But reading your comments I'd never know.
posted by Terminal Verbosity at 1:22 PM on January 9, 2007


Ah, the power of the Confessor's mighty rhetoric is causing many a Christian to tremble in their boots. I can't help but feel that the days of Christianity's hegemony are all but over. And then he'll give Islam a taste of his finely honed tongue. Or something.
posted by ninthart at 1:46 PM on January 9, 2007


Shun the non-believer! Shuuuuuuuuuun!
posted by liquorice at 4:47 PM on January 9, 2007


Can we do this more often?
Certainly. Just kick out all christians.
posted by matkline at 9:37 PM on January 9, 2007


That link is still screwed up. I was looking for the discussion of society, religion and politics that doesn't get all nasty?
posted by nanojath at 11:37 AM on January 10, 2007


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