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Monday, December 10, 2012

Embrace the cruelty

Isn't it remarkable how this excellent essay on heterotopic discourse versus sensitivity-based discourse sounds very much like a description of two blogs for which I serve as a bête noire?
Lacking a high tolerance for difference and disagreement, sensitivity-driven discourses will typically manifest a herding effect. Dissenting voices can be scapegoated or excluded and opponents will be sharply attacked. Unable to sustain true conversation, stale monologues will take its place. Constantly pressed towards conformity, indoctrination can take the place of open intellectual inquiry. Fracturing into hostile dogmatic cliques takes the place of vigorous and illuminating dialogue between contrasting perspectives. Lacking the capacity for open dialogue, such groups will exert their influence on wider society primarily by means of political agitation.  The fear of conflict and the inability to deal with disagreement lies at the heart of sensitivity-driven discourses.
As bad as Pharyngula can be in its mindless groupthink regard, PZ's focus on science tends to somewhat reduce its author's ability to be sensitive to the feelings of others.  It doesn't matter how many times a reader bravely confesses to having been abused by a mongoose at the age of 4, PZ isn't going to tolerate her nonsense if she sets herself against the tenets of the current scientific consensus, whatever it happens to be at the moment.

Even Amanda of Pandagon has more intellectual integrity, at least in this regard, than John Scalzi. His Whatever is a veritable warren of the Rabbit People, who compete for status by being more sensitive than each other.  No matter how convincingly John cringes and attempts to make himself accommodating to the ample concerns of his readership, he can never succeed because the sensitivity horizon is an ever-receding one.  I go into that aspect of the essay in more detail on Alpha Game.

But here, I want to focus on the vital importance of never giving the Rabbit People any entrance or respect on their terms.
When these two forms of discourse collide they are frequently unable to understand each other and tend to bring out the worst in each other. The first form of discourse seems lacking in rationality and ideological challenge to the second; the second can appear cruel and devoid of sensitivity to the first. To those accustomed to the second mode of discourse, the cries of protest at supposedly offensive statements may appear to be little more than a dirty and underhand ploy intentionally adopted to derail the discussion by those whose ideological position can’t sustain critical challenge. However, these protests are probably less a ploy than the normal functioning of the particular mode of discourse characteristic of that community, often the only mode of discourse that those involved are proficient in.

To those accustomed to the first mode of discourse, the scathing satire and sharp criticism of the second appears to be a vicious and personal attack, driven by a hateful animus, when those who adopt such modes of discourse are typically neither personally hurt nor aiming to cause such hurt. Rather, as this second form of discourse demands personal detachment from issues under discussion, ridicule does not aim to cause hurt, but to up the ante of the debate, exposing the weakness of the response to challenge, pushing opponents to come back with more substantial arguments or betray their lack of convincing support for their position. Within the first form of discourse, if you take offence, you can close down the discourse in your favour; in the second form of discourse, if all you can do is to take offence, you have conceded the argument to your opponent, as offence is not meaningful currency within such discourse....

The power of offence and outrage was very much on display in that which followed. Those who protested that they have been offended were able to close down Jared Wilson’s voice and get him to apologize, something that was regarded as a victory for those prepared to attack ‘misogyny’. While I believe that Jared was right to apologize, the empowering of offence-takers is far from a salutary development in Christian discourse.
So close, and yet so far.  The author is completely wrong about how heterotopicals should engage with the Rabbit People.  There is simply nothing there to understand in the first mode of discourse, the sensitivity-based mode.  It is a binary mode of thought where there is only submission or rejection.  Jared Wilson should never, ever, have apologized; he had done nothing for which TO apologize and by apologizing, he surrendered in the eyes of the Rabbit People.  All of his arguments were rendered vain and instantly dismissed in his interlocutors' eyes by that single act of submission.

Never surrender to emotional manipulation.  Never back down in the face of nonexistent arguments and appeals to sensitivity and feelings.  Embrace the cruelty. Meet each demand for submission by amping up the ridicule, jacking up the humiliation, and increasing the pressure of intellectual precision.  Drive the Rabbit People out mercilessly whenever they show themselves; rest assured they are actively seeking to do the same to everyone who doesn't submit to their never-ending demands.  Force them to expose their total inability to accept contradiction and criticism to everyone. Pull their triggers with all the angst-filled remorse of an ice-cold hitman.

I understand the intrinsically dictatorial nature of the Rabbit People.  As I noted at AG, that is precisely why I give sensitivity-driven discourse no respect whatsoever. I don't care if you were raped every day of the year and twice on Mondays by the family cat, after which your father killed you with a knife and danced on your grave. Your personal victimization grants you neither moral authority nor intellectual credibility, much less any form of veto on what others are permitted to think, say, or feel.  Vox Popoli will always be a bastion of heterotopic discourse; it would not be unreasonable to think of it and Alpha Game as the Wild Hunt for Rabbit People.

 Call me Herne.

UPDATE: John Scalzi helpfully underlines my point for me:   "The irony of a dude griping that my blog caters to sycophants, on a blog which caters to sycophants, never loses its clueless deliciousness."

Who is griping?  Scalzi is only doing what Rabbit People always do.  Notice the reference to a nameless "dude".  On a nameless blog.  And note the accusation that this nameless place caters to sycophants, when the majority of the Dread Ilk of Vox Popoli, let alone the more casual readers, a) don't belong to the same political party or ideology that I do, and b) don't belong to the same religious denomination that I do, and c) cheerfully argue with me vociferously over everything from inflation/deflation to the limits on God's knowledge.  If you guys are sycophants, you must be the worst sycophants in the world!

It is remarkable but not surprising that Scalzi is such a complete rabbit that he can't even imagine a blog of this size not being sycophantic in the manner that his observably is.  For example, you will seldom see me, or anyone else, congratulating me on my "courage" for posting something.  Meanwhile, Scalzi's posts are always an interesting race between John and his readers over who can pat him on the back more vigorously.

I will bet that on any post of over 100 comments at Whatever, one can find at least 10 comments that are amusingly sycophantic.  And I'll bet one cannot do the same here.

Labels:

231 Comments:

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Anonymous Stilicho December 10, 2012 9:39 AM  

Cry Havoc...

Anonymous Daniel December 10, 2012 9:45 AM  

The mere fact that he has a rape-spoiler warning at the start is all the submission the rabbits require.

People who freak out about what they read about rape are going to freak out about a warning about reading about rape. I miss the Misfit.

Anonymous Ten41 December 10, 2012 9:46 AM  

VD

"Call me Herne."


Ok, now that made me laugh. It has been a long time since I have read anything about Herne and the huntsman. The thought of hunting for the souls of little rabbits is quite funny. Taste like chicken though.

Anonymous VD December 10, 2012 9:52 AM  

The thought of hunting for the souls of little rabbits is quite funny.

I had a certain scene from a newly published novel in mind....

Anonymous Darth Toolpodicus December 10, 2012 9:52 AM  

Lead the hunt right to the front door of Efrafa and start by devouring the Owlsla.

Anonymous VD December 10, 2012 9:53 AM  

The mere fact that he has a rape-spoiler warning at the start is all the submission the rabbits require.

