The weight of agenda. June 14, 2004 2:15 PM   Subscribe

The weight of agenda. Can the burden not be borne on personal weblogs?
posted by the fire you left me to Etiquette/Policy at 2:15 PM (66 comments total)

I've said it before, and I'll say it again: "Postroad has posted 366 links and 2913 comments to MetaFilter and no threads and no comments to MetaTalk." There is no one home.
posted by monju_bosatsu at 2:20 PM on June 14, 2004


You must be new here. Postroad doesn't comment in MeTa, nor does he care that his soapbox behavior is annoying. Oh right, and he's never been banned.

In my opinion, the post was interesting.
posted by BlueTrain at 2:21 PM on June 14, 2004


Postroad's history is impeccable! How dare you?

How long must they kill our prophets while we stand aside and look?
posted by Mayor Curley at 2:29 PM on June 14, 2004


Aw; we missed the anniversary by three days.
posted by ook at 2:30 PM on June 14, 2004


Opinion |= Agenda, for one.

He has a webschlong, anyway, and if he posted there you couldn't see the forest for the titties.
posted by y2karl at 2:31 PM on June 14, 2004


It's kind of amusing that you're not subject to MeTa justice if you simply ignore it.
posted by reklaw at 2:40 PM on June 14, 2004


Umm, fire, in case you haven't noticed, MeFi is a community weblog.
posted by mischief at 2:43 PM on June 14, 2004


Aw; we missed the anniversary by three days.
Hey, there hasn't been an I/P thread in ages! Someone get on that! ; >

For the record, i like Postroad's posts--it seems that lots of people here do, too. (i don't know what's up with the titblog tho)
posted by amberglow at 3:21 PM on June 14, 2004


Well, expressing a political "opinion" repeatedly, and ramming as much supporting evidence as you can find down all of our throats, against our will, at every opportunity, eventually does add up to an "agenda:" to win converts or effect political change.

There is such a thing as a politically charged "opinion," which is different than a favorite color or love of Mississippi Delta blues.

It's the long, tireless stream of politically charged posts, all supporting one side of a controversial divide, which represents "agenda," and which is divise and unwelcome.

Get a blog.
posted by scarabic at 3:24 PM on June 14, 2004


"The Weight of Agenda."

"What is '21 Grams', Alex?"
posted by wendell at 3:30 PM on June 14, 2004


Postroad will have many anniversaries, ook.

Yes, his schtick is getting tired. The nice thing, though, is that if there are no misspelled words beneath the post, the reader knows that the text was copy-and-pasted. Saves those clicks, and all.

You see, the fire you left me, it goes like this:
Post Guardian stories opposing Iraq war: okay.
Post Reagan thread (despite admonition in sidebar): okay.
Say "retard": deleted.

Lovely place here. I'll stick to the green for awhile.
posted by trharlan at 3:31 PM on June 14, 2004


I suppose I could have said interest for opinion. There are several ongoing stories of great interest, complexity and depth currently unfolding. We are living in interesting times--that is a fact.
posted by y2karl at 3:33 PM on June 14, 2004


against our will ??? : Did Postroad sabotage your browser homepage to always display his latest post?
posted by mischief at 3:33 PM on June 14, 2004


Yes, karl, definitely, but continually reporting on those stories in a biased way, perhaps by selecting only stories that cast a negative light on the administration, must be undestood for what it is. It's not just long-term reporting, it becomes Op-Ed. While no one's saying you can't express an opinion in a post, one shouldn't overuse this space for Op-Ed.
posted by scarabic at 3:44 PM on June 14, 2004


Oooh! First Postroad, now y2karl! Now all we need is a post by *420 and we'll have an AgendaFilter trifecta!

I read on a website Dick Cheney kills puppies for fun. Maybe that would be a good FPP?
posted by keswick at 3:45 PM on June 14, 2004


Mischief - if you're suggesting I just scroll down instead of complain about the content of a post, I'll say again what I've said before: there's a reason the site is not called "MetaScrollDown." The world "filter" is in the title, it isn't going anywhere, and people are going to continue to express their views of what should and should not pass through that filter. Without some consensus on this, what would the front page be except an annotated list of every link in the web?

