debating a conservative December 16, 2005 3:46 PM   Subscribe

Is it possible to engage in a debate with a Conservative on MeFi without calling him a troll? I give you this example.
posted by mkultra to Etiquette/Policy at 3:46 PM (198 comments total)

Here I am, reading an interesting exchange between dios and monju_bosatsu about the merits of filibustering, and the validity of "one-man, one-vote". Eventually, I can't read more than 5 comments without reading shit like people calling dios a troll, saying he's not a "real" lawyer, or that surely he can't believe what he's saying.

WTF, people? I disagree with a lot (most, actually) of dios's opinions, but I'd venture to say he's a lot smarter than the bulk of the shitheads here who feel it necessary to pipe up just to hear themselves talk. I'm amazed he sticks around, considering the constant knee-jerk accusations he gets here.

I know this isn't treading any new ground, but it bears saying again- If you don't have anything to contribute other than derails and ad hominem attacks, then shut the fuck up.
posted by mkultra at 3:46 PM on December 16, 2005 [2 favorites]


No.
posted by jpburns at 3:47 PM on December 16, 2005


Sure, it's possible. But not when the guy in question fits the definition to a T. I swear, I cannot understand why reasonable people don't see this. There is copious evidence in that thread that dios is, indeed, a troll, and no real refutation of that evidence. Can you tell me why you don't think he's a troll? Seriously, tell me why I'm wrong.
posted by MrMoonPie at 3:52 PM on December 16, 2005


There is copious evidence in that thread that dios is, indeed, a troll, and no real refutation of that evidence. Can you tell me why you don't think he's a troll? Seriously, tell me why I'm wrong.

Nice logic. How about you show me this "copious evidence"?
posted by mkultra at 3:54 PM on December 16, 2005


This is how people react to dios on MetaFilter. It has always been like this. It will probably always be like this. It makes dios look much smarter than the people that call him a troll.

And so it goes.
posted by xmutex at 3:54 PM on December 16, 2005


Whether or not you believe he's a troll, it never ceases to amaze me how much effort some people put into announcing their opinion on that, over and over again. Say he's a troll. His theoretical attempt to "derail" a thread (which is an essentially nonsensical and irrelevant concept on MeFi anyways, as it happens in every other thread) is far outweighed by the derail concerning his relative merits as a lawyer/human being.

MrMoonPie - So you think he's a troll. Should he be banned? How is arguing his trolldom in a particular thread effective at preventing future trolling?
posted by loquax at 3:54 PM on December 16, 2005 [1 favorite]


Here I am, reading an interesting exchange between dios and monju_bosatsu about the merits of filibustering, and the validity of "one-man, one-vote". Eventually, I can't read more than 5 comments without reading shit like people calling dios a troll, saying he's not a "real" lawyer, or that surely he can't believe what he's saying.

Yeah, but that's not what the thread was about. It was about the patriot act and Dios turned it into a completely irrelevant discussion about parliamentary procedure, and engaged in totaly specious behavior to do so. I don't know if he did it consciously or not, but it's pretty obvious and he does it all the time.

You can be a conservative and not a troll, but Dios is trolling plain and simple.

Keep in mind trolling doesn't mean 'being an asshole' it merely means someone who works everyone else into a lather. He used to do it by being an asshole, now he does it by being the 'legal scholar' on his high-horse.
posted by delmoi at 3:58 PM on December 16, 2005


MrMoonPie: It looks more like dios is stating his opinion, and making a case for it in that thread. Over and over again. Is this what you mean by 'troll'?

I have this image of people who call dios a troll as people too tongue-tied and flustered to really offer any rebuttal to dios's comments so they just go TROLL! and run off to MeTa. It's really embarrassing, generally.
posted by xmutex at 3:58 PM on December 16, 2005


I think jlub said it best, mkultra. dios is arguing in favor of a position that he clearly does not hold. He has done so in the past, and had admitted as much.

loquax, I have no delusions about preventing his further trolling, not directly, at least. But if folks would see him as he is, and stop responding to him, he might, might stop it. Call me a dreamer.
posted by MrMoonPie at 3:59 PM on December 16, 2005


Yeah, mkultura, I don't get it either. It's hard for people to see the difference between someone who disagrees stringently with the majority and someone who is just a troll.

I only started paying attention to dios' comments in the last few weeks when I realized they were very interesting, then I noticed people jumping down his throat. I suspect he may have trolled sometime in the past (or been perceived as such) and it's just stuck with him.

I looked in all the threads he posted in over the last week and it just seems to be man presents a contrarian viewpoint and damn if people don't just jump over him.
posted by Captaintripps at 4:00 PM on December 16, 2005


by the way, mkultra, what specifically about dios' arguments were "conservative"? If the democrats were in majority, his position would help them (not that he took a position at all, he just quoted some random case-law, which has nothing to do with the senate anyway)
posted by delmoi at 4:00 PM on December 16, 2005


demoi, he made a comment, others responded to his comment, he responded in kind. How is that a derail? In the thread I recently posted about the Iraqi elections, there were about 50 derails, about oil, Bush, civilian casualties, Iran, and so on. It's the course of conversation. It would be different if he continuously made comments not relevant to the post (which in this case, it was, at least tangentially), or was outright rude or disruptive, but the people engaging him in conversation were at least as guilty in this "derail".
posted by loquax at 4:01 PM on December 16, 2005


delmoi, if you can't read a news piece about a major PATRIOT act vote failing in the face of a potential filibuster and understand how it DIRECTLY relates to, oh, filibustering (and, by extension, the issue of one-man,one-vote), then I really can't help you.
posted by mkultra at 4:02 PM on December 16, 2005


by the way, mkultra, what specifically about dios' arguments were "conservative"?

Nothing in particular, actually, in that thread, but dios does tend to sit on that side of the fence in threads. You do read MeFi regularly, don't you?
posted by mkultra at 4:05 PM on December 16, 2005


... and I don't think dios would get 1% of the crap he does if he didn't sit there.
posted by mkultra at 4:05 PM on December 16, 2005


delmoi, if you can't read a news piece about a major PATRIOT act vote failing in the face of a potential filibuster and understand how it DIRECTLY relates to, oh, filibustering (and, by extension, the issue of one-man,one-vote), then I really can't help you.

I can see how it relates to filibusters, but not one-man-one-vote. So I guess you can't help me. I suppose I must be a hopeless case then.

And as I said, it's not just about this one thread, this is a pattern that I've noticed with his posts in thread about news damaging to the president and the GOP. He doesn't try to defend them, he just points out some random bit of law, makes an outrageous statement about said law and discussion ceases.

It's other people's responsibility to ignore him, if they want a better discussion, so I don't think he should be banned or anything like that.

however It's very easy to see why people find his behavior in general trollish. If you can't deal with that I can't help you.
posted by delmoi at 4:06 PM on December 16, 2005


I don't even care about the derails, mkultra. It's his manner of argument that I take issue with.
posted by MrMoonPie at 4:07 PM on December 16, 2005


mkultra: What is the point of this thread, by the way? Is it to defend dios, or is it to ask an honest question:

"Is it possible to engage in a debate with a Conservative on MeFi without calling him a troll?"

If it's just a question, the answer is probably no, because MeFites don't agree on anything and do whatever they want anyway.

I'm all for reducing acrimony around here, but Dios spesificaly acts in a way consistent with being a troll, and so he gets called a troll.

So in other words, it's not his conservative viewpoint, it's his trollish behavior that gets him labled as such.

If you don't like it, too bad. There are a lot of conservatives who don't get the Dios treatment.
posted by delmoi at 4:14 PM on December 16, 2005


I'm sure he's a nice guy in person and I'll bet his momma loves him, but dios doesn't "engage in debate"; dios either derails threads or shits and leaves.

So yes, it's impossible to "engage in debate with a Conservative" if that "Conservative" is dios; his being a conservative, if in fact he is, has little to do with it.
posted by orthogonality at 4:15 PM on December 16, 2005


See below.
posted by LarryC at 4:18 PM on December 16, 2005


I guess all one can do is to note that, in several threads where dios has posited a legal argument, that argument has been soundly and completely ripped to shreds by people who evidently know much more about the law than he does. Dios' response is usually to equivocate, dodge or otherwise obfuscate the issue.

If "trolling" is not semantically appropriate to describe this kind of behavior, fair enough. Perhaps the Stewartian term "douchebaggery" is more apropos here, in fact.

I guess there is some utility in having douchebaggery going on. It's often the kind of arguments one gets from people who are willfully obtuse adherents to a particular view. So seeing the effective and thorough dismantling of those arguments by people who are very knowledgeable about the issues is, for all of us, an educational experience.

But the douchebaggery does tend to irritate one, ne'ertheless.
posted by darkstar at 4:20 PM on December 16, 2005


my definition of trolling:

1) posting crap to derail a discussion
2) posting unresponsive crap instead of advancing the debate

let's look at dios's first post out of the gate:

The act of filibustering violates the principle of one person, one vote.

classic troll, ...one for the ages...

completely tangential, completely derailing, and his defense of it was rather unresponsive (eg: "See Stewart's opinion in Baker v. Carr" ...gee, that was helpful).

Anyhoo, I don't think I've called dios out as a troll, just a rather silly person making silly posts. Unfortunately, 30-40% of this country is rather silly right now.
posted by Heywood Mogroot at 4:20 PM on December 16, 2005


I'm all for reducing acrimony around here, but Dios spesificaly acts in a way consistent with being a troll, and so he gets called a troll.

OK, first- dude, spell check is your friend.

Second, let's say for argument's sake that dios doesn't actually believe all the arguments he makes here. Who cares? He's provoking debate. He's not the one going around calling people names.
posted by mkultra at 4:22 PM on December 16, 2005


I'm amazed he sticks around, considering the constant knee-jerk accusations he gets here.

I'm not saying, because I don't have an opinion of dios, but one possible explanation to this mystifying question is that he is, in fact, a troll.
posted by scarabic at 4:25 PM on December 16, 2005


OK, first- dude, spell check is your friend.

Thanks for the heads up, captan third-grader.

Second, let's say for argument's sake that dios doesn't actually believe all the arguments he makes here. Who cares? He's provoking debate. He's not the one going around calling people names.

say for argument's sake? I thought we knew for a fact that dios didn't believe the arguments he makes.