No, not quite. But it is an indication that he will readily submit if they throw a fit. His analysis is sound, his advice is not.

Anonymous Stilicho December 10, 2012 9:54 AM  

Dog whistle alert: watch for anyone who seeks to settle a matter or ascribes stand-alone validity to consensus. It's a safe bet that such a person has a fuzzy tail and hops a lot.

That's why you see liberals hanging on to the "scientific consensus" as being dispositive of the the global warming question no matter how much contrary evidence is presented and try to use it as a bludgeon to prevent questioning of the theory. Being part of a group makes them feel safe and happy regardless of the reality of the situation.

Anonymous john December 10, 2012 9:54 AM  

Mockery is not inherently logical.

It took only a second to find a good example. A heather responding to a 4 paragraph logical if boring post. (not my post, no bone to pick here)

" HeatherRadish

Looks like some misogynists got lost on their way to Dr Helen."

Anonymous Stilicho December 10, 2012 10:00 AM  

Looks like some misogynists got lost on their way to Dr Helen."

This is an example of a rabbit trying to isolate or out-group the offender. You do not belong here, you are not part of our warm and fuzzy in-group, can I get an "Amen" sisters?, etc.

Blogger JartStar December 10, 2012 10:04 AM  

Rabbit People get off on the power it gives them as much or more than any misogynist or racist. I think this love of power motivates them even more than fear in many cases. What's more entertaining for a weak individual then silencing through emotional manipulation and ostracization an opponent they cannot stand up to intellectually?

Anonymous Stephen J. December 10, 2012 10:04 AM  

So, by counselling "Embrace the cruelty," you *are* aiming to cause the hurt that Alastair Adversaria says the Sensitives are wrong to attribute to you as a motivation, then?

Anonymous stg58 December 10, 2012 10:06 AM  

Stilicho,

I already used that quote at Alpha Game.

Have at thee, blackguard! I must sheathe my blade in your quivering innards.

Blogger vandelay December 10, 2012 10:09 AM  

As bad as Pharyngula can be in its mindless groupthink regard, PZ's focus on science tends to somewhat reduce its author's ability to be sensitive to the feelings of others.

On certain topics yes, I agree, this is how PZ runs things. But I wonder Vox if you've been keeping up with the atheism plus nonsense, which PZ and Marcotte have both endorsed and (I believe) are involved in. Anyways, most of what PZ and Marcotte types talk about these days is feminism and social justice issues, in which "feelings" absolutely outrank science.

See this extremely long and extremely thorough takedown of supposed "skeptic" Rebecca Watson, who opposes evolutionary psychology not on scientific terms, but because she doesn't like the way in which it sometimes tends to confirm gender roles. Right now, Watson and PZ rule side-by-side as atheism's royal couple.

Anonymous Stephen J. December 10, 2012 10:12 AM  

Though it's kind of fascinating how much Adversaria's description of conflict-handling among Sensitives actually mirrors what I observe about female violence, when it occurs: it's a literally all-or-nothing response -- if a woman fights at all she's fighting to kill or destroy, or is absolutely convinced she'll be killed or destroyed if she doesn't, which seems very much a parallel to the Sensitives either trying to minimize conflict altogether *or* going into full-frothing-rant-demonization mode, with no in-between whatsoever.

I think the most important point he makes is being missed here, though: it's the lack of trust that opens this whole gap up in the first place. Sensitives don't trust Heterotopics enough to not take aggressive speech personally, and Heterotopics don't trust Sensitives enough to believe that requests for gentler approaches are genuinely about minimizing personal pain and not about excluding honest arguments or facts. (Of course, it is entirely possible for that lack of trust to be *merited* in specific groups, times and places... but one thing the Internet is very good at doing is allowing people to start a conversation with one group and finish it with another without realizing it.)

Anonymous Tallen December 10, 2012 10:16 AM  

So, by counselling "Embrace the cruelty," you *are* aiming to cause the hurt that Alastair Adversaria says the Sensitives are wrong to attribute to you as a motivation, then?

It seems to me you haven't thought this through. I can't speak for Vox but my view is by embracing a label that is supposed to be denigrating, you rob the rabbit people of the power they sought in using that label in the first place. Like responding to the cry of "raciss:" "ok, I'm a raciss and you're still wrong." "...Raciss!"

Anonymous stg58 December 10, 2012 10:24 AM  

Stilicho,

I already used that quote at Alpha Game.

Have at thee, blackguard! I must sheathe my blade in your quivering innards.

Anonymous stg58 December 10, 2012 10:24 AM  

Stilicho,

I already used that quote at Alpha Game.

Have at thee, blackguard! I must sheathe my blade in your quivering innards.

OpenID ZT December 10, 2012 10:26 AM  

Interesting thought and timing as I have ran into this situation with my wife. So given your "Never surrender to emotional manipulation. Never back down in the face of nonexistent arguments and appeals to sensitivity and feelings. Embrace the cruelty. Meet each demand for submission by amping up the ridicule, jacking up the humiliation, and increasing the pressure of intellectual precision."

How does one avoid humiliating their spouse? Or should they avoid it at all? Would your recommendation apply to personal relationships or only to incidental ones? If so then who do you handle with with the personal ones?

Anonymous Stephen J. December 10, 2012 10:26 AM  

"It seems to me you haven't thought this through."

Entirely possible. I'm trying to be a Heterotopic and prove I can take a shot or two. :)

"...by embracing a label that is supposed to be denigrating, you rob the rabbit people of the power they sought in using that label in the first place."

So the Sensitives should embrace the "Rabbit People" label the same way? "OK, we're rabbits, but if you want to *convince* us and not just contradict us, you're gonna have to prove you're not assholes by actually acting like decent people." "...Rabbits!"

(It is a popular approach at this point to say, "I don't care about convincing you; reality's going to do that soon enough." For strangers on the Internet that may be the only practical approach. But I believe bad habits on the 'Net can slop over into bad behaviour in RL more easily than we think, so I like to toss a little caution into the mix at these points.)

Anonymous RedJack December 10, 2012 10:28 AM  

Good article. Rabbit people will attack with emotions. Hunters will reply with logic.

Logic makes the emotionials insane.

Anonymous Josh December 10, 2012 10:32 AM  

I don't think his "trigger warning" at the start of the post is submissive, but an attempt to head off the shrieking of female readers and to table that discussion so he can focus on his meta debate. I don't think it'll work, though.

Reading the initial post of the series, and reading about the shit storm that started it is quite hilarious, and it caused me to admire Douglas Wilson a bit.

Anonymous Tallen December 10, 2012 10:32 AM  

So the Sensitives should embrace the "Rabbit People" label the same way? "OK, we're rabbits, but if you want to *convince* us and not just contradict us, you're gonna have to prove you're not assholes by actually acting like decent people."

This assumes both sides actually care about labels when in reality only one does.

Anonymous George of the Hole December 10, 2012 10:32 AM  

Vox: Meet each demand for submission by amping up the ridicule, jacking up the humiliation, and increasing the pressure of intellectual precision.

Depends on what your goal is, doesn't it? To win people, or to win arguments?