I can keep scrolling past PostRoad's contributions, sure. But where I come from, we have a word for someone who keeps on blasting what they have to say at you after you've already heard them twice, and with no concern for feedback. That word is: blowhard.
posted by scarabic at 3:50 PM on June 14, 2004


keswick, a lot of warblogs out there can satisfy the MeFi right-wingers' obvious hunger for Islam-hate, ill-informed rants against the "liberal media" and GOP talking points. why would anybody want to turn MetaFilter into a warblog? it's not that there's a scarcity of them out there in 2004 America
posted by matteo at 4:00 PM on June 14, 2004


matteo, a lot of warblogs out there can satisfy the MeFi left-wingers' obvious hunger for America-hate, ill-informed rants against the "right-wing conspiracy" and Dem talking points. why would anybody want to turn MetaFilter into a warblog? it's not that there's a scarcity of them out there in 2004 America[.]
posted by keswick at 4:09 PM on June 14, 2004


Zing!
posted by loquax at 4:14 PM on June 14, 2004


Postroad will have many anniversaries, ook.

Yeah. See, that was the joke: postroad has been called out on this issue so many times, by so many people, to so little effect, that I thought we ought to commemorate the first of them with a little party, maybe some cake, perhaps a post or two about I/P just for nostalgia's sake. (looka!).

See, folks, comedy really is hard!
posted by ook at 4:14 PM on June 14, 2004


"...i don't know what's up with the titblog tho..."

I'm pretty sure that's because you're not exactly the demographic that Postroad is targeting, amberglow.

:P
posted by mr_crash_davis at 4:25 PM on June 14, 2004


you straight people--you're all just freaks! it's completely unnatural, i tell ya. There ought to be a law (or an amendment!) against you sick, sick people! ; >
posted by amberglow at 4:37 PM on June 14, 2004


I don't mind Postroad's posts, in the overall scheme of things; they may appear repetitive, but not much more so than kicking him around in MeTa. Anyway it takes all sorts.
posted by carter at 4:47 PM on June 14, 2004


I love to hear people squealing about "America-hate". love it.
it's like a complete surrender of rational thought. "America-hate". heh. old anti-Idiotarian Joe McCarthy, down there, must be laughing pretty hard.
posted by matteo at 4:48 PM on June 14, 2004


it's like a complete surrender of rational thought.

Says matteo, who also said:

satisfy the MeFi right-wingers' obvious hunger for Islam-hate

Tit for tat, matteo; not really a surrender of rational thought at all. Somehow your rhetoric allows for blanket stereotypes; surely you can't be opposed to others using the same tactic to serve their equally simplistic view of complex political and social thought.
posted by BlueTrain at 4:56 PM on June 14, 2004


Tit for tat--speaking of Postroad....
posted by y2karl at 5:04 PM on June 14, 2004


You know, if the right-wing MeFites actually believed what they wrote here, then they'd be supporting a Kerry presidency. Since they're adamant that 1. they love MetaFilter and 2. If Bush wins another four years of whining will ruin it, why not do what has to be done for the site they claim to love?

Hey! Marshmallows!
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 5:09 PM on June 14, 2004


Seriously, who are these legendary MeFi rightwingers I keep hearing about? Can anyone tell me, 'cause I'd like to know.
posted by keswick at 5:18 PM on June 14, 2004


reklaw, I think that that might be the most ironic part of MeTa. I mean, really, why should Postroad come here anyway? He'll only get yelled at. What's the fun in that?

Personally, if I were him, I would read this post, but not comment. He can see how people feel, and not get yelled at. Perfect combination.
posted by graventy at 5:29 PM on June 14, 2004


Seriously, who are these legendary MeFi rightwingers I keep hearing about? Can anyone tell me, 'cause I'd like to know.

keswick, the MeFi definition of a "rightwinger" is anyone more than one iota to right of the person complaining. Actual rightwingers here are as rare as hen's teeth.
posted by jonmc at 5:34 PM on June 14, 2004


that was the joke: postroad has been called out on this issue so many times, by so many people, to so little effect

True, indeed. He's also been doing it long enough to get banned, if that is ever going to happen. Apparently, it isn't. So we live with it. But I'd like to keep this kind of behavior limited to the grandfathered-in-and-perpetually-ostracized old-timers.

Can you image what general acceptance of rampant political agendafilter + open user signups would add up to?

Shitfilter.

(hm... I guess mean, "shit, unfiltered")
posted by scarabic at 5:36 PM on June 14, 2004


'cause I'd like to know.
maybe you don't see them because they look too much like you?

equally simplistic view of complex political and social thought.

ah, the usual gambit of equivalency...
BlueTrain, one doesn't want to make your hair stand on end -- such a terrible faux pas to interfere with your stylist's careful work, after all. ;) -- but let me show you something. you see, "famous" (as in Internet-famous, which isn't saying much thankfully) warblogger right-wingers have been writing since 9-11 things like (and this is just a 15 seconds search)