And who cares? Not me but making arguments you don't believe in order to provoke debate is THE TEXT-BOOK DEFINITION OF BEING A TROLL. So stop your whining about Dios being called a troll.
posted by delmoi at 4:26 PM on December 16, 2005


WTF, people? I disagree with a lot (most, actually) of dios's opinions, but I'd venture to say he's a lot smarter than the bulk of the shitheads here who feel it necessary to pipe up just to hear themselves talk. I'm amazed he sticks around, considering the constant knee-jerk accusations he gets here.

Pretty much what I thought, too. He misbehaves sometimes, of course, but I reiterate what I've said before: the majority of what I notice of his participation here is more than substantive than not, and a lot better than the witless chuckleheadery that continues to grow in volume.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 4:26 PM on December 16, 2005


classic troll, ...one for the ages...

It's the closure that really makes it work:

The act of filibustering violates the principle of one person, one vote.

...[100 or so comments later]...

I support filibusters.


This trick has gotten a bit predictable, but it still seems to work.
posted by Armitage Shanks at 4:26 PM on December 16, 2005


This post verges on doing some trolling itself. The shouting in that thread has nothing to do with dios's "conservatism" and everything to do with his frequent posting of unnecessarily inflammatory, fallacious rhetoric that almost always serves to derail a discussion.

For an example of a troll working the other side of the aisle, see yesterday's thread about the ELF, where Rothko makes the same sort of obnoxious racket that dios tends to.

It's disappointing that the most visible "conservative" on Metafilter tends to be dios, because he sucks.
posted by rxrfrx at 4:26 PM on December 16, 2005


To answer your question, the answer is NO. There are too many liberal pacificst freaks here for anything "right of pretty left of center" to not be called names. But that's just the way lefties are.
posted by ParisParamus at 4:29 PM on December 16, 2005


I vote troll but whatever, it's not my website. What I think about as I scroll past all his garbage (and the garbage replies) is: billable hours, hee hee.

Dios will never be banned unless he wants to be, he knows were the boundary is and carefully avoids crossing it. My advice is to ignore him and stop writing about or to him.
posted by Mr T at 4:29 PM on December 16, 2005


As for dios playing a conservative.

Here's the AEI:

Judge Alito's unforgivable offense was contained in the now-famous 1985 memo, where he wrote that his "deep interest in constitutional law [was] motivated in large part by disagreement with the Warren Court decisions," including those involving "reapportionment."

Here's dios:

"The Supreme Court's questionable opinions in Reynolds v. Sims and Baker v. Carr forces redistricting to be complicated and not logical."

Daylight between dios and Alito: none.
posted by Heywood Mogroot at 4:29 PM on December 16, 2005


Diolitos!
posted by darkstar at 4:31 PM on December 16, 2005


There are too many liberal pacificst freaks

...trolling with namecalling.

But that's just the way lefties are.

...trolling with bullshit generalizations.

Congratulations on trolling in a trolling metatalk, PP. This is like Star Wars, where's the apprentice, there's the master.
posted by Heywood Mogroot at 4:32 PM on December 16, 2005


Double Post!

Did he really need help getting up on the cross again? He seemed to be doing just fine on his own.
posted by prostyle at 4:32 PM on December 16, 2005


dios is arguing in favor of a position that he clearly does not hold.

And? Look, just because a lot of folks do that with malicious intent (here, I think, is a key part of the connotation that "troll" imparts as used around here) does not make it a bad thing. It is, in fact, a good thing. The ability and willingness to formulate and argue ideas in which you are not already emotionally/intellectually invested is extremely important and, as far as I'm concerned, a vital part of any meaningful argument/debate/conversation. Otherwise, you have people simply locked in stasis, either offering arguments in stubborn support of their decided position or offering nothing substantial whatsoever.

dios doesn't "engage in debate"

Oh, he does so. I've seen him do it on the site. That people have a preconcieved notion of him as some spineless, facetious conservative troll drives this analysis of all he says as does in the same terms; people leap up on his every contentious and snarky remark, and conveniently forget the neutral, well-mannered ones. It's ridiculous.
posted by cortex at 4:33 PM on December 16, 2005


Another thing that's annoying about Dios (and Rothko, to a certan extent) is the incredible ability to turn any thread into a thread about themselves. It's so annoying, they're so self-obsessed and it's just so tiresome.
posted by delmoi at 4:33 PM on December 16, 2005


There are too many liberal pacificst freaks here for anything "right of pretty left of center" to not be called names. But that's just the way lefties are.

Another way of looking at this is that there are so many liberals here that only trolls from the other side of the fence have any interest in hanging around.
posted by scarabic at 4:34 PM on December 16, 2005


It's disappointing that the most visible "conservative" on Metafilter tends to be dios

It's also disappointing that the most visible "Bush-hating/Bush-loving liberal/neocon flip-flopping butthole" on Metafilter tends to be ParisParamus.
posted by Armitage Shanks at 4:35 PM on December 16, 2005


Now, see, Paris believes in what he says, and is therefore not a troll. He doesn't stand behind his statements, no, but I think he truly believes them when he says them.

mkultra, does it boil down to differences in our definition of troll? How do you define the term?
posted by MrMoonPie at 4:36 PM on December 16, 2005


It is, in fact, a good thing. The ability and willingness to formulate and argue ideas in which you are not already emotionally/intellectually invested is extremely important and, as far as I'm concerned, a vital part of any meaningful argument/debate/conversation.

Cortex: yes, but as you know metafilter discussions only have one 'thread' rather then a place like slashdot which has branching threads. In this rather artificial system it's important that all the participants don't veer too far off topic, less the thread gets 'derailed'. In fact, "derail" is available as a flagging option (although rather pointless because by the time a message could be deleted the damage will already have been done).

Dios consistently derails threads damaging to the bush admin by making absurd claims (in this case, it wasn't a liberal or conservative viewpoint, just a nonsense one) and that's what pisses people off.
posted by delmoi at 4:38 PM on December 16, 2005


cortex, it's the "malicious intent" part that I object to. I don't think he's here to engage in any sort of "meaningful argument/debate/conversation." I think he does it because he loves a fight.
posted by MrMoonPie at 4:38 PM on December 16, 2005


But that's just the way lefties are.

Dickhead.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 4:40 PM on December 16, 2005


if dios is so bad (he isn't; I have great respect for him), why can't you ignore him. IGNORE HIM. AND ME. Oh. I know why: YOU CAN'T.
posted by ParisParamus at 4:41 PM on December 16, 2005


I can. Wait - nevermind.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 4:42 PM on December 16, 2005


ParisParamus writes 'To answer your question, the answer is NO. There are too many liberal pacificst freaks here for anything "right of pretty left of center" to not be called names. But that's just the way lefties are.'

Now there's a troll.
posted by mullingitover at 4:42 PM on December 16, 2005


Oh, I have no problem ignoring you, Paris. None at all.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 4:43 PM on December 16, 2005


" It's so annoying, they're so self-obsessed and it's just so tiresome."

Aww, poor baby! Sheesh...
posted by mischief at 4:43 PM on December 16, 2005


MrMoonPie, I don't agree with you on that. I believe that he likes an argument as much as most folks here; I don't think he's looking for a fight, though, but rather would be please as punch by a regular does of actual meaningful debate. It doesn't necessarily happen so well around here, and that does not fall wholly on his shoulders.

delmoi, your point regarding threading is a fair one, but some amount of bifurcation of the conversation is inevitable and not, in my opinion, a bad thing at all. I feel that people around here use "troll" and "derail" in an irresponsibly eager and vindictive fashion that damages the credibility of the terms.

If dios makes an argument that seems absurd, offer a fair-minded and well-mannered counter-argument. Why is arguing (presumably with easy success) against what you see as an indefensibly flawed assertion less good an idea than getting snarky or dismissive or writing off a user as a troll or a derailer?
posted by cortex at 4:44 PM on December 16, 2005


the incredible ability to turn any thread into a thread about themselves

No, see you guys made it about him. He was arguing a point. You just can't deal with his stubbornness.

mkultra, does it boil down to differences in our definition of troll? How do you define the term?

cortex's point about "malicious intent" is a good one. I think your attributing it way too often to dios. He's a lawyer. He loves to argue. Doesn't make his intent malicious.
posted by mkultra at 4:48 PM on December 16, 2005


Heh, we know how dios doesn't like Reynolds v. Sims.

looking it up I see it went thru 8-1. The lone dissenter, Harlan:

Harlan claimed the Court was imposing its own idea of "good government" on the states, stifling creativity and violating federalism. He pointed out that if Reynolds was correct, then the United States Constitution's own provision for two United States Senators from each state would then be Constitutionally suspect as the fifty states have anything but "substantially equal populations."

Harlan was quite silly, much like dios, apparently.
posted by Heywood Mogroot at 4:55 PM on December 16, 2005


Here's another classic.

In the very first post on this redistricting thread, dios posts "Redistricting is Constitutionally required." The FPP had nothing to do with whether or not redistricting was required, but whether or not political appointees did an unprecendented thing by overturning the Justice department panel declaring the redistricting map illegal under the VRA.

And the thread went south -- we all (including me) went about discussing whether the redistricting in question was the first or second redistricting in the decade, blah blah blah. Now, the resulting discussion might have been useful or interesting in and of itself, but it was certainly a derail -- from comment #1.

And here, in comment #3, dios explains to us that we shouldn't talk about voter fraud in a thread about DieBold. Notice that he brought it up.

Not sure what my point is exactly. But dios posts things which are going to get people upset. Now, I think those people should be civil, but it doesn't take a genius to see what the results of dios' posts are going to be in this environment.
posted by jlub at 4:55 PM on December 16, 2005


I think people use the troll label way too quickly around here, but I also think you reap what you sow. There would be a lot more sympathy for dios in threads where he's not trolling if there weren't other threads where it takes him exactly seven minutes to start a catfight.