The apostle Paul's goal was to "win as many [people] as possible", therefore he became sensitive to the various potential insults which various people hold.

1Cor 9:19-21 "Though I am free and belong to no one, I have made myself a slave to everyone. To the Jews I became like a Jew, to win the Jews. To those under the law I became like one under the law (though I myself am not under the law), so as to win those under the law. 21 To those not having the law I became like one not having the law (though I am not free from God’s law but am under Christ’s law), so as to win those not having the law."

Have you given up on trying to win people, Vox Day? Is winning arguments and humiliating people the new evangelism?

Anonymous I am the Embracer December 10, 2012 10:34 AM  

I come here for the intellectual stimulation.
I stay for the cruelty.

Anonymous Ras Al Ghul December 10, 2012 10:49 AM  

December 10, 2012 9:52 AM
The thought of hunting for the souls of little rabbits is quite funny.

"I had a certain scene from a newly published novel in mind...."

Still reading Dresden, huh?


Anonymous RedJack December 10, 2012 10:50 AM  

George.

There is a place for both. To often once the arugement gets emotional, you will not win over the person. See their little FEELINGS mean to much to them.

At that point, you press your point home, and call it done. No more can be accomplished.

If someone is recepttive, then you should take a softer approach.

Anonymous Stephen J. December 10, 2012 10:52 AM  

"Depends on what your goal is, doesn't it? To win people, or to win arguments? The apostle Paul's goal was to 'win as many [people] as possible,' therefore he became sensitive to the various potential insults which various people hold."

Granted, but there's a difference between honest and dishonest claims of being insulted; when the insult is being advanced as an excuse to shut the discourse down rather than as a request to conduct it differently, you're not really engaging in "argument" at that point at all. Even the Apostles were told by Jesus Himself to shake the dust of certain towns from their shoes, once it became clear the people there weren't willing to listen.

This is one of the reasons I try very hard not to pull the "Please don't bash the Church around me, I'm Catholic" card: it just might be I'll hear something to my benefit. (The other reason, of course, is that all too many Sensitives are hypocrites on this topic: they have *no problem at all* being harsh and cruel when they've decided in their own mind that the subject deserves it, no matter whose feelings they're hurting.)

Anonymous Log December 10, 2012 11:01 AM  

Once again, Vox demonstrates his opposition to the teachings of that Christ he claims to follow:

21 ¶Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not kill; and whosoever shall kill shall be in danger of the judgment:

22 But I say unto you, That whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment: and whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be in danger of the council: but whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell fire.

23 Therefore if thou bring thy gift to the altar, and there rememberest that thy brother hath ought against thee;

24 Leave there thy gift before the altar, and go thy way; first be reconciled to thy brother, and then come and offer thy gift.

25 Agree with thine adversary quickly, whiles thou art in the way with him; lest at any time the adversary deliver thee to the judge, and the judge deliver thee to the officer, and thou be cast into prison.

26 Verily I say unto thee, Thou shalt by no means come out thence, till thou hast paid the uttermost farthing.

Anonymous Koanic December 10, 2012 11:11 AM  

Dresden is readable, just eye roll through the gamma. Although his adventures therefore leave little imprint on the soul.

If r's are rabbits, then what are K's? I propose Killer Whales, which form sophisticated permanent tiny matriarchal exogamous social groupings, much like the Neanderthals whose imprint separates us from the Africans.

Anonymous Daniel December 10, 2012 11:12 AM  

I don't think his "trigger warning" at the start of the post is submissive, but an attempt to head off the shrieking of female readers and to table that discussion so he can focus on his meta debate. I don't think it'll work, though.

How is it not submissive, unless he is using it in a subversive way? If he wanted to "head off" the shriekers, it would have been better to write:

"Warning, for people of a minimal level of maturity and ability to apprehend challenging topics. If you are disturbed by grown-up discussion, or react emotionally to concepts or experiences that you yourself have not directly experienced, consider this your gentle warning to go read something else."

After all, if your reader is so pathetic and bound up in the multi-cult, the only thing the warning does is attract them using their own sense of victimhood.

"What?" she thinks, "He warned me about a monologue involving rape? How dare he! I need to set that misogynist straight!"

Its fine if it is bait for the fool, but as I read it, it is a bad idea with good intentions, much like his subsequent advice.

Anonymous Koanic December 10, 2012 11:13 AM  

Naked "Christ" alert. Real Christians use the full name. You twist the words to your purpose while ignoring the man.

Anonymous Daniel December 10, 2012 11:15 AM  

Log, that is the most irrelevant use of scripture I've read in a long time. Vox isn't angry without cause - he isn't even angry, but amused!

Considering your handle, you may want make sure that you don't happen to be sitting in your own eye.

Anonymous Anonymous December 10, 2012 11:19 AM  

Hey Herne, I wanted to get your opinion on rape. Now, I am not interested in rape of any kind, this is just an intellectual discourse.

They say that rape is about power and control and not sex. So my question is that if a person is already immoral enough to commit rape, shouldn't it be more satisfying for their quest to feel power and control over another person if they raped men instead of women?

Women are weak, and freeze in the face of violence. Anyone can rape a woman. While even the weakest man will probably fight to their last ounce of strength to prevent rape. I think gangsters and Muslims gets this because they seem to enjoy raping men.

Anonymous camelite December 10, 2012 11:21 AM  

Looks like some misogynists got lost on their way to Dr Helen."

This is an example of a rabbit trying to isolate or out-group the offender. You do not belong here, you are not part of our warm and fuzzy in-group, can I get an "Amen" sisters?, etc.


Incorrect. John's comment is an example of oppositional rhetoric and ideological combativeness - ‘heterotopic discourse’. Yours is an example of a rabbit trying to isolate or out-group the offender. You and your scurrilous efforts to silence and shame do not belong here, you are not part of our manly free-speaking in-group, can I get an "Amen" brothers? etc

Anonymous Toby Temple December 10, 2012 11:25 AM  

Log is a perfect example of the Rabbit People.

Just look at how this Rabbit twists this verse;

22 But I say unto you, That whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment: and whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be in danger of the council: but whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell fire.

Woe on to these Rabbit People for they twist the word of God to conform to their own twisted morals.

Anonymous George of the Hole December 10, 2012 11:27 AM  

Stephen J. - "Even the Apostles were told by Jesus Himself to shake the dust of certain towns from their shoes, once it became clear the people there weren't willing to listen."

Notice that Jesus didn't instruct his followers to insult, humiliate and ridicule?

Anonymous Daniel December 10, 2012 11:28 AM  

Don't get me wrong - someone traumatized by any crime, including one so primal as rape, is quite wise to avoid cultural references to it, at least for a period of time. But the victims I know simply avoid the Internet and television altogether - it is an open stream of discomfort for them. "trigger warnings" are a pc redundancy, at best, and never a courtesy.

And George - you pose a false dichotomy. Winning the argument is winning people. Leaving people to stew in their thought supressant echochambers is no merciful thing. Bust in and smash the idols.

Anonymous Toby Temple December 10, 2012 11:29 AM  

is this really too difficult to understand?