"We should, in fact, be doing our best to make the Palestinians suffer"


or, you know, read up some stuff about "subhumans" (ie, Muslims) in that very popular Arab-hating right-winger site we can't name here or we'll be banned like poor TheJesseHelms.

around warblogland you'll see plenty of hate for Arabs, Muslims, furriners. 911 made those opinions suddendly presentable, after all. just coat your racism with a little patriotic talk, and there you are -- Internet-ready!
they're not like poor gentle DenBeste, writing in their mom's basement, between Tom Clancy videogame marathons, long-winded WhiteHouse speeches no sane President will ever consider giving. I wish they were as polite as him.
so many nice Internet Rethuglicans can hardly hide behind one old stupid comment by Kos to try to show how evil liberals are. a nice chunk of the US Internet right wing discusses politics with an appalling, appalling anti-Muslim bias and thirst for (non-white) blood. probably, had Black militant Muslims been the ones behind 9-11, we would have admired (so to speak) a lot of patriotic, anti-terrah KKK sites. "us" vs "them", after all.

popular US liberal bloggers, if anything (I'm thinking Atrios and TomTomorrow and Josh Marshall and CalPundit and Yglesias) are way too nice. way too nice. it's irony vs baseball bats. I'm not surprised US liberals have been made irrelevant by those wily DNC boys, but I digress.

check out some of the "war on terrah" warblogs. enjoy. then come back and talk to me about liberals being the ones guilty of using "stereotypes" again.
posted by matteo at 5:37 PM on June 14, 2004


TomTomorrow is neither liberal nor popular.
posted by jonmc at 5:44 PM on June 14, 2004


TomTomorrow is neither liberal nor popular.

Cocaine's a hell of a drug.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 5:47 PM on June 14, 2004


use Ted Rall then (he's both).
posted by amberglow at 5:47 PM on June 14, 2004


I read this article in the Observer; thought it was pretty darn interesting, and considered posting it.

Wow. Am I glad I dodged that bullet.
posted by Blue Stone at 5:47 PM on June 14, 2004


I'm not followin' ya matteo. Please iterate.
posted by Witty at 5:48 PM on June 14, 2004


*blows kisses at XQUZYPHYR*
posted by jonmc at 5:52 PM on June 14, 2004


I thought it was pretty interesting, also. There's a lot of talk here in Ottawa about these kinds of prisoner-transfers due to the local guy who was shipped out to Syria (hence the link I posted in-thread) -- It didn't seem to me to be a bush-bad/someone-else-good thread, it was more about prison politics and sidestepping human rights law.

Mind you, I don't pay attention to who posts threads here. I find it helps to get a better read out of them.
posted by Jairus at 5:53 PM on June 14, 2004


it's irony vs baseball bats. I'm not surprised US liberals have been made irrelevant by those wily DNC boys

Well said. I think it has a lot to do with the audience, aka: 'the American People,' who are slow to comprehend complex political entaglements that involve people who all look alike. Americans are, however, *very* well-prepared (by their history) to jump into any crusade that pits people of different races against one another. As long as the enemy looks different than us, we're all over them. When the enemy looks just like us, they can pick our pockets and castrate us and we'll tip our hats to them as they leave the room.

Interesting "trying to grok" lin, btw. If anyone thinks the tone of conversation here is harsh, check out that Little Green Footballs drinking game. Yeesh.

At MeFi, we all start out trashed.
posted by scarabic at 5:53 PM on June 14, 2004


Witty -- as you know, intelligenti pauca. sadly, the opposite is also true. hence the need to iteration for the back-of-the-class children. but we must not leave them behind.
;)
posted by matteo at 6:08 PM on June 14, 2004


If we disagree with you, we must be stupid? oh come on matteo, you can do better than condescension. can't you?
posted by jonmc at 6:16 PM on June 14, 2004


Witty -- as you know, 'intelligenti pauca.'

Num? Me Vexo?
posted by y2karl at 6:16 PM on June 14, 2004


Gregory Corsos' mom was from Milan.

Ars sine scienta nihil est - Art without science is nothing (I would also claim that the opposite is true.)
posted by clavdivs at 6:38 PM on June 14, 2004


it's spelled "scientia", emperor
posted by matteo at 6:41 PM on June 14, 2004



oh, jon: nice diversion.

it's not necessarily about stupidity. problem is, facts are facts, and trying to argue that the US right and left wing employ the same modus operandi is simply ridiculous.
whether people try to argue that point because of stupidity or bad faith, I'll leave to you to decide. tertium non datur, though.

it's Classics night, I know. sorry

posted by matteo at 6:47 PM on June 14, 2004

I'll say again what I've said before...

we have a word for someone who keeps on blasting what they have to say at you after you've already heard them twice, and with no concern for feedback. That word is: blowhard.
Pot kettle black blowhard. ;-P
posted by mischief at 6:48 PM on June 14, 2004


oh, jon: nice diversion.