I guess in other words, trolling is an action whereas troll is a title. dios is called a troll everywhere he goes here because he trolls enough in other threads for that to be what he's known for.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 4:58 PM on December 16, 2005

He's a lawyer. He loves to argue. Doesn't make his intent malicious.
Well, shit, maybe that's the core point of disagreement here. I consider the word argue to imply malice, and, therefore, be a bad thing. I don't love to argue. I love to discuss, to converse, to toss ideas back and forth, even to respectfully disagree with rationally, calmly delivered opinions. But I don't love to argue. Sure, I can be pulled into an argument, but I don't love it. I agree with you that dios does. However, I think that love is ultimately destructive of community, and is, therefore, not something to be encouraged.
posted by MrMoonPie at 5:00 PM on December 16, 2005


Well, the major bitch of it is, mkultura, that MetaFilter is not now really a culture of debate (if it ever was). Some places, which aren't threaded, can have a multi-faceted set of debates arising from one topic that go on in all sorts of interesting directions.

A vocal group here doesn't want that or respond to it well. I may think it's idiotic (and I do), but that's kind of the way it goes.
posted by Captaintripps at 5:02 PM on December 16, 2005


Koeselitz provided a pragmatic, if not conservative, view on mideast strategy in this thread. The echo chamber was disturbed and his civil, thoughtful comments were met with quite a few abusive, unsubstantive responses.

Don't blame the dios/pp personalities, MeFi has become intellectually intolerant.
posted by klarck at 5:03 PM on December 16, 2005


Look. Paris is a troll. Dios just gets pissed off when wider events don't go his way, and thinks he can win back some ground by acting smarter than he really is.
posted by Jimbob at 5:04 PM on December 16, 2005


Hey, that's exactly like what people do to ParisParamus!
posted by Captaintripps at 5:04 PM on December 16, 2005


How do you define the term?

Someone who purposely says things he knows will get you upset for the sake of getting you upset. And if you figure that's what he's doing then you become really upset. That's the trolling dynamic but the second step is your call. Is he doing it to upset you or is he expressing a dissenting view for the sake of discussion?

Would MeFi be a better place if all you saw was FPP followed by a dozen 'me too', 'great post', 'xyz nails it', 'f*** subject', 'MetaFilter: subject', 'I for one welcome our ... subject', etc. comments?
posted by scheptech at 5:05 PM on December 16, 2005


Now, I think those people should be civil, but it doesn't take a genius to see what the results of dios' posts are going to be in this environment.

So that's it? People ought to be civil, yes yes, well, but, you know how it is around here...

I can't agree with that. If people can't be better than that, they're not in a position to bitch about the behavior of the folks they can't manage civility toward.

Well, shit, maybe that's the core point of disagreement here. I consider the word argue to imply malice, and, therefore, be a bad thing.

See, there I disagree with you again. It might just be a disagreement on terms; or maybe a disagreement in tastes; or both.

I like a good argument. I don't like an angry shouting match. But when I say argument in this context, I'm talking about a situation where two or more parties make arguments about ideas.
posted by cortex at 5:07 PM on December 16, 2005


It's possible. Just ignore them.
posted by clevershark at 5:07 PM on December 16, 2005


klarck, prostyle's response in that thread had me baffled and disappointed. I felt wadefranklin's response upon much the same intellectual lines was put together in a thoughtful fashion. bl1nk was also a great response there.
posted by Captaintripps at 5:13 PM on December 16, 2005


Well, shit, maybe that's the core point of disagreement here. I consider the word argue to imply malice, and, therefore, be a bad thing. I don't love to argue. I love to discuss, to converse, to toss ideas back and forth, even to respectfully disagree with rationally, calmly delivered opinions. But I don't love to argue.

Awww that's so sweet but I have news for you: that's what an argument is.
posted by xmutex at 5:23 PM on December 16, 2005


that's what an argument is.

M: Look, I CAME HERE FOR AN ARGUMENT, I'm not going to just stand...!!
Q: Oh, oh I'm sorry, but this is abuse.
M: Oh, I see, well, that explains it.
Q: Ah yes, you want room 12A, Just along the corridor.
M: Oh, Thank you very much. Sorry.
Q: Not at all.
M: Thank You.
Q: Stupid git
posted by Heywood Mogroot at 5:26 PM on December 16, 2005


My opinion, also in the thread:
You know, it's unfortunate that so many people think dios is a troll when he's just interested in having a discussion about a legal issue related the topic of the post. Admittedly, the discussion is not directly about the PATRIOT Act, but it is related, given that the reauthorization of the Act was filibustered, and it is related to recent discussions we've had, in the redistricting thread and the Alito thread.

It may well be true that dios takes a position not entirely his own for purposes of the discussion, but that's a common feature of legal discussions both in law school and among lawyers, indulged for the purpose of exploring an issue in depth and from multiple perspectives. I, for one, have enjoyed discussing issues with dios on this and other occasions, and plan on continuing to do so. I've learned plenty, even if sometimes it's only a confirmation of a position I already believed.

And he is a lawyer, whether you believe it or not.
posted by monju_bosatsu at 5:26 PM on December 16, 2005


Long-time lurker here, for what it's worth. And I would say, yes, Dios is of course a troll, insofar as his initial posts generally posit straw-man arguments, followed up by evasive and labored responses (liberally) peppered by shrieks of 'fuck you' and 'you sniveling prick.' Trollish, eh? To demand control of the topic and scope of discussion? So be it — there are others far better equipped than he with the education and eloquence to keep me lurking and learning.

But what is so irritating is Dios' endless-constant-incessant whining, his delighted self-pity and aggrieved cries of victimhood. Bannable offense? Perhaps not. But embarrassingly disgraceful, nonetheless.
posted by Haruspex at 5:27 PM on December 16, 2005


Ah, well played, xmutex. Condescension always wins over reasoned discussion.

Fine, I bow before your superior semantic skills. It's a shouting match I don't like, and dios does little else here other than inciting shouting matches. Is that sweet enough for you?
posted by MrMoonPie at 5:31 PM on December 16, 2005


Another point on the issue of derailing:

thank god. stick that in your ass and smoke it, Mr President, you cocksucker!

This is an example of the non-derailed, on-topic commentary on the thread in question. It's really so bad if some of the folks in the thread get off track from that?

(liberally) peppered by shrieks of 'fuck you' and 'you sniveling prick.'

Haruspex, you are engaging in seriously selective reading if you're seeing that "liberally peppered" throughout dios's comments.
posted by cortex at 5:32 PM on December 16, 2005


You know, the drama around here is getting pretty stale. Now that Matt is devoting more time to administration there has been a lot less horse play and goofing off. I miss that.

I propose a general amnesty: bring back Pretty_Generic and his little dog dukes'of'hazard, bring back dhoyt and jenliegh (now that we know, who cares?), hell bring back angry_modem and all the other shit-disturbers.

And Matt, loosen up on the closing threads in MeTa thing. Many times I would like just a little say but the thread is closed already because I can't spend 24/7 online.
posted by Mr T at 5:35 PM on December 16, 2005


Fine, I bow before your superior semantic skills.

You can't knock condescension with a straight face while engaging in it. Call him out on it or don't. For one thing, he's right -- what you described in contrast to 'argument' was, in fact, what most people would consider 'argument'.

and dios does little else here other than inciting shouting matches.

The very thread in question stands counter to that. dios and monju had (as of my reading, 3/5ths through the thread) a pretty reasonable argument. Some of the other folks in the thread were being a bit more jackassery, but that's about it.
posted by cortex at 5:35 PM on December 16, 2005


Just because you get upset does not mean dios does that on purpose, not even if he is not arguing his real opinion. Playing devil's advocate is a perfectly valid method of discussion.

Just because a lot of people make it all about dios when they see him commenting does not mean that dios makes a thread all about himself.

In that thread dios and monju-bosatsu were indeed having a civil and at least tangentially relevant discussion. Newsfilter threads like that hardly ever have discussion as good as that. What exactly is the reason to get upset about dios' behaviour in this thread?
posted by fred_ashmore at 5:38 PM on December 16, 2005


Is it possible to engage in a debate with a Conservative on MeFi without calling him a troll?

No. That is why so many have just given up and left MetaFitler.
posted by Steve_at_Linnwood at 5:38 PM on December 16, 2005


Agreed, cortex and xmutex. I wonder whether some people get a different version of MeFi than I do...

jenliegh (now that we know, who cares?)

Wait, what was the big jenleigh revelation?
posted by mkultra at 5:41 PM on December 16, 2005


You know, the drama around here is getting pretty stale. Now that Matt is devoting more time to administration there has been a lot less horse play and goofing off. I miss that.

I propose a general amnesty: bring back Pretty_Generic and his little dog dukes'of'hazard, bring back dhoyt and jenliegh (now that we know, who cares?), hell bring back angry_modem and all the other shit-disturbers.

And Matt, loosen up on the closing threads in MeTa thing. Many times I would like just a little say but the thread is closed already because I can't spend 24/7 online.


I want you to go away now, and never come back. We will speak of this no more.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 5:42 PM on December 16, 2005


mkultra, soylent jenleigh was people.
posted by cortex at 5:43 PM on December 16, 2005


Without a few folks like dios, ParisParamus and DavidDark (I really miss him), this place would be nothing but an echo chamber in the political posts. You don't learn much by restricting yourself to one point of view. Sure they seem to have skipped potty training sometimes, but they are there day in and day out to take on the liberal cabal. They take unending shit for it and if they fight back unfairly sometimes I am fine with that. How would you react over at LGF (well, perhaps that is a bad example because they are to wussy to let opposing viewpoints stick around). I know sometimes they walk into a thread and drop scat with their first post, but they, especially dios as Paris is looking tired these days, take on a crew many times their number, and do a pretty good job at it even if I do disagree with them. Add to that the likes of some (you can find their names on dios's user page) who start swinging even after innocuous posts. It takes more than one person to start a fight, and it surely is not always the resident conservatives who start them here. Now quit your crying and get back to work (or whatever).
posted by caddis at 5:45 PM on December 16, 2005


Chill chicken man, I was just thinkin out loud.
posted by Mr T at 5:46 PM on December 16, 2005


I'm feeling a strange sense of deja vu.
posted by brain_drain at 5:47 PM on December 16, 2005


Add to that the likes of some (you can find their names on dios's user page) who start swinging even after innocuous posts.