NO ANONYMOUS COMMENTS

Anonymous Mr. B.A.D. December 10, 2012 11:30 AM  

Toby, perhaps you can enlighten us to the true meaning of Christ's word?

Anonymous Daniel December 10, 2012 11:31 AM  

Notice that Jesus didn't instruct his followers to insult, humiliate and ridicule?

No, but to instead imitate Him. His actions speak for themselves: Destroy property, insult authority, strap on a sword, etc.

Unless you are going to try to seek some scriptural basis that scourging the moneychangers, name calling the pharisees and sadducees, and arming the disciples were just some "unChristlike" things Jesus did that were expressly not to be emulated.

Blogger JDC December 10, 2012 11:33 AM  

The apostle Paul's goal was to "win as many [people] as possible", therefore he became sensitive to the various potential insults which various people hold.

Since you want to use Paul as an example of evangelism, he also wrote a letter to a group of churches wishing that the two agitators amongst them be emasculated. Not very sensitive, but damn funny and ironic seeing as how they were demanding circumcision for conversion.

Anonymous Josh December 10, 2012 11:37 AM  

Notice that Jesus didn't instruct his followers to insult, humiliate and ridicule?

"brood of vipers?"

Anonymous camelite December 10, 2012 11:37 AM  

Before anyone else points it out, I attributed to John a comment made by a different person on a different site. To preempt the pedants, the error is inconsequential.

Anonymous Stephen J. December 10, 2012 11:38 AM  

"Notice that Jesus didn't instruct his followers to insult, humiliate and ridicule?"

No, but even Jesus busted out with the occasional "Ye serpents, ye generation of vipers!" now and again. Nor did He allow people to hide from the truth behind hurt feelings, as per the rich young man who went away discouraged at being told he would have to give what he owned to the poor in order to earn Heaven. And Christianity *is* a study in humility, so it's going to involve some humiliation now and again however good one's intentions.

I suspect this is another example of the issue Alastair Adversaria points out: people talking past one another because they are really talking about different things. Humiliating someone through mocking *them*, purely to boost your own ego, is a bad thing; humiliating someone as a byproduct of ridiculing a ridiculous *idea* they have advanced is sometimes a necessary thing (though taking undue pleasure in it is an uncharitable impulse, to be sure).

Anonymous Toby Temple December 10, 2012 11:40 AM  

Mr. B.A.D. said...
Toby, perhaps you can enlighten us to the true meaning of Christ's word?

Certainly.

22 But I say unto you, That whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment: and whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be in danger of the council: but whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell fire.

First, notice the words "angry with his brother without a cause" and "whosoever shall say to his brother".

So being angry with a brother is fine as long as you have cause.

It is also acceptable to say "RACA" to one who is not our brother and say to one who claims "there is no god" as fool, which is the word used in Psalms.

Rabbit people are not brothers/sisters to Christians since do not seek the truth.

Anonymous VD December 10, 2012 11:44 AM  

So, by counselling "Embrace the cruelty," you *are* aiming to cause the hurt that Alastair Adversaria says the Sensitives are wrong to attribute to you as a motivation, then?

Not at all. To embrace something does not mean to make it the aim or the objective. The aim is not to be cruel, the aim is to be correct. If one claims, as the Rabbit People often do, that being correct is synonymous with being cruel, then those who engage in discourse with them must embrace the cruelty.

Depends on what your goal is, doesn't it? To win people, or to win arguments?

It depends upon the situation. But regardless, one cannot expect to win people to the Truth with lies. For the most part, I am not attempting to convince anyone of anything, I am simply attempting to expose them to what I understand to be true. Many cannot understand it. Some will reject it. But none can say it was not put before them.

Anonymous George of the Hole December 10, 2012 11:45 AM  

@JDC:

Yes, Paul had a wonderfully wry sense of humor. But don't ignore what he said earlier in the same chapter you quoted:

For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision has any value. The only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love.

Don't misinterpret my argument as saying that humiliation and ridicule are wrong per se, only that they are not useful for evangelism. If insults don't lead to conversion, then they are naught but a diversion.

Blogger IM2L844 December 10, 2012 11:53 AM  

After reading through Alastair's essay and all the comments, I've come to the conclusion that some things are just not worth the time and space it takes to congenially unpack them. Liberals suck.

Anonymous Mr. B.A.D. December 10, 2012 11:53 AM  

Toby, I know plenty of Rabbit people Christians. I've offended the legalistic women at my church who call everyone else hypocrites for putting up Christmas trees countless times. Not by calling them names, because they are more offended by the fact that someone would dare disagree with them, but by pointing out publicly how wrong they are. I agree that it is more fun to just insult people but it is possible to win a debate without resorting to junior high name calling.

The point of the good samaritan was to point out who our neighbor is when the stick was poked into the command to love your neighbor as yourself. Jesus was insulting them in rhetoric, to give power to his statements, not in some inflammatory hatred or meanness.

but all of this is beside the point: the rabbit people get offended at anything, so dont worry about it, dont apologize for it, and poke the stick enough to expose them as the hypocrites that they are.

Anonymous Stilicho December 10, 2012 11:55 AM  

Incorrect. John's comment is an example of oppositional rhetoric and ideological combativeness - ‘heterotopic discourse’. Yours is an example of a rabbit trying to isolate or out-group the offender. You and your scurrilous efforts to silence and shame do not belong here, you are not part of our manly free-speaking in-group, can I get an "Amen" brothers? etc


hasenpfeffer

Anonymous Toby Temple December 10, 2012 11:58 AM  

Mr. B.A.D.

The parable of the good samaritan is about our neighbors and not about our brothers and sisters....

Anonymous Mr. B.A.D. December 10, 2012 12:02 PM  

No Toby, the parable of the good samaritan is about love and whom should be loved as ourselves. The neighbor being the answer, and the definition that Christ gives to neighbor in the parable is 'which ever person we happen to encounter'.

neighbors and brothers are not mutually exclusive.

Anonymous rycamor December 10, 2012 12:05 PM  

ZT December 10, 2012 10:26 AM

Interesting thought and timing as I have ran into this situation with my wife. So given your "Never surrender to emotional manipulation. Never back down in the face of nonexistent arguments and appeals to sensitivity and feelings. Embrace the cruelty. Meet each demand for submission by amping up the ridicule, jacking up the humiliation, and increasing the pressure of intellectual precision."

How does one avoid humiliating their spouse? Or should they avoid it at all? Would your recommendation apply to personal relationships or only to incidental ones? If so then who do you handle with with the personal ones?

This is where some ridicule in the form of a back-handed compliment can be helpful: "Don't be silly! I know you can't possibly believe that. The woman I married is far too intelligent to fall for that kind of goofiness."

There's much more to it than that, depending on the type of argument, etc... but I would say you should save the serious humiliation only for VERY deserving moments, and never humiliate her in front of the children. Better to frame things with the mindset of "Here's where I'm going, and if you want to be along for the ride, better hurry up."

Anonymous Daniel December 10, 2012 12:07 PM  

Cross-posting (also at AG) Scalzi's retort that he tweeted a few minutes ago:

"The irony of a dude griping that my blog caters to sycophants, on a blog which caters to sycophants, never loses its clueless deliciousness."