Actually, it goes to the heart of the matter to a degree. Nobody like being talked down to, and political animals of all species do that and it hampers points ever being made.


it's not necessarily about stupidity. problem is, facts are facts, and trying to argue that the US right and left wing employ the same modus operandi is simply ridiculous.

I argued no such thing. The asininity of politics is wondrous and manifold*. Or more simply put, the left and right both suck canal water, but in different ways.

*I may be monolingual, but I use my one language for all it's worth.
posted by jonmc at 6:55 PM on June 14, 2004


I may become a bit of a blowhard in the comments, at times, and probably more frequently in the Grey. But I think you'd be hard pressed to make a case for me being a blowhard based on my FPPs (which is Postroad's problem).

I try not to be a blowhard as much as possible. But I don't feel so bad about it in the conversation areas of the site.
posted by scarabic at 7:04 PM on June 14, 2004


I may be monolingual, but I use my one language for all it's worth, said he in a benightedly patronizing tone...
posted by y2karl at 7:55 PM on June 14, 2004


y2karl: Can I ask you something?

Why the hell do you even give a shit what I say, if it ain't directed at you?
posted by jonmc at 8:04 PM on June 14, 2004


It's kind of amusing that you're not subject to MeTa justice if you simply ignore it.
No government means no taxes and no cops, and I think you had better give me your food and women now.
posted by darukaru at 8:14 PM on June 14, 2004


No government means no taxes and no cops, and I think you had better give me your food and women now.

Or he could merely shoot you, since he would be allowed to arm himself.
posted by jonmc at 8:17 PM on June 14, 2004


Why the hell do you even give a shit what I say, if it ain't directed at you?

Jeez, I was just teasin'... I merely pointed out an irony: You complain about condescension and then make an above-it-all asinine sneer about the alleged asininity of the left and the right. .

I'm just a guy who has worked a lot of shit jobs with people of all races and classes and levels of education and I take pride in the fact I treated all as my equals. You could say I am just your average home grown self educated intellectual man of the people...hopefully without too many phony pretensions about being a home grown self educated intellectual or self-described man of the people. Like you, I ain't no collich graduate while I are a monoglot, too, bub. Unlike you, I'm not particularly touchy about either fact.
posted by y2karl at 10:40 PM on June 14, 2004


if and when postroad finds themselves making his/her way through minneapolis - they have dinner and drinks from one of the best caterers in town waiting for them.
posted by specialk420 at 10:42 PM on June 14, 2004


We're all in the same room here, jonmc. If someone singles you out in a vindictive way, repeatedly, then you're suffering an offense. But anyone can and will comment on anything anyone says. It's one of the blessings/curses of non-threaded discussion.
posted by scarabic at 11:17 PM on June 14, 2004


Well, expressing a political "opinion" repeatedly, and ramming as much supporting evidence as you can find down all of our throats, against our will, at every opportunity, eventually does add up to an "agenda:" to win converts or effect political change.

i must have missed the ramming.
posted by quonsar at 5:46 AM on June 15, 2004


See: Space Cadet
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 5:56 AM on June 15, 2004


karl, matteo was the one making cracks about the "kids in the back row" and making an ostentatious show of himself. That's what the "one language" crack was directed at.

The "asininity" comment was an answer to his statements about the left and right's "modus operandi" being different. I agreed, they are different, but they're both still fucked up. And if I did consider myself "above it all", I wouldn't even bother to comment.

And if I'm touchy, maybe it's because I'm a little sick of 90% of the substance of what I say going right past people in favor of picking apart mannerisms.
posted by jonmc at 6:20 AM on June 15, 2004

"And if I'm touchy, maybe it's because I'm a little sick of 90% of the substance of what I say going right past people in favor of picking apart mannerisms."—jonmc
Ah, but there it is. That's really what it mostly is about. I don't say that in a bitter tone, more in a wondering-and-gosh-the-world-is-a-funny-old-place tone.

As mentioned in an Asperger's thread a while back, I've never had any use for small talk, ever; but I had a sudden realization one day that small talk, for humans, is our equivalent of primate grooming. It does to a degree serve its ostensive purpose...but it ends up serving deeper social purposes that are themselves crucial.