Feel free to give examples of said posts, if you're going to be cowardly about who you're calling out.
posted by Rothko at 5:47 PM on December 16, 2005


Well, I've said what I have to say, have made my point as clearly as I can make it. Later, dudes.
posted by MrMoonPie at 5:48 PM on December 16, 2005


.
posted by ParisParamus at 5:53 PM on December 16, 2005


I blame myself.
posted by darkstar at 5:53 PM on December 16, 2005


dios is a remarkably courteous guy in email correspondence. I do however think that - accidentally or not - he derails (or re-topics, if you wanna be kind) threads especially when his team are embarrassed (quite a lot these days, as it happens.)

To some - that is the definition of a troll.

I suggest all these people so worked up about him remember next time he posts: what is the topic of this FPP? Then, ignore what you dislike, and sta on topic. You don't need to get personal. That's just a waste of energy.
posted by dash_slot- at 5:56 PM on December 16, 2005


Cortex, it's true, I may have higher standards for 'liberally' than you — a mere few 'sniveling pricks' from Dios are sufficient for me to kick against. And since the majority of posters here (regardless of their ideological position) don't seem to find it necessary to fling insults or immediately whimper 'O Unfair!,' I stand by my opinion.

But that's simply my desire for more ongoing civil discourse because civility takes effort, time, talent and concern for this rather remarkable community.
posted by Haruspex at 6:04 PM on December 16, 2005


Haruspex, I share your desire for civility. I continue to disagree with you on the relative frequency of the 'sniveling prick' sort of comment from dios, especially compared to such commentary by those inclined to oppose him. I think he gives far less than he gets, and that those who think poorly of him suffer under the mistaken impression that such is not the case.

I would be swayed by hard numbers, but until then it is my perception that the large majority of snark re: dios comes not from dios but from those who react without civility or measure to his comments (regardless of their substance).
posted by cortex at 6:09 PM on December 16, 2005


*choke* You wasted my beer.

...since the majority of posters here (regardless of their ideological position) don't seem to find it necessary to fling insults...
posted by Captaintripps at 6:10 PM on December 16, 2005


Pictures of all of the usual suspects in these dust-ups can be found here (the names being changed to protect the ...)
posted by caddis at 6:16 PM on December 16, 2005


Capn', vendors have been dropping off the obligatory holiday gifts of chocolates and bottles of wine at my ad agency all day; I'd offer you reparations, but it's likely to be a glass of mediocre Pinot. Cheers!
posted by Haruspex at 6:17 PM on December 16, 2005


Hey, I'll take a mediocre Pinot.
posted by Captaintripps at 6:19 PM on December 16, 2005


I don't believe dios is a troll, but to say that it's unreasonable to think he is is absurd.

this has been pointed out above, but bears repeating:

1. here he posts a somewhat tangential comment which does nothing but snidely express his opinion, offering nothing substantive to back up his comment.
this is called "baiting." real trolls, (again, I don't think dios is one) use these to find the gullible fish that will be suckered into a pointless and frustrating bitchfest. did you know that the origin of the word troll comes from fishing? yes. to troll in fishing is to cross a lake/pond with your pole dangling in the water to see what fish come after you. I think. I don't fish.

2. then he says < a href=>here he explicates part of his standpoint. I should note that I think the one person, one vote principle is a constitutional fiction. But if one supports the one person, one vote principle--that is, the principle of equal weighted votes--then one must oppose many political devices such as what I mentioned above, as well as SMP districts instead of at-large elections. roughly this translates to: "I don't think it matters one way or the other because the whole idea of one-,am/one-vote is fictional, really, but i just want to point out what hypocrites you supporters of it are. You know, all those people who didn't say anything about it in the thread till I came in here." So we've got baiting and arguing for the sake of arguing and pointing fingers at others... check.

Now, i honstly belive that he's just a passionate guy who values discussion but has become cynical and doesn't think it's worth the effort, anymore, to remain civil or try to facilitate discussion with people he perceives as being impossible or stupid. I think it's coincidence, absurd as that may sound, that his method of discussing this stuff is so similar to methods for trolling.

either that or it's possible to be a troll unintentionally and he really just doesn't realize that what he's doing is the textbook definition of trolling. either way, I don't think he's doing it on purpose.

but that doesn't mean that people have no reason to think he is.
posted by shmegegge at 6:28 PM on December 16, 2005


Gee, in a more in an era of more sophisticated intellect, the above description would be of something noble, or at worst, stimulating or entertaining. But in this era, it's considered threatening and offensive.

That's really sad.

Keep it up dios, I salute you!
posted by ParisParamus at 6:34 PM on December 16, 2005


Gee, in an era of more sophisticated intellect, the above description would be of something noble, or at worst, stimulating or entertaining. But in this era, it's considered threatening and offensive.

That's really sad.

Keep it up dios, I salute you!
posted by ParisParamus at 6:35 PM on December 16, 2005


Cap'n, agreed - maybe the prostyle post skewed my view. There was a pretty interesting, respectful exhange going on in there - but it was hard to follow amid the competition between the usual characters to express most outraged outrage.
posted by klarck at 6:38 PM on December 16, 2005


Well, klarck, I'm also finding as we go through this exercise that every thread is actually much less contentious than I thought. The nasty comments tend to colour the only joking ones. That thread you linked to was one I thought was full of crap before, but reading through it again, it was mostly that prostyle comment that coloured my perception of the rest of it.
posted by Captaintripps at 6:46 PM on December 16, 2005



Gee, in an era of more sophisticated intellect, the above description would be of something noble, or at worst, stimulating or entertaining. But in this era, it's considered threatening and offensive.

That's really sad.

Keep it up dios, I salute you!
posted by Balisong at 6:53 PM on December 16, 2005


Gee, in an era of more sophisticated intellect, the above description would be of something noble, or at worst, stimulating or entertaining. But in this era, it's considered threatening and offensive.

That's really sad.

Keep it up dios, I salute you!
posted by stirfry at 7:01 PM on December 16, 2005


Well my opinion has changed for the worst about a number of people.

Funny, dios isn't on that list.
posted by peacay at 7:03 PM on December 16, 2005


Hey, MrMoonPie, I'm back!

But I am too drunk to defend my position.

I will, however, attempt to do so anyway. (By the way, I must say that I very much appreciated your response to my leaving without giving you a fair answer. Cheers to you, as well!)

Right:
In this particular thread, dios's first comment, "The act of filibustering violates the principle of one person, one vote," is a direct response to the ideology behind this statement, "... which shows how vulnerable the Repubs are to filibusters ... ," by edgeways. He nigh-explicitly states this in this brief, disclaimer-esqueparagraph. Sure, it makes an assumption of the values behind edgeways's comment, but it is not nearly as disruptive or unrelated as a prior comment by fenriq. The ensuing discussion, in which he was merely responding to other people's counterarguments (thus, delmoi, someone apparantly did give a shit) on the subject, trodded along in a relatively civilised manner. Though I feel it should be noted that dios's comments were attacking the statements others were making, and not directly attacking them personally.

Part II: A Gathering Storm:
On the term "troll", Wikipedia states that "the term troll is highly subjective. Some readers may characterize a post as trolling, while others may regard the same post as a legitimate contribution to the discussion, even if controversial." To one who does not view the comments in question as trolling, it would follow that calling the person making them a troll would itself be trolling, as Wikipedia states in the first paragraph, "a troll is a person who posts inflammatory messages on the internet ... to disrupt discussion or to upset its participants."


Good heavens, that wasn't easy. Yeah, that took a while.

So, yes, MrMoonPie, there you have it!
Huttah!

And I'm going to smoke a cigarette.
posted by The Great Big Mulp at 7:41 PM on December 16, 2005


The logical inference here i.e. of holding that filibustering violates the principle of "one person, one vote" is that Dios does not in fact support "one person, one vote", that he would restrict voting to certain people and exclude others, which is in fact a classically conservative position. I changed the "one man" above to "one person" because in the U.S.A. women did not get the vote till 1920; even then the right of "non-whites" to vote was not effectively guaranteed till 1965 (a "guarantee" that has recently been hollowed in a few places). And even before sex and race became major issues there were property requirements, and so on. (Of course this might have diddley to do with Dios opinions or arguments involving him, I'm just pointing out one way of reconciling this "contradiction".)

Also the very composition of the U.S. Senate itself violates the principle of "one person, one vote" because each State gets the same number of votes regardless of population, a scheme that was found unconstitutional by the U.S. Supreme Court when individual States do it.

So it's not necessarily the case that Dios must be trolling: maybe he really is a reactionary pig ("strict constructionist" and/or "anti-Federalist") honestly expressing his unpopular opinions, meeting with a reaction that itself exemplifies a case for restricting the vote to people who can indulge in debate without ad hominem derailments. (E.g., those who voted "in order to support the President's 'strong moral stand in favor of marriage.'")

Funny how calling a right-winger a "troll" undermines a leftist's faith in democracy, isn't it.
posted by davy at 7:44 PM on December 16, 2005


Sorry, delmoi, that sentence came off a bit more harsh than intended.
posted by The Great Big Mulp at 8:01 PM on December 16, 2005


Eh, I'm not a leftist.

Seemed to me that dios made a number of arguments that monju ripped to shreds pretty effectively. In some cases with brute, factual rebuttal of asserted premises.

When that happens to your argument, you usually concede a point, here or there. Unless you just can't accept being proven wrong. In which case you equivocate, obfuscate and evade. As dios seems to do frequently when this happens to him.

Not sure why this kind of irritating behavior shouldn't be called out somehow, when it happens. If "trolling" isn't an acceptable word for it, fine. Then what would folks recommend we call it that would convey the sense of this but be acceptable to a civil discourse?