Anonymous Stephen J. December 10, 2012 12:07 PM  

"The aim is not to be cruel, the aim is to be correct."

Conceded and agreed.

The difficulty -- although I am not sure if this is the right word for something I see no actual way around -- is the Bulveristic tendency for Sensitives to assume that most Heterotopics only "really" care for "teaching correctness" when it offers the opportunity to employ and enjoy some cruelty along the way. Similarly, many a Heterotopic has developed a Bulveristic tendency to assume that Sensitives only "really" care for minimizing emotional suffering and counterproductive personal offense when it offers the opportunity to gain political leverage by shutting down debate. Problematically, the actual behaviour of many on both "teams" can quite plausibly justify such assumptions.

I firmly believe a distressingly significant proportion of people on the Internet are arguing not with the person actually responding to them but with the person previous to that, with whom they never got in the last word.

Anonymous George of the Hole December 10, 2012 12:09 PM  

Vox: It depends upon the situation. But regardless, one cannot expect to win people to the Truth with lies. For the most part, I am not attempting to convince anyone of anything, I am simply attempting to expose them to what I understand to be true. Many cannot understand it. Some will reject it. But none can say it was not put before them.

I like this very much, as I have come to believe that we cannot convince anyone of anything without the revelation of the Holy Spirit.

That said, perhaps the best approach is to make sure that the "Rabbit People", as you call them, are aware that you love them, even as you humiliate them. After all, circumcision or no circumcision - the only thing that matters is "faith expressing itself through love", even if that expression comes in the form of insult.

I look at two prominent atheist bloggers who converted - the Raving Atheist, and more recently Leah Libresco, as examples of "Rabbit People" who were convinced not by cruelty but by simple insults said in a loving manner. The Raving Atheist, for example, was at a party when he asked a catholic about abortion. The catholic responded kindly and rationally- "It's murder". The heart piercing aspect of this exchange was the weird juxtaposition of loving rationality with a seemingly irrational and hateful statement that led the atheist out of darkness. If the catholic had responded with the expected vitriol then all biases would have been confirmed and life would have gone on as usual.

It truly is love that makes all the difference.

Anonymous Log December 10, 2012 12:10 PM  

There is no scripture so perfectly clear that the dedicated eisegete cannot represent himself to plausibly believe it says the opposite.

I am only bemused, given the crowd, that nobody's bothered claiming "brother means son of the same mother or father". That would be even more convenient than restricting the application of the teachings of Jesus to one's conduct solely towards other "Christian" "brothers".

As William Wallace said (in some movie or other): "Freedom!"

Anonymous Toby Temple December 10, 2012 12:10 PM  

No, B.A.D

This verse is not about calling getting angry with your neighbor without cause, saying RACA to your neighbor or calling your neighbor a fool:

22 But I say unto you, That whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment: and whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be in danger of the council: but whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell fire.

I don't even understand why you even bothered to post that response to me after asking me about the verse.

neighbors and brothers are not mutually exclusive.

true. but neighbor is not synonymous with brother. you may refer to a militant atheist as a neighbor but never your brother(base on Christ's definition of brother/sister).

Anonymous camelite December 10, 2012 12:12 PM  

First, notice the words "angry with his brother without a cause" and "whosoever shall say to his brother".

So being angry with a brother is fine as long as you have cause.


You're making the following deductive error:
A without B is Never-OK => A with B is Always-OK

It's possible that B, C and D are additional requirements for A being OK. It's possible that the determination of A being OK depends upon the comparative severity of A and B. It's possible that A being OK depends upon the context in which A occurs. It assuredly is not a carte-blanche for A anytime anywhere once you have identified a "cause".

Anonymous Toby Temple December 10, 2012 12:17 PM  

You're making the following deductive error:
A without B is Never-OK => A with B is Always-OK


No, I am not. You are the one making an error here. You assume that "cause" that I am referring to can either be justifiable or not.

This is Christ's word. So the cause is logically assumed to be a justifiable one.

Anonymous Daniel December 10, 2012 12:18 PM  

Maybe this post has made me sensitive to sensitivity, but holy cow, this one is a sterling example - you got your unproven rape, you got suicide, you got Catholics, you got football, you got solipsism...basically the 5 Major Things Rabbits Don't Comprehend.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/she-the-people/wp/2012/12/04/why-i-wont-be-cheering-for-old-notre-dame/

Anonymous Mr. B.A.D. December 10, 2012 12:24 PM  

Toby, Neighbors and brothers are not synonymous, but Christ is using them as synonyms. And the reason why the parable of the good Samaritan has a "Samaritan" in it is because of people trying to do the exact thing with love that you are doing now, splitting hairs.

The speech that Jesus gives that scripture about calling your brother Raca is the sermon of the mount, the same sermon where he says to love your enemy and pray for those who persecute you.

Are you suggesting that Jesus could not go a whole sermon without contradicting himself?

Blogger ajw308 December 10, 2012 12:25 PM  

Your personal victimization grants you neither moral authority nor intellectual credibility

My wife is a twin. She grew up knowing she was special because everyone treated her (and here twin) special till she figured out she wasn't. Now she'll tell you the best thing you can do for a twin (or any other kid) is to let then learn they aren't special.

Now we just need to teach adults they aren't special because they are victims. And that'll be tough since victimhood is a rewarded status and easily attained.

Years ago, at least 20, I read in Readers Digest that the population of victims, per victim groups, is over 200% (or was it 250%?) of the US population. I"m sure life has only gotten worse and the number of victims have only increased.

Anonymous camelite December 10, 2012 12:34 PM  

No, I am not. You are the one making an error here. You assume that "cause" that I am referring to can either be justifiable or not.

No, I am not. Your deductive error (A with B is always-OK) remains if you assume, as I have, that the cause is just.

Blogger Markku December 10, 2012 12:35 PM  

"If r's are rabbits, then what are K's?"

From Wikipedia: K is the carrying capacity

Since K actually comes from C, I propose cheetah.

Anonymous Daniel December 10, 2012 12:36 PM  

I particularly like his admission that this post has a "clueless deliciousness." If he can't beat you, he'll eat you!

Anonymous VD December 10, 2012 12:39 PM  

How does one avoid humiliating their spouse? Or should they avoid it at all? Would your recommendation apply to personal relationships or only to incidental ones? If so then who do you handle with with the personal ones?

This is not advice for dealing with one's wife, or if one is a woman, one's husband. It is advice for dealing with intellectual discourse. I think it is best to avoid humiliating one's spouse in general, the caveat being that if she, (or he), is engaging in purposefully malicious behavior, it is best to crush that behavior as publicly and painfully as possible. Not aggressively, but in a judo-style that turns their attacking force against them. I'll write more about that in a future post.

Blogger ajw308 December 10, 2012 12:43 PM  

George of the Hole,
Usually you'll never change the mind of the person you're arguing with and if you do, it'll usually take them time to get over their anger and accept your point.

The true benefit lies with others observing the argument. The undecided who don't understand the facts, but may feel an emotional pull. They get to see the salient points laid out before them and that it is ok to not submit to emotional tyranny for many have been bit by the Rabbit and don't know that they can resist the urge to submit when the carrot waxes full.