So, anyway, it seems to me that it should be considered that even in substantive discussions, this is still true. A huge component, perhaps even yet in this context the largest component, is whatever purposes are being served by the ritualized social interaction. And, in that context, style (mannerism) is really important. It just is. I'd like it not to be, but that's asking for reality to be different than it is. These discussions are not serving exclusively the purposes that you and I tend to think they are serving. Other people are probably more socially astute1. Of course, one could argue that those folks are somewhat oblivious to the purposes these conversations are serving to us and people like us.

1 No offense intended; and, if you are quite socially astute, then please attribute my gaffe to severe lack on my part.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 6:42 AM on June 15, 2004


1 No offense intended; and, if you are quite socially astute,

Depends on who you ask, but that's beside the point. My irritation with karl was that he seemed to miss my point entirely, to the extent that he assigned tone where there wasn't any.
posted by jonmc at 7:27 AM on June 15, 2004


Ah, well, as I've argued intent and signal are seperate (but intimately related) issues. When a disagreement arises involving this, typically, for example, the hearer interprets the signal and infers intent. Then, (especially if they think the intent was hostile) they make a claim, implicit or explicit, about the signaller's intent. On the other side, the signaller usually isn't confused about his intent—he knows what he meant. And he naturally tends to think his signal could only be interpreted commensurately with his intent. So his defense against the other person's accusation about intent is to make an accusation about that person's intent, in turn. Usually, that the other person is in some sense willfully misinterpreting the signal. Really, I'm working up to something here. Really, I am.

My sense is that although surely sometimes these claims about intent are true; I suspect that perhaps more often than not, they're not. The problem isn't that someone's lying about their intent. It's that one or both parties aren't as fluent in the language in which they're communicating as they think they are. Or their fluencies don't completely overlap.

In the context of my point above, I tend to think that (as I'm doing now) I and people like me focus on one aspect of the communicative modality to the near exclusion of the others. More to the point, I suspect that other people are more facile communicators, able to be aware of more modalities at once than I am. If so, then I strongly suspect that in situations like this, while the accusations about my intent are emphatically not true (good luck convicing them of it, however); it is the case that my signals don't mean to my audience what I'm assuming they mean. I'm not fully fluent in the language I'm using, and I'm saying things I don't intend to say. It's not really the fault of those who are more fluent than I that they misinterpret my signals. They're parsing what I signal according to accepted norms. Really long, dry comments like these are, prima facie the trope of self-important blowhards and, in their view, only a self-important blowhard would employ the self-important blowhard rhetorical style. Because they can't really comprehend that I couldn't be quite consciously, constantly and acutely aware of that subtext of how I am choosing to express myself.

As it happens, however (and who am I to make such judgments? Well, maybe more highly qualified than most since I have a sort of Asperger's hyper-focus on the analytics of the problem) it seems to me that in you and Karl's contratemps, it was he who was maladroit and you who was exressing himself quite eloquently and comprehensibly. Whatever, I think the fault doesn't lie with either of your intentions, but with one or both of your abilitity to communicate in casual written conversation in the English language.

And my comment here is intentionally an exercise in its subject matter. Or so I claim.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 8:08 AM on June 15, 2004


i must have missed the ramming.

Okay, too strong a word, pehaps. "Spamming" is probably a better fit.
posted by scarabic at 2:28 PM on June 15, 2004


A translation of Ethereal Bligh's comment, just because I really thought it was quite an interesting thing for him to say:

"There's a difference between what you are trying to say and how what you're saying comes across to others. Conflicts happen when people misunderstand your intentions, especially if they think you were being hostile towards them. This leads to the person you're talking to replying to what they perceive as your intent instead of replying to what you said, and you respond in kind.

The problem is that people have no easy way of understanding each other's intended meaning -- they only have the text to go on.

By making a very long, verbose, strictly-dictionary-required comment, I'm saying extra things I don't mean to -- it happens because I don't fully understand the implications of my style choice. It's my own fault if people misinterpret me, but I can't help it. You think that I must be a self-important blowhard because of the style I use, but I don't mean to come across to you that way.

In your clash with y2karl, I think that he wasn't understanding the implications of his style, but you were communicating well. I don't think either of you meant to say anything bad, you just find it difficult to make your respective intentions understood."

I would add that it actually took longer than I expected to figure out what you meant in some parts, and I inevitably got some of it slightly wrong. I dread to think how difficult it must be for a skim-reading to even attempt to parse what you're saying.
posted by reklaw at 3:56 PM on June 15, 2004


Ooh, you did a very good job.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 6:32 PM on June 15, 2004


it's spelled "scientia", emperor

not according to the site you linked. But i will take your word for it.
posted by clavdivs at 8:38 AM on June 17, 2004


« Older I did not stumble; I came with purpose!   |   Announcing the new search features Newer »

You are not logged in, either login or create an account to post comments