It'd be good to figure that out, because it's surely a standard pattern of "debate" for a lot of people. In fact, I predict the opportunity to encounter it will come up again in, oh, say, less than 24 hours in another thread.
posted by darkstar at 8:02 PM on December 16, 2005


[sigh]
posted by Saucy Intruder at 8:03 PM on December 16, 2005


Can I predict the imminent demise of MetaFilter now?
posted by cedar at 8:05 PM on December 16, 2005


Cedar: you may and you will be right and wrong at the same time. this kitty is in a box.
posted by Mr T at 8:12 PM on December 16, 2005


I'm sorry I ragged on him. I'll buy him a beer when he celebrates "Fuck AIDS Day."
posted by bardic at 8:17 PM on December 16, 2005


What the fuck are you blathering about now amberglow? If you got off karl's nuts long enough,
posted by dios at 12:08 PM PST on February 25 [!]

man, this is a train wreck. dios got a timeout. y2karl isn't doing badly imo, and I encourage others to find good posts.
posted by mathowie at 12:46 PM PST on February 25


who cares if dios is a troll, really? he's shown us what a gay-hating thug he is already, and got one richly-deserved timeout for that (the "Fuck AIDS Day" bomb he dropped the other day was a real peach, too). we don't need to know much more about him -- if it squeals like a pig and roots in shit like a pig, well, guess what, it's a pig. no need to open a MeTa thread about that

personally, I enjoy his penchant for Latin-for-dummies references (they probably make him feel smart, or well-read, or maybe even both!), his view of himself as a victim of the bad bad liberals who rule the universe, his crude, Tourettian outbursts that generally quickly follow some kind of "I'm-so-above-all-of-you" self-congratulating comment.

and of course I'm extremely proud to be part of his personal shit list (funniest/most pathetic userpage evar)

not to mention, in that sweet, sweet thread where he got himself banned for his shameful gay-bashing, we can see, preserved in amber, a memorable moment of vintage jenleigh nonsense.
posted by matteo at 8:35 PM on December 16, 2005 [1 favorite]


No. That is why so many have just given up and left MetaFitler.

heh. maybe. but don't make it sound like a persecution by the evil liberal mob -- more than a few of them got themselves banned for, say, particularly shameful comments (who was that Bush-loving user who bragged about pissing in his women's colleagues coffee? and what about the priceless "paleocon"? and the nutzoid "111"? not to mention, dhoyt the neocon Internet tranny).

they got themselves banned, they didn't "give up".

see, Stevie, don't overestimate your buddies. so many of them got themselves banned by a particularly laissez-faire administrator . that takes effort.

and speaking of administrators, aren't you the same guy who had a knack, in chat rooms, for banning people because they simply disagreed with him? or did they simply "give up", Stevie?

;)
posted by matteo at 8:46 PM on December 16, 2005


mkultra posted "Is it possible to engage in a debate with a Conservative on MeFi without calling him a troll?"

Short answer: Yes.
Slightly longer answer: Yes, it's possible, but statistically unlikely.
posted by Bugbread at 10:40 PM on December 16, 2005


I think it is possible; I'm willing to put my best man, Archer, on it. Please meet Thursbee in the lobby, goodbye.
posted by Mr T at 10:56 PM on December 16, 2005


HOLY FUCKING CRAP, MILES IS DEAD!!!
posted by Mr T at 10:59 PM on December 16, 2005


Sorry for getting up on my hind legs.
posted by Mr T at 11:02 PM on December 16, 2005


But what is so irritating is Dios' endless-constant-incessant whining, his delighted self-pity and aggrieved cries of victimhood. Bannable offense? Perhaps not. But embarrassingly disgraceful, nonetheless.

Exactly. He goes on, and on, and I must say, on and on and then continues on about how the the hapless idiotic idiots that make up Metafilter are going to talk about something other than the topic of the Diebold FPP and then goes on, and on, and I must say, on and on, about things that are not (didn't even read it) the topic of other threads but it's ok if he talks about them and it's perfectly fine if he speaks about topics other than the topic of the FPP and insults everyone. What a wonderful bloke he is. Not ok for every other idiot on MeFi, but perfectly fine for the great human being that is dios.

Yay!
posted by juiceCake at 11:10 PM on December 16, 2005


Can I predict the imminent demise of MetaFilter now?

I thought that was my job!
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 11:52 PM on December 16, 2005


matteo: You're about as kneejerk as the reactionaries come here on MeFi, so your opinion about who is a "gay-hating thug" just comes off as flustered hysteria.
posted by xmutex at 12:32 AM on December 17, 2005


Dios is a troll. Just like dhoyt, but not as good.
posted by rks404 at 1:20 AM on December 17, 2005


Without a few folks like dios, ParisParamus and DavidDark (I really miss him), this place would be nothing but an echo chamber in the political posts.

You say that like it's a bad thing (or rather, you say that like it would be worse than being nothing but a raging clusterfuck, like it is now).
posted by scarabic at 1:39 AM on December 17, 2005


dios is a troll. parisparamus is just a retard.
posted by wakko at 1:46 AM on December 17, 2005


dios is a troll. parisparamus is just a retard.

matt - is that sufficient for banning? it's just offensive abuse that adds absolutely nothing to an already depressing thread.
posted by andrew cooke at 4:28 AM on December 17, 2005


who cares if dios is a troll, really? he's shown us what a gay-hating thug he is already... we don't need to know much more about him -- if it squeals like a pig and roots in shit like a pig, well, guess what, it's a pig.

So matteo finally shows up to make ParisParamus look like a reasoned debater. Well done, crackpot Italian dude!

As has been said above, dios is an extremely nice guy via e-mail and has been very helpful to me in some ongoing troubles I've been having, so I may be prejudiced. That said, my take on it is this: he used to not take MeFi very seriously, tossing in the occasional nasty remark about lefties and Bush-haters and pissing people off, much like ParisParamus. Lately he's taken it more seriously and made the attempt to make serious arguments (and the occasional joke). Some people have noticed and adjusted their opinions accordingly; most are too much in love with their cherished Enemies List to do so. Life goes on.
posted by languagehat at 5:51 AM on December 17, 2005


What languagehat said.
posted by caddis at 5:58 AM on December 17, 2005


(in his last paragraph)
posted by caddis at 5:59 AM on December 17, 2005


dios is an extremely nice guy via e-mail

who the fuck cares? metafilter is not a mailing list
posted by mr.marx at 6:27 AM on December 17, 2005


dios!
posted by Stynxno at 6:30 AM on December 17, 2005


Leftists 4 dios!
posted by jack_mo at 6:45 AM on December 17, 2005


is that sufficient for banning?

Are you serious?
posted by wakko at 7:04 AM on December 17, 2005


This doesn't just happen to conservatives. A certain number of people here routinely call "troll" on anyone who posts something they personally find offensive or provocative.
posted by Decani at 7:18 AM on December 17, 2005


he used to not take MeFi very seriously, tossing in the occasional nasty remark about lefties and Bush-haters and pissing people off,

which is, again, the textbook definition of a troll. quod erat demonstrandum, as our remedial Latin class Texan pupil would love to point out.


Well done, crackpot Italian dude!

that "from anarchist to neocon" crack really chapped your ass, huh? it was (mostly) a joke, though. if it really hurt, you should ask yourself why.

and, as others have said, explain us again why should we care that dios did your taxes and fixed your car and painted your house, again?

L-Hat, I also love it how you never even try to defend dios' nice homophobic attack against amberglow. see, I'm hoping against hope that, once upon a time, you would have found that remark sickening, comrade, and you would have said so. but then, I guess amberglow never mowed your lawn, so he's not really worthy.


most are too much in love with their cherished Enemies List

this is awesome. you've seen his userpage right?
posted by matteo at 7:31 AM on December 17, 2005


Perhaps the most accurate thing that might be said about dios is in his own words:

He isn't some Messiah who is bringing light and the truth to us fools who are too blinded by our own ignorance that we reject the truth. He is just some bored person has a psychological need to lecture to other people.

Of course, it raises the question: how many of us, seriously, might be the same?
posted by darkstar at 7:41 AM on December 17, 2005


languagehat, matteo beat me to it. Who exactly has the hate list?

From dios' use page:

PLEASE NOTE
New policy suggested by admin:
The following people will not be responded to by myself until they demonstrate that they are interested in a dialogue and do something other insult or troll me:

Rothko nee AlexReynolds
Optimus Chyme
sonofsamiam
delmoi
matteo
nofundy
rough_ashlar
bardic
clervershark
Hat Maui


In the PATRIOT thread, I knocked him for being obtuse. You've done that before to other users, I've noticed. Then I knocked him for being willfully obtuse, and a bad lawyer--he wouldn't pass an intro. level Constitutional law class if he can't get his brain around the differences in "one person one vote" and the fillibuster. Then, once again, he took his ball and went home, because he's a complete coward. But now that I see his hate list, I realize what a tough guy he is. I need to start working on mine I guess (I just love how dios uses matthowie as a shield here, as if he has a special dispensation from being reasonable and human because he's do darn special. Funny.)

Honestly, I can't believe anyone defends this guy--he gives good email? So does my grandma, and she bakes great cookies too. Two things she hasn't done--spewed homophobia or been given a time out. Go figure.
posted by bardic at 8:20 AM on December 17, 2005


The following people will not be responded to by myself until they demonstrate that they are interested in a dialogue and do something other insult or troll me:

That's a hate list? He's telling you he won't respond to these members. That doesn't constitute hate.
posted by justgary at 8:36 AM on December 17, 2005


besides, it's a good list! ;- )
posted by ParisParamus at 8:38 AM on December 17, 2005


Anyone who goes to the trouble of organizing and posting his "Enemies List" is a huge fucking wuss. Shit, I'd love to post on FreeRepublic if they didn't delete accounts and comments from anyone left of Goebbels, and I certainly wouldn't list every other member in my user page.
posted by Optimus Chyme at 8:43 AM on December 17, 2005 [1 favorite]


Some people have noticed and adjusted their opinions accordingly; most are too much in love with their cherished Enemies List to do so. Life goes on.
posted by languagehat at 5:51 AM PST on December 17


saved to irony.txt
posted by Optimus Chyme at 8:45 AM on December 17, 2005 [1 favorite]


It does ssem somewhat sad and pathetic that dios publishes a list of people to ignore - lemme give you a hint, pal: if you tell 'em you are ignoring them, you actually aren't. I doubt that user number 1 suggested that you actually post the list. That is meta trolling!

On the other hand...
it takes more than one off colour joke for someone to be definitively labelled homophobic. To me, freedom of speech allows bad taste quips and unpopular opinions. It does not, however, condone same. I don't particularly like dios, neither do I intend to waste energy hating him. But then, that's how I feel about 99.9% of Mefites.
posted by dash_slot- at 8:54 AM on December 17, 2005


Sorry justgary. Let's call it the "People I'm Afraid of Arguing With" list.