Anonymous camelite December 10, 2012 12:43 PM  

Jesus was specifying one constraint upon being angry with your brother. He was not, as you have been, ruling out the existence of any other constraint.

Blogger Markku December 10, 2012 12:46 PM  

The other constraint:

Pro 26:3 A whip for the horse, a bridle for the ass, and a rod for the back of fools.

Anonymous Tad December 10, 2012 12:47 PM  

@Vox Day

If you guys are sycophants, you must be the worst sycophants in the world!

Of course the majority here are sycophants, despite cries to the contrary. Just embrace them.

Anonymous VD December 10, 2012 12:49 PM  

"The irony of a dude griping that my blog caters to sycophants, on a blog which caters to sycophants, never loses its clueless deliciousness."

I added an update to the post above, as follows:

Who is griping? Scalzi is only doing what Rabbit People always do. Notice the reference to a nameless "dude". On a nameless blog. And note the accusation that this nameless place caters to sycophants, when the majority of the Dread Ilk of Vox Popoli, let alone the more casual readers, a) don't belong to the same political party or ideology that I do, and b) don't belong to the same religious denomination that I do, and c) cheerfully argue with me vociferously over everything from inflation/deflation to the limits on God's knowledge. If you guys are sycophants, you must be the worst sycophants in the world!

It is remarkable but not surprising that Scalzi is such a complete rabbit that he can't even imagine a blog of this size not being sycophantic in the manner that his observably is. For example, you will seldom see me, or anyone else, congratulating me on my "courage" for posting something. Meanwhile, Scalzi's posts are always an interesting race between John and his readers over who can pat him on the back more vigorously.

I will bet that on any post of over 100 comments at Whatever, one can find at least 10 comments that are amusingly sycophantic. And I'll bet one cannot do the same here.

Anonymous camelite December 10, 2012 12:51 PM  

The other constraint:

One other constraint. A good one nonetheless.

Anonymous Sheila December 10, 2012 12:52 PM  

"Call me Herne." Yes, absolutely! I don't know why it never occurred to me to connect the Wild Hunt to what passes for intellectual discourse today. My first encounter with Herne was reading Susan Cooper in college; I also like the Hunt as depicted in Guy Gavriel Kay's Fionavar trilogy.

For those who are interested, there's a good thread on this same topic at Steve Sailer's blog today.

I usually just glare at all the rabbits surrounding me; mayhap I'll try to eviscerate a few today. Happy hunting, all.

Anonymous Retadded December 10, 2012 12:53 PM  

"Of course the majority here are sycophants, despite cries to the contrary. - Taddles"

Evidence?

Anonymous Tad December 10, 2012 12:53 PM  

Vox Day: "X"

Comment #1: "X x 2"

Comment #2: "I agree with X x 2, but think additionally that X x 2= x3"

Comment #3. "X...That's funny"

Comment #4. "X is always the case"

Anonymous VD December 10, 2012 12:55 PM  

Of course the majority here are sycophants, despite cries to the contrary.

Well, Tad, you do appear to have stepped in it this time. The majority, you say? Very well. Sitemeter says there were 517 visits in the last hour alone. Here is your choice. Either you can support your assertion by citing with 269 examples of "servile flattery" or "fawning parasitism" or you can admit that your assertion was baseless and retract it.

And you know the rules. No commenting until you either support or retract your assertion.

Anonymous Daniel December 10, 2012 12:55 PM  

Stop being such a sycophant, Tad.

Anonymous Jack Amok December 10, 2012 12:57 PM  

To those accustomed to the second mode of discourse, the cries of protest at supposedly offensive statements may appear to be little more than a dirty and underhand ploy intentionally adopted to derail the discussion by those whose ideological position can’t sustain critical challenge. However, these protests are probably less a ploy than the normal functioning of the particular mode of discourse characteristic of that community, often the only mode of discourse that those involved are proficient in.

I disagree with this - the protests most certainly are ploys to shield flimsy arguments from challenges they cannot withstand. Of course it is the normal functioning of the Rabbit Warren, because very few of the Rabbit's positions are strong enough to stand up to criticism.

The Rabbit People's social structure is one of masters and slaves (and not in the fun, kinky way either). Vox's comment about there being only submission or rejection is true, the Rabbit People expect everyone to submit, they can tolerate no free individuals. Everyone has a place in the heirarchy (most likely at the bottom). Masters owe their position to the structure, not to their accomplishments. They could never duplicate their success in a merit-driven society, so anything that threatens the heirarchy is intolerable to them. Therefor, everything in the Rabbit world is designed to reinforce the social heirarchy. Maintaining the heirarchy is the single most important concept in the Rabbit's lives.

So the whining about feelings isn't just their quirky mode of discourse, it's an actual instrument of evil. Cruelty in the opposition of evil is no vice.

PS: regarding Depends on what your goal is, doesn't it? To win people, or to win arguments?

Given the nature of the Rabbit People's society, te only way to "win" them (assuming you even want them), is to AMOG their current leader out of his position. Submitting to his intellectual leadership isn't the best first step towards doing that.





Anonymous fish December 10, 2012 12:59 PM  

Of course the majority here are sycophants, despite cries to the contrary. Just embrace them.

You lisp when you type.

Anonymous Slowpoke December 10, 2012 1:00 PM  

Vox has the moral imperative correct here.

And no it is not useful for evangelism to go mushy and be "loving" by "not offending." This is the worst that can be done.

Remember it was said about Jesus:
"The people were amazed at his teaching, because he taught them as one who had authority, not as the teachers of the law" Mark 1:21

Anonymous camelite December 10, 2012 1:01 PM  

While I find it plausible that Scalzi's blog is more sycophantic than yours Vox, you could choose almost at random from your posts and find that the ratio between people personally attacking your nominated targets to those personally attacking you is well past sycophantic. The nature of the sycophancy may be more carnivorous than in Scalzi's rabbit warren, but the difference is more in kind than in proportion.

Blogger Markku December 10, 2012 1:05 PM  

Obviously not every one of those 517 people commented, so I propose that it be adequate if he is able to quote at least one message that fulfills the definition of sycophancy from over 50% of the different people that wrote in a thread of his choice. The thread should obviously have a reasonably big number of comments, to rule out statistical anomalies.

Blogger Markku December 10, 2012 1:08 PM  

"you could choose almost at random from your posts and find that the ratio between people personally attacking your nominated targets to those personally attacking you is well past sycophantic."

Sycophancy \Syc"o*phan*cy\, n. [Cf. L. sycophantia deceit, Gr. ?
false accusation.]
The character or characteristic of a sycophant. Hence:
[1913 Webster]
(a) False accusation; calumniation; talebearing. [Obs.] --Bp.
Hall.
[1913 Webster]
(b) Obsequious flattery; servility.
[1913 Webster]

The sycophancy of A.Philips had prejudiced Mr.
Addison against Pope. --Bp.
Warburton.
[1913 Webster]

--

Mere agreement is not sycophancy.

Blogger JD Curtis December 10, 2012 1:12 PM  

The above entry is a precise summary of the state of discourse in public forums.