You did read the Patriot thread, right? You did see what a mental midget he was in that tread? You do realize he avoided direct questions about his position? You can hopefully see that his "lawyer hat" is a rhetorical ploy meant to cow non-lawyers into not calling him on his constantly being incorrect on legal issues?

Good times all, good times.

PP: Now I'm hurt. You linked to me after I said I liked your name. Does this mean I won't be getting a Little Green Footballs t-shirt for Hannukah? Shucks.
posted by bardic at 8:57 AM on December 17, 2005


No. Chanukah presents, if they're legit at all, are given to kids, nieces and nephews (and grandchildren). Sorry.
posted by ParisParamus at 9:01 AM on December 17, 2005


I love Christmas: the smell of pine trees in the streets; the acoustic music; the bells. I hate Christmas: everything commercial.
posted by ParisParamus at 9:21 AM on December 17, 2005


well Paris, maybe that's a bit too strict, but I totally see where you're coming from: I've always wondered, why gifts wouldn't be given for real major Jewish holidays like Sukkot or Rosh Hashanah or Purim -- the fact that they are given during the Jewish holiday closest to Christmas kinda made me think. it's probably more of a way to make kids feel not completely alienated during a major Christian holiday, when all their Goy friends receive gifts *.

but then, Paris, I don't see anything bad if you decide to give your MeFi friends LGF t-shirts. we'll be grateful, and send you "Impeach Bush" baseball caps.


* practicing Jews are of course welcome to correct me.
posted by matteo at 9:34 AM on December 17, 2005


Gifts ARE given for Purim: Shalach Manot. But the whole idea of gifts for religious holidays is inappropriately materialistic. In any case, Chanukah is, as I said, down on the third and lowest rung of Jewish holidays.

I'll send you a LGF shirt for Valentine's Day!


(PS: if you see someone in your gym, or in the warmer weather with an LGF shirt, say "Paris?" I just might answer)
posted by ParisParamus at 9:50 AM on December 17, 2005


I think saying "Paris" to a Freeper would more often result in apoplectic spasms.
posted by Optimus Chyme at 9:57 AM on December 17, 2005


matteo: I think you're probably correct. I've never seen much in Jewish tradition that has to do with gift giving (apart from the Chasids trying to give me the gift of Chasidism on Rosh Hoshana).

As Paris said, Channukah is way the fuck down there in importance. I don't even remember it being mentioned in the Torah. Personally, my favourite holiday is Passover, but we go overboard with the reënacting.
posted by Captaintripps at 9:58 AM on December 17, 2005


By we I meant me and my friends in my house, not your standard issue Jew.
posted by Captaintripps at 9:59 AM on December 17, 2005


Chanukah post-dates the Torah by MANY years: ~ 160 BCE.
posted by ParisParamus at 10:05 AM on December 17, 2005


I was covering my ass.
posted by Captaintripps at 10:11 AM on December 17, 2005


saved to irony.txt

Huh? You of all people should know that I don't have an enemies list; if somebody pisses me off, I yell at them, but if they're saying something reasonable someplace else, I support them. Take poor aggrieved matteo: he thinks my widdle feelings are hurt because I made fun of him here for acting like exactly the kind of thug he deplores when the thuggery is on the other side of the political fence, but when he makes a great MeFi post or gives good advice in AskMe, I compliment him. Some idiot was claiming just the other day right here on MeTa that I was trying to lord it over MeFi by flaunting my low user number (!), but I've already forgotten who it was, and if they make a comment I agree with I'll be right there supporting it.

As for dios, I've never defended his nastier comments or more childish behavior; my position all along, even back before he reformed, has been that he takes a lot more grief for his behavior than he would if he had "acceptable" political views, and this is so obvious anyone who disagrees with it is automatically marked down for partisan blindness. And I didn't mention his kindness to me via e-mail as a reason everybody should be nice to him (what an idiotic idea!) but for the same reason book reviewers mention they've gone to dinner with the people they review: full disclosure of possible bias. As I explicitly said. Some people need remedial reading lessons.
posted by languagehat at 10:18 AM on December 17, 2005


Huh? You of all people should know that I don't have an enemies list

I wasn't talking about you, LH; the irony is that you assailed those who attacked dios because he's on their enemies list, when it turns out that the only one who actually keeps a list of the people he doesn't like is dios himself.
posted by Optimus Chyme at 10:28 AM on December 17, 2005


Chanukah post-dates the Torah by MANY years: ~ 160 BCE.

yeah, it's really interesting how it's mentioned in the Septuagint and not in Tanakh. it' was a semy-Goyisch holiday from day one! ;)
but seriously, what I really like about it is its "hells no, we won't hellenize" vibe -- that's a proud and beautiful tradition. it of course opens all kinds of weird issues when kids are involved -- I know this guy who seriously thought of getting a Xmas tree, decorate it only with white and blue ornaments, and putting a Star of David on it, all for the kids. totally not Kosher, but very loving nonetheless.


I'll send you a LGF shirt for Valentine's Day!

deal. I'm a size L, please.
and Paris, would you rather have a fitted hat, or one-size-fits-all?
posted by matteo at 10:37 AM on December 17, 2005


I wasn't talking about you, LH; the irony is that you assailed those who attacked dios because he's on their enemies list, when it turns out that the only one who actually keeps a list of the people he doesn't like is dios himself.

OK, sorry I misread you. Thanks for clarifying.
posted by languagehat at 10:41 AM on December 17, 2005


he takes a lot more grief for his behavior than he would if he had "acceptable" political views

you mean, like foldy? like, how everybody here just loves him? strange, because foldy takes a lot of shit, too, around here, a lot.

but in languagehat-world, foldy should be MetaFilter's honorary President, or something.

the difference is, I don't really give a fuck about what a guy somewhere on the Internet thinks, I just find it sickening when he insults a gay user in our community weblog. if amberglow was black and dios had said something like "lay off the fried chicken and collard greens", I guess (I hope) you'd probably be more careful, languagehat. but then, to each his own.
posted by matteo at 10:45 AM on December 17, 2005


languagehat wrote: Some people need remedial reading lessons.

It's the holiday season man, don't be so hard on yourself.
posted by bardic at 10:45 AM on December 17, 2005


You can get a reading upgrade for only $150 bucks!!!
posted by Captaintripps at 11:10 AM on December 17, 2005


"I have here a list of 57 known Communists who are currently employed by the U.S. State Department disinclined to tolerate my toxic internet persona."

i'll give dios credit for, uh, evolving as an internet asshole -- at least he covers his posts with the veneer of civility these days, until he gets a widdle too upset and calls the Whaaambulance for a ride over to the front page of MeTa.

but even in his more reasonable moments, he's still pretty much a jackass -- especially galling is his tendency to argue from authority about legal matters, counting on fart dust and a sprinkle of latin to bamboozle the MeFi laity into thinking he knows whereof he speaks when it comes to the law. some of us are not fooled.
posted by Hat Maui at 11:41 AM on December 17, 2005


Actually, you should be fooled.
posted by ParisParamus at 12:22 PM on December 17, 2005


I don't really give a fuck about what a guy somewhere on the Internet thinks, I just find it sickening when he insults a gay user in our community weblog. if amberglow was black and dios had said something like "lay off the fried chicken and collard greens", I guess (I hope) you'd probably be more careful, languagehat. but then, to each his own.

But if amberglow was southern, and insulted as a result (which happens much more on metafilter than gay bashing), you wouldn't be heard from matteo.

But then, each to his own.
posted by justgary at 12:32 PM on December 17, 2005


dios's problem is that he comes in here and tries to justify his behavior to people. If he would just be unrepentant about it, and in fact turn up the asshole-o-meter when confronted, chances are he could be a superstar.
posted by darukaru at 12:52 PM on December 17, 2005


heh. maybe. but don't make it sound like a persecution by the evil liberal mob -- more than a few of them got themselves banned for, say, particularly shameful comments (who was that Bush-loving user who bragged about pissing in his women's colleagues coffee?

Hahaha, that was shouting. He was given a timeout for calling out amberglow in some random blue thread for being "metafilter's favorite homosexual" or something like that, and then when someone complained he made a comment that something like "well, the moods haven't done anything to me yet, so I'm obviously not doing anything wrong." After his timeout, he never came back.

Lately he's taken it more seriously and made the attempt to make serious arguments (and the occasional joke). Some people have noticed and adjusted their opinions accordingly; most are too much in love with their cherished Enemies List to do so.

He has, however, perceptions lag behind intent and always will. His username is never going to be a clean slate and it's silly to think that it would be in the future.

Anyway, let me remind you that Dios wasn't called a troll for proffering a conservative viewpoint in thread under discussion, he was called a troll for making a ridiculous statement which is neither left nor right wing really. And making a statement which we know for sure he didn't intend. I don't think it was particularly horrible or anything, but you can't expect that kind of behavior to pass without any comment at all.

If he doesn't people to complain about him, he shouldn't be so irritating.

Also, I ♥ matteo. So there.
posted by delmoi at 2:09 PM on December 17, 2005


By the way, just to clarify I think dios is "on the edge" of being a troll. It's kind of a grey area and I certainly don't think he should be banned. But I also don't think it's reasonable to attack people for calling him a troll.

It's something lawyers might would say "reasonable people disagree" about.

I just wish other people could see when he's 'trolling' in the classic sense and ignore his attempts to derail. My "Dios: who gives a shit" comment was a half-assed attempt to 're-rail' the thread. Not very effective, oh well.

If Dios had actually wanted to participate in that thread, perhaps he could have told us why the Patriot act was a good thing? Or why we needed it or something. If Dios wanted to discuss the legal status of the Filibuster maybe he could have made his own FPP about its history or something. Metafilter's structure requires that people make some effort to stay on topic in threads, and Dios isn't doing that. I've been called out about that myself and changed my behavior appropriately. It's not that hard to do if one actually cares about the quality of the discussion.
posted by delmoi at 2:16 PM on December 17, 2005


LOL, Hat Maui! :D

Which leads to...

MetaFilter: Bamboozling the Laity with Fart Dust and a Sprinkle of Latin!
posted by darkstar at 3:38 PM on December 17, 2005



But if amberglow was southern, and insulted as a result (which happens much more on metafilter than gay bashing), you wouldn't be heard from matteo.


Talk about a straw-man argument.
posted by delmoi at 3:52 PM on December 17, 2005


I'm not on the enemies list??!! WTF??!! Heh.