Being to the right (conservative) side of the political spectrum, whenever it becomes apparent that my leftist counterparts have no plan whatsoever to debate the issues using FACTS and instead appeal to raw emotionalism coupled with faux outrage, I immediately beat them to the punch by accusing them of/hate/racism/homophobia/racism.


The effect is that of a vampire being doused with holy water. They screech and howl at the very idea that they, the self-styuled Defenders of Good (and they get to define 'good' here) could possibly, in any way, be considered free-speeach bigots.


I must admit that A. It's quite fun watching them writhe and answer for accusations of bigotry and B. the state of discourse really isn't lowered all that much in that I'm just taking away their inevitable default position anyway.


Anonymous Aeoli Pera December 10, 2012 1:14 PM  

Where's Loki? He's a far more entertaining troll.

Anonymous RedJack December 10, 2012 1:20 PM  

For those who want to see a "nice" Jesus, go to the Bible and see what he told the Pharisees.

Look at St. Paul calling someone a used tampon (Filthy menstral rags), and honestly calling HIMSELF that.

Jesus took up some whips, and kicked the sellers out of temple by beating them. That wasn't nice, and probably hurt their feelings.

Don't project you view of Buddy Jesus onto what the Gospel actually says. It is annoying.

Blogger ClarkAspen December 10, 2012 1:20 PM  

This comment has been removed by the author.

Blogger ClarkAspen December 10, 2012 1:22 PM  

When I read that article yesterday, I immediately thought about your arguing style. It suddenly made much more sense to me.

Anonymous Stephen J. December 10, 2012 1:22 PM  

"I disagree with this - the protests most certainly are ploys to shield flimsy arguments from challenges they cannot withstand."

That is certainly their *effective* function, but in order to be a "ploy" this has to be the function consciously and primarily intended by the protester; like Alistair, I have to say I don't think this level of cold-blooded tactical deliberation is present in most offended Sensitives.

That said, any experiences which have persuaded you of the opposite, and why, would be interesting to hear about.

Blogger stareatgoatsies December 10, 2012 1:24 PM  

Here is your choice. Either you can support your assertion by citing with 269 examples of "servile flattery" or "fawning parasitism" or you can admit that your assertion was baseless and retract it.

You're unjustifiably circumscribing what constitutes sycophancy. The "amusing" imitations of uneducated black people with phonetic mispellings of phrases which are grammatically incorrect in standard American English which pop up here from time to time, for example, are sycophantic.

But you put those circumscriptions in quotes - who, if anybody, are you quoting?

Blogger stareatgoatsies December 10, 2012 1:25 PM  

I am also camelite btw, I keep losing comment by forgetting to change the 'comment as' field so I just went ahead and used my google login.

Anonymous VD December 10, 2012 1:26 PM  

While I find it plausible that Scalzi's blog is more sycophantic than yours Vox, you could choose almost at random from your posts and find that the ratio between people personally attacking your nominated targets to those personally attacking you is well past sycophantic. The nature of the sycophancy may be more carnivorous than in Scalzi's rabbit warren, but the difference is more in kind than in proportion.

Do define sycophantic for us, Camelite. I don't think you are understand the term properly. Furthermore, you have to keep in mind that many of those you would label sycophants were active intellectual opponents on various subjects in the past. Some still are.

But by all means, give us some examples. You know who the commenters here are. Which of them would you label sycophants according to your definition? Markku? Jamsco? Nate?

Blogger James Dixon December 10, 2012 1:29 PM  

> Once again, Vox demonstrates his opposition to the teachings of that Christ he claims to follow:

At worst, Vox demonstrates that he's a fallen human who's incapable of completely following the teachings of Christ.

> ...and the definition that Christ gives to neighbor in the parable is 'which ever person we happen to encounter'.

We've had that discussion before. Suffice it to say that myself and some others here don't agree with that interpretation.

Anonymous VD December 10, 2012 1:30 PM  

But you put those circumscriptions in quotes - who, if anybody, are you quoting?

Dictionary.com.

The "amusing" imitations of uneducated black people with phonetic mispellings of phrases which are grammatically incorrect in standard American English which pop up here from time to time, for example, are sycophantic.

What are you referring to here? If you have "raciss" in mind, then you should realize that simply adopting a neologism is not sycophancy. I can't take any credit for inventing either Ebonics or the mocking of it.

Anonymous Josh December 10, 2012 1:34 PM  

Any truly sycophantic commenters here (of the, "you're so brave and courageous Vox for standing up to those horrible and nasty feminists and atheists who torment you by promising to withhold sex from you" variety) would be either 1) laughed at, 2) called gay, or 3) both. And that sort of behavior seems to be exhibited most of the time by females or by thoroughly feminized gelding males.

Anonymous Josh December 10, 2012 1:36 PM  

What are you referring to here?

I thought he might have been referring to the mad aussies beer fueled wigger atrocities.

Blogger stareatgoatsies December 10, 2012 1:49 PM  

Mere agreement is not sycophancy.

True, but sycophants do tend to agree with their boss a lot, they do attack their bosses opponents with less constraint than the boss himself would get away with, they do tend to make politically correct in-jokes, align themselves by profession with the bosses ideology and so on - the sort of things that make this blog a far less "heterotopic" place than you carnivores would like to think.

Anonymous Did I go too far this time? December 10, 2012 1:51 PM  

Plus the Vikings suck

Anonymous FUBAR Nation (Ben) December 10, 2012 1:54 PM  

If you want to know what a sycophant looks like, look at a democrat or republican party hack.

Anonymous YurmanYurman December 10, 2012 1:54 PM  

"Plus the Vikings suck"

And don't even get me started on "Hungry Like the Wolf"

Blogger stareatgoatsies December 10, 2012 2:06 PM  

But by all means, give us some examples. You know who the commenters here are. Which of them would you label sycophants according to your definition? Markku? Jamsco? Nate?

I have no individual commenter in mind, and know them less well that you seem to imagine. I said I found it merely plausible that Scalzi's blog is more sycophantic than yours because I don't follow it or find his brand of commentary particularly interesting. Maybe his blog is so sycophantic that comparing it to this one was in error - I'll admit to ignorance.

What are you referring to here? If you have "raciss" in mind, then you should realize that simply adopting a neologism is not sycophancy. I can't take any credit for inventing either Ebonics or the mocking of it.

No, "raciss" is not what I have in mind. It was from a few threads back and far more elaborate.

Anonymous VD December 10, 2012 2:11 PM  

True, but sycophants do tend to agree with their boss a lot, they do attack their bosses opponents with less constraint than the boss himself would get away with, they do tend to make politically correct in-jokes, align themselves by profession with the bosses ideology and so on - the sort of things that make this blog a far less "heterotopic" place than you carnivores would like to think.

You're totally missing the point of the essay, in addition to failing to make your own point. So we'll do this the slow way.

1. Does VP feature a high tolerance for difference and disagreement or a low tolerance?

Anonymous Josh December 10, 2012 2:12 PM  

"Plus the Vikings suck"

And don't even get me started on "Hungry Like the Wolf"


Blue Hawaiians are terrible

Anonymous Jack Amok December 10, 2012 2:15 PM  

That is certainly their *effective* function, but in order to be a "ploy" this has to be the function consciously and primarily intended by the protester; like Alistair, I have to say I don't think this level of cold-blooded tactical deliberation is present in most offended Sensitives.