I'm glad Dios is a member of Metafilter. He provides an important function. Different opinions and rivals make for stronger more balanced communities. If you think of this community as an organism, he's the foreign element that aids in the manufacture of antibodies (counter ideas) and makes for a stronger immune system. That's good. Everyone walks away with more knowledge. We should have more conservatives around here and they are deserving of tolerance and respect..

That being said, Dios is definitely capable of being an a-hole (Fuck Aids day??) and has a pathological need to defend this president and the various GOP sleazebags who surround him (Delay, Wally O'Dell) and do what he can to justify or at least muck up what a lot of times is not only undemocratic, unethical and immoral but simply bad government. That's when he narrows the scope of a discussion by putting his own obtuse frame around it. He basically renders it airless and snuffs it out. Obscuring the larger issues at hand because he can't address them directly (or the underlying issues), without sounding delusional. More then anything though Dios needs to argue and debate as he does because he secretly fears that he just might be wrong. Having a confrontation sometimes helps people feel less uneasy about their opinions. That's why I think of him as a Karl Rovian debate hobbyist. We see this brand of discussion over and over from politicians, but refined to an art form by the Neocons. Suck the broader implications out of an issue and then declare victory in the battle of "ideas".

I don't think he should be banned at all and look forward to debating him and writing more plays about him in the future. Onward First Mate Dios.
posted by Skygazer at 3:56 PM on December 17, 2005


I've taken time off from wrapping Kwanzaa presents to work on my own hate list:

PLEASE NOTE
New policy suggested by the fact that I'm an utter twat:
The following [types of] people will not be responded to by myself until they demonstrate that they are interested in a dialogue and do something other [than] insult or troll me:

douchenozzles
hatas
playahatas
short people
tall people
santas and elves who are sober
lepers
drow
people into "Van Hagar"

posted by bardic at 4:22 PM on December 17, 2005


I don't know if Dios is a troll or not. Everyone seems to have a slightly different definition of a troll, and without a universally agreed definition, there's certainly no point in asserting as fact whether someone fits said nonexistent definition.

Regardless, I didn't like Dios' posts way back in the day (didn't dislike them as much as paleocon, but still didn't like them), but I enjoy much of the stuff he posts now. Sure, a lot of it is digressive, but I've noted that people consider something they agree with or feel neutrally about that isn't on topic as an "interesting tangent", and something they disagree with that isn't on topic as a "derail".

I dislike some types of tangent/derails. Stuff, for example, in a thread where people are actually trying to come to an agreement (i.e. policy decision stuff in the grey). Or tangent/derails that I find less interesting than the initial discussion. But Dios, of late, seems to be posting stuff that is either not a tangent/derail, or is a tangent/derail that I find as interesting or more interesting than the discussion at hand.

As such, I couldn't care less if he is or is not a troll, given that we can't even agree on what a troll is. But I do like (for the most part) what he posts lately. And, yeah, he still occassionally writes crap, but so does everyone else, from time to time, the prime (but not sole) difference being that he writes crap that people disagree with, which sticks out more than crap people agree with.
posted by Bugbread at 5:11 PM on December 17, 2005


This thread is ugly.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 8:14 PM on December 17, 2005


no, YOU'RE ugly!
posted by shmegegge at 8:53 PM on December 17, 2005


mathowie is a troll. there i said it.
posted by geoff. at 9:09 PM on December 17, 2005


Trolls are HAWTTTT!
posted by johnj at 11:10 PM on December 17, 2005


Actually, you should be fooled.

If dios were a good lawyer, he would know what a controlling opinion is.

He's not, at least not on many of the subjects he speaks on with authority, like Constitutional law.

Case closed.

To be fair, I'm guessing it's not his area of expertise, and that's fine, but the criticism that he exaggerates his understanding of the subject and uses his profession as a crude bludgeon in arguments is indisputably true.
posted by spiderwire at 11:36 PM on December 17, 2005


Laypeople de-certifying professionals. If that ain't the internet, I don't know what is.
posted by scarabic at 11:49 PM on December 17, 2005


I've participated in several discussions with dios in recent threads, and I can't recall a single instance in which he has "use[d] his profession as a crude bludgeon in arguments...." Indeed, he never even mentioned the fact that he was a lawyer in those threads. If that criticism is "indisputably true," can you point to some examples?
posted by monju_bosatsu at 11:57 PM on December 17, 2005


Oh, also: the weak comment on the Iraqi elections thread notwithstanding, dios has been at least slightly more tolerable in my recent memory. But that's largely the result of people learning how to call him on his bullshit -- it happened in the elections thread.

In case y'all haven't noticed, most of the nutjobs in the Admin have a lot more in common with dios than with, say, ParisParamus, and it strikes me as ignorant to persecute dios for being good at the rhetorical skullduggery that we on the left really should be learning to deal with.

I mean, seriously. Many conservatives are intellectually dishonest. Is this news?

That said, the premise for this post is just weak. 'Ohhh noooo, someone called dios a troll. Waaaaah.' Hello: First, he is a troll. Second, people would call him that even if he wasn't. Third, he and Paris and S@L and all the other wingnuts would whine about being persecuted, 'troll' comments or no. It's a guilt tactic intended to invoke the fear of creating an echo chamber. It's what they do.

"Is it possible to engage in a debate with a Liberal on MeFi without calling him a 'liberal pacifist freak'"?
posted by spiderwire at 11:58 PM on December 17, 2005


monju, that's a good point. I was being imprecise. dios rarely invokes his profession to defend himself -- but other people do, like scarabic's comment above yours (although that could be sarcastic?), and ParisParamus' above that, and it has a chilling effect that I find pretty unpalatable.

Saying that dios talks out of his ass about legal issues at least some of the time isn't really in question, IMO.
posted by spiderwire at 12:03 AM on December 18, 2005


Saying that dios talks out of his ass about legal issues at least some of the time isn't really in question, IMO.

And how is that any different from the rest of us? I was talking out of my ass as much as he was in that thread; I don't have any special expertise in either Senate procedures or election law. Indeed, that's true of everybody discussing the issue in that thread; if talking out of our asses was discouraged, we wouldn't have much discussion.
posted by monju_bosatsu at 12:06 AM on December 18, 2005


I honestly don't see the point in bemoaning the degradation of discourse that trolling constitutes if your idea of discourse is:

"Wow. It's like Bush just got cock-punched."

heh.
posted by scarabic at 12:19 AM on December 18, 2005


monju, can you point me to some examples of where your legal background has been used to silence substantive debate on a legal issue?

first of all, you're wrong. in the thread i linked, to your comment, you were pointing out that dios didn't know what a 'controlling opinion' was. that doesn't even rise to the level of basic con law -- that's just flat-out dumb. what makes it even more hilarious is that he was speaking with authority about it upthread, despite being demonstrably wrong. and he admitted it after the callout.

the rest of his comments in the thread notwithstanding, i pointed to that thread because it's a specifically egregious example of dios' pretention to authority. you shouldn't have had to call him out on that. furthermore, it's happened more than a few times that people have called dios out on issues where he didn't screw up quite as spectacularly (but was still equally wrong) and have been shouted down because they're supposedly 'laypeople' and he's not.

now, to be specific -- that's what i was taking issue with. dios is perfectly within his rights to speak out of his ass, and i encourage him to do so. but the 'dios is a lawyer, so stfu' response is tired and wrong. it creates a chilling effect on the arguments in the threads and it's commonly used to respond to substantive arguments rather than engage them, which i think you'll agree discourages discussion -- which you seem to think is a good thing.

(finally, let's be clear on one thing -- it doesn't matter if dios is a lawyer or not. that's not a valid response to arguments against him or anyone else, it's just particularly laughable in his case)
posted by spiderwire at 12:26 AM on December 18, 2005


monju, can you point me to some examples of where your legal background has been used to silence substantive debate on a legal issue?

first of all, you're wrong. in the thread i linked, to your comment, you were pointing out that dios didn't know what a 'controlling opinion' was. that doesn't even rise to the level of basic con law -- that's just flat-out dumb. what makes it even more hilarious is that he was speaking with authority about it upthread, despite being demonstrably wrong. and he admitted it after the callout. you may have been making shit up as you went along -- i don't care -- but you didn't end up doing anything that stupid.

the rest of his comments in the thread notwithstanding, i pointed to that thread because it's a specifically egregious example of dios' pretention to authority. you shouldn't have had to call him out on that. furthermore, it's happened more than a few times that people have called dios out on issues where he didn't screw up quite as spectacularly (but was still equally wrong) and have been shouted down because they're supposedly 'laypeople' and he's not.

now, to be specific -- that's what i was taking issue with. dios is perfectly within his rights to speak out of his ass, and i encourage him to do so. but the 'dios is a lawyer, so stfu' response is tired and wrong. it creates a chilling effect on the arguments in the threads and it's commonly used to respond to substantive arguments rather than engage them, which i think you'll agree discourages discussion -- which you seem to think is a good thing.

(finally, let's be clear on one thing -- it doesn't matter if dios is a lawyer or not. that's not a valid response to arguments against him or anyone else, it's just particularly laughable in his case)

on preview: scarabic, i hope i didn't say that. :)
posted by spiderwire at 12:26 AM on December 18, 2005


oops. sorry. wifi is acting up.
posted by spiderwire at 12:27 AM on December 18, 2005


[monju: to be clear, i was talking about the redistricting thread, where dios was making a complete fool of himself. not about the thread linked in the FPP.]
posted by spiderwire at 12:32 AM on December 18, 2005


"Is it possible to engage in a debate with a Conservative on MeFi without calling him a troll?"
Depends on how trollish he is. You're welcome.

Still think wakko summed it up for all time.
posted by fleacircus at 12:37 AM on December 18, 2005


But spiderwire, I don't see anything in that thread that evidences "pretension to authority." There are two distinct issues here. First, dios has not, at least in the arguments in which I've participated, argued that his opinion should be given deference because he is a lawyer. If he had, I would not defend it. He refered to case law, and made legal and logical arguments. Some were wrong, sure, but that doesn't make the argument "pretension to authority." Second, others have suggested that dios' opinion be given deference because he is a lawyer. I think they're generally wrong, and where an argument can be made against a lawyer on the merits, the lawyer should have to defend his position in a similar matter. Your write: "but the 'dios is a lawyer, so stfu' response is tired and wrong." Absolutely, but nonetheless, I haven't seen dios make that argument. You can't fault dios for the comments of other members, even when they argue on his behalf.