The ploy is on the part of the Rabbit Masters (the Alpha Rabbits?) who indoctrinate their lagoserf (Hare-envolk? Bunny soldier?) followers with the technique. The run of the mill rabbits are just norming themselves according to the wishes of their masters and not incredibly conscious of any tactics, but it is a ploy none the less.

Shooting someone is still a ploy, even though the bullet is just following orders (or the laws of physics, your choice).


Anonymous Jack Amok December 10, 2012 2:18 PM  

BTW, combining the topic of this thread with the previous one (The WND column on A Throne of Bones and the need to not surrender in the creation of culture), I think I have adopted a new slogan of sorts.

Cry me a river, bunnyboy.

Blogger stareatgoatsies December 10, 2012 2:26 PM  

I can't take any credit for inventing either Ebonics or the mocking of it.

'Ebonics' was poorly defined from the beginning and never adopted by linguists. It was never a real thing. The real thing and variants of it are, like everything else, legitimate targets for mockery as long as it is competently executed - which the comment I have in mind was not.

Blogger ray December 10, 2012 2:36 PM  

i'll go Sycophant here, just to piss folks off, and comment that this blog is v toleratnt of dissent, including dissent with the site owner

there is no Group on this site, ready to cut out and crush someone who stretches the conversation, or gets raw

otoh mainstream culture, controlled by ID politics and feminism, is exactly the opposite of their advertisement: they are massively intolerant, hive-minded, and cowardly in their shaming and isolation of thinking contrary to the Politburo's Accepted Doctrines

their "tolerance," which they constantly trumpet, extends only to their ideopolotical allies (like "equality" and "diversity")

suffering dissent, and learning new things, hurts psychologically... it takes inner strength to handle disagreement, and more strength to learn from it

the Fems and ID Pols refuse to learn, believing their dogma already constitutes the Final Truth of all things, and that, in part, is why they (and the nations they dominate) are police-states of the mind

it is an infantile, cowardly, and narcissistic position, and as such, can never be reasoned out of existence, nor out of power

Anonymous Icey_steve December 10, 2012 2:42 PM  

I for one would like to congratulate Vox on his support of LGBT culture with inducting more children into the gay pastime of soccer.

Anonymous Tad December 10, 2012 2:44 PM  

Here is your choice. Either you can support your assertion by citing with 269 examples of "servile flattery" or "fawning parasitism" or you can admit that your assertion was baseless and retract it.

Hmmmmm? I'll retract. I have a lunch to get to.

Anonymous Other Josh December 10, 2012 2:46 PM  

So... how does this post apply to marriage, where 75% of normal people find the greatest amount of "engaging in debate"?

Blogger stareatgoatsies December 10, 2012 2:50 PM  

You're totally missing the point of the essay, in addition to failing to make your own point. So we'll do this the slow way.

I'll reciprocate the consideration:

V1) What is the "point of the essay" you claim I am missing.
V2) What is the "point" you claim I am failing to make.

1. Does VP feature a high tolerance for difference and disagreement or a low tolerance?

Conversations with you inevitably end up in the dictionary, so I'll skip to that bit. I'm assuming 'VP' is a typo, for VD/voxday


1. a fair, objective, and permissive attitude toward those whose opinions, practices, race, religion, nationality, etc., differ from one's own; freedom from bigotry.
2. a fair, objective, and permissive attitude toward opinions and practices that differ from one's own.
3. interest in and concern for ideas, opinions, practices, etc., foreign to one's own; a liberal, undogmatic viewpoint.
4. the act or capacity of enduring; endurance: My tolerance of noise is limited.
5. Medicine/Medical, Immunology .
a. the power of enduring or resisting the action of a drug, poison, etc.: a tolerance to antibiotics.
b. the lack of or low levels of immune response to transplanted tissue or other foreign substance that is normally immunogenic.


Q: Does VD have an attitude of fairness towards those opinions etc., that differ? A: You prize winning the debate more highly than you do winning it fairly.
Q: Does VD have an objective attitude towards those whose etc., that differ? A: More objective you dissect your opponents' fallacies, yes. Objective when it comes to caricaturing your opponents, no.
Q: Does VD have a permissive attitude towards those whose etc., that differ? A: Clearly not

etc etc

Q: Is VD free from bigotry? A: No

etc etc

This approach take far more time for me than I have to spare, so save me the unnecessary effort and define your terms.

Blogger Rhology December 10, 2012 2:53 PM  

I will bet that on any post of over 100 comments at Whatever, one can find at least 10 comments that are amusingly sycophantic. And I'll bet one cannot do the same here.

Yes, totally right!

...
...
...
...
...

;-)

Blogger Markku December 10, 2012 2:55 PM  

"I'm assuming 'VP' is a typo, for VD/voxday"

VP means Vox Popoli. As in, the forum. Since it would be nonsense to speak of "tolerating" something you actually accept, the word already assumes disagreement. Tolerance towards opposing viewpoints means that they are not silenced.

Anonymous Koanic December 10, 2012 2:59 PM  

"Rabbit Masters (the Alpha Rabbits?)"

While Alpha Rabbits would be a great name for a band, the answer we were looking for was "Snakes".

"From Wikipedia: K is the carrying capacity

Since K actually comes from C, I propose cheetah."

Cheetahs are almost as asocial as bears and cannot encapsulate the egalitarian small-group social organization that is K. Cats in general do not possess the K strengths/weaknesses that make them susceptible to r backstabbing.

On the other hand, Killer Whale family groups are the most stable of any species, and their socializing is extremely sophisticated, on par with elephants or even primates.

Anonymous Stephen J. December 10, 2012 3:00 PM  

"Shooting someone is still a ploy, even though the bullet is just following orders (or the laws of physics, your choice)."

True, but we don't blame the bullet for where the gunman pointed the gun -- or for the rifling pattern engraved in the barrel by the manufacturer which determines the bullet's spin. (As 'twere.)

Anonymous VD December 10, 2012 3:06 PM  

This approach take far more time for me than I have to spare, so save me the unnecessary effort and define your terms.

It's a simple question. Does VP feature a high tolerance for difference and disagreement or a low tolerance? Yes or no. If you've learned anything here, it should be that it is foolish to try to anticipate me. I mean, you can't possibly think it's hard for me to come up with a reasonable metric.

But I will help you out. Here is an alternative question. Is more free and open discussion permitted at VP than at most other blogs?

Blogger stareatgoatsies December 10, 2012 3:06 PM  

Since it would be nonsense to speak of "tolerating" something you actually accept, the word already assumes disagreement.
Obviously - you could almost say it assumes a difference in opinion.

Tolerance towards opposing viewpoints means that they are not silenced. Vox has an explicit policy of silencing critics - confront, cow, capitulate. It's a more intellectually rigorous approach than shaming but the aim remains the same.

Anonymous kh123 December 10, 2012 3:08 PM  

"Notice that Jesus didn't instruct his followers to insult, humiliate and ridicule?"

Would this