A couple of sidenotes. Dios is, in fact, at least partially correct in the redistricting thread regarding the constitutional status of the plaintiffs claims in the Delay case. Dios argued that the Delay plan was an example of a partisan gerrymander, and as a result, under the Supreme Court's decision on Vieth, not subject to judicial review. I argued that, in fact, the plan was a racial gerrymander, and therefore subject to review under Baker v. Carr and its progeny. My views notwithstanding, many of the plaintiffs in the Delay case are arguing that it is a partisan gerrymander, but one more egregious than the one the Court declined to consider in Vieth. The Supreme Court just recently granted certiorari on several questions in the case, particularly focused on this issue of partisan gerrymandering. While dios may have exhibited some confusion about which opinion is controlling in Vieth, he was quite right that Vieth may very well be the most important precedent that must either be followed or distinguished in the Delay case.

Also, it's not always easy to figure out which opinion is controlling in a highly fractured case with multiple concurring opinions. Which opinion is the most narrow? Can the elements of the narrow concurrence be said to be sufficiently encompassed within the plurality opinion? These are often hard questions in practice, and a number of law review articles have been written on this problem. I stand by my conclusion regarding the controlling opinion in Vieth, but it's not necessarily as straightforward as I suggested in that case.
posted by monju_bosatsu at 7:47 AM on December 18, 2005


monju, thanks for reminding us that even when dios is "partially correct" on a legal issue, he still tends to be wrong, or at least so far outside of accepted views as to not recognize his own bullshit.
posted by bardic at 8:25 AM on December 18, 2005


i.e., yes he's familiar with Baker v. Carr and Vieth re:the Delay indictment, but IMNSHO, he's not interested in discourse as much as trying to obfuscate his pet issues just enough to muck up any substantive conversation between curious, educated laypeople and true professionals who are willing to take the time to explain things (probably my favorite aspect of mefi).

Which makes his hate list all the more laughable--"I won't listen to anyone until they kiss my ass and recognize my beneficence." I can only imagine he prefers email to the blue because his silliness isn't on public display.

And I predict he won't really take any of this seriously come Monday morning, and just go back to being his spiteful self. But hopefully fewer people will continue to defend him. Troll or not, he's a hypocrite--he doesn't want to advance conversations, he wants to muddle them up and/or cripple them when they don't suit his political purposes. As someone up-thread mentioned, he'd probably be less of a joke if he gave up this pretense of "calm interlocutor." He's about as good at that as he is at dispensing legal wisdom.
posted by bardic at 8:53 AM on December 18, 2005


First, he is a troll. Second, people would call him that even if he wasn't.

Between this and spiderwire's explicit association with some mefites to a faceless "they", I am pretty much done giving a shit.

You have your perception of other users, dios in particular, impacted so far up your asses that you couldn't shit your way to a neutral unbiased position if you tried.
posted by cortex at 9:38 AM on December 18, 2005


monju: I'm well aware of the disposition of Vieth, etc, in the matter, and of what a controlling opinion is. It's not relevant.

Here's dios in that thread: "Kennedy's concurrence surely isn't the controlling opinion since it was not joined by anyone. Scalia's opinion is the controlling opinion to the extent Kennedy agreed to it, which would include a rejection of the standard articulated in Banderner."

dios after being exposed as a fool: "Point conceded vis-a-vis 'controlling opinion.'"

dios had to have the difference between a controlling opinion and a concurring opinion explained to him. He was not arguing which concurrence was the narrowest. He was aruging as if he was an authority while being completely wrong. Period. Again, this is not in dispute.
posted by spiderwire at 10:17 AM on December 18, 2005


cortex: are you being willfully obtuse?

The argument I made was that (a) dios engages in trollish behavior (IMO, obviously), (b) even if he didn't, he'd still be accused of it (numerous examples linked in this thread) (c) even if he wasn't, he'd still pull the 'wounded conservative' defense, so who cares?

I also argued that his 'trollish behavior' is a good thing. Seriously, what's your problem with that?
posted by spiderwire at 10:23 AM on December 18, 2005


Oh, and is it the faceless "they" that has a perception stuck up their "asses," or are you talking about one person with multiple impacted asses?

'Cause if it's the former, you should really try to keep your vitriol consistent from sentence to sentence.

If it's the latter, well... you can get back to me after remedial biology, I suppose.
posted by spiderwire at 10:26 AM on December 18, 2005


Oh, I agree that dios was totally wrong in that case. I just disagree that he was arguing from authority.
posted by monju_bosatsu at 11:14 AM on December 18, 2005


he's not interested in discourse as much as trying to obfuscate his pet issues just enough to muck up any substantive conversation between curious, educated laypeople and true professionals who are willing to take the time to explain things (probably my favorite aspect of mefi)

And if I'm reading monju_bosatsu right, then what the professionals (including myself) are trying to tell you is: that's not what's going on. But you can't accept that message, because you're a "curious, educated" layperson with just enough knowledge to think you know something about the law but not enough knowledge to actually distinguish between trolls and people whose opinions you simply don't like.
posted by gd779 at 12:28 PM on December 18, 2005


In other words, the room for reasonable disagreement on most subjects is large enough to include dios, believe it or not.

As an aside, this thread is a great example of what happens when people stay comfortably within a political monoculture. They lose perspective.
posted by gd779 at 12:31 PM on December 18, 2005


I think hate lists are cute. People who draw up hate lists always make me want to pinch their flushed little cheeks and say "Who's cute? Who's cute?" in one of those endearing baby talk voices.
posted by Decani at 12:46 PM on December 18, 2005


That's why I think Dios is an important ascripticius of this here err..communitas.

Plus he's giving away textbook Neocon methods (reverse engineer baby...reverse engineer) and his parochial approach is fun to satirize. ~wink~
posted by Skygazer at 12:56 PM on December 18, 2005


Cos he provides a different perspective...not cos he has an enemies Tricky dicky style enemies list.
posted by Skygazer at 12:58 PM on December 18, 2005


Oh, and is it the faceless "they" that has a perception stuck up their "asses," or are you talking about one person with multiple impacted asses?

Neither. The folks with the John Wayne-status shit blockages are the ones who are carrying around preconceived convictions about the fundamental unworthiness of other mefites. Strikes me as an untenable position: do unto others as you're goddam positive they deserve to be done unto because you must be right.

The faceless "they" is the apparently monolithic cabal of enemy/conservative/badguys/trolls with whom you are, in your colonorectal self-righteousness, willing to lump dios instead of treating him like just another mefite:

"Third, he and Paris and S@L and all the other wingnuts would whine about being persecuted, 'troll' comments or no. It's a guilt tactic intended to invoke the fear of creating an echo chamber. It's what they do."

dios is part of they, who are not subject to the same reasonable treatment as good upstanding non-trolls like yourself?

You declare (and hence this is clearly true, no reason to argue with this, you're on the case so it's gospel) that dios is a troll (just like the rest of them). And besides, if he wasn't people would say he was. (And? So people are jerks who make generalizations?) And besides, he's one of them and they fight dirty.

...

You dismiss with a broad brush, assert again and again that you are correct (about someone else's stubbornness and wrongness, natch), and you suggest thatI'm being willfully obtuse for thinking you're full of it?

I've been trying to avoid getting into this sort of shitting match, because I don't think it helps much of anything, but obviously that didn't work out this time. Honestly, the best case scenario here would be that people just stop acting like asses to one another (I don't count myself as an exception, either; that's why I've been trying to avoid this sort of thing) and just be reasonable and take one another at face value day to day. I know that won't happen, and that depresses me. I'm not totally convinced things can't at least get a bit better, and that keeps my spirits up.

I don't think dios is a perfect misunderstood angel, but I think he's got just as much right to be treated reasonably as the rest of us. I defend him in the context because I see self-righteous, stubborn, malicious arguments being made to condemn him for just such traits, and that is festering bullshit that hurts this place.
posted by cortex at 1:56 PM on December 18, 2005


And y'know, goddammit, I'm annoyed at myself for even posting that great big thing.

Here's what I should have said, from the beginning, and not gotten wrapped up in all this:

I see some mefites treating each other as malicious, antipathetic Others instead of giving them the benefit of the doubt, and I think that sucks. I think it's the nastiest poison around, and if anything will kill metafilter it's that sort of behavior. I don't think anyone is immune to the instict to jab and tar and mischaracterize, but I don't think anyone lacks the self-control to be better than that, either, and I wish more people would exercise that self-control at all times and endeavor to treat one another decently and kindly.

That would be fantastic.
posted by cortex at 2:07 PM on December 18, 2005


I don't think dios is a perfect misunderstood angel, but I think he's got just as much right to be treated reasonably as the rest of us.

Well, "the rest of us" somehow manage to avoid constantly engaging in "troll-related-program-activities", that's why they don't get called trolls all the time.
posted by delmoi at 2:11 PM on December 18, 2005


Also, last word for me. teh hawtness.
posted by delmoi at 2:11 PM on December 18, 2005


Je suis PP...
posted by ParisParamus at 7:28 PM on December 18, 2005


Matteo, I do not believe I said anything about "persecution by the evil liberal mob." I said they gave up. Attempting to have a discussion or argument on this site with some people, namely you, is like talking to a brick wall. Dense and not very interesting. After a while a person moves on.

I have to note that you must have self images issues with your own sexuality... with your constant need to feminize male names.
posted by Steve_at_Linnwood at 12:33 AM on December 19, 2005


delmoi : "Well, 'the rest of us' somehow manage to avoid constantly engaging in 'troll-related-program-activities', that's why they don't get called trolls all the time."

You assert this with authority. I assert with authority that the reason you provide isn't the reason we don't get called trolls. Now we're both asserting with authority, but only one of us can be right.
posted by Bugbread at 12:33 AM on December 19, 2005


(Note: When I said "with authority", I didn't mean "claims to authority". Neither of us has licenses or degrees in troll taxonomy. I probably should have used a different expression, like "with conviction")
posted by Bugbread at 1:10 AM on December 19, 2005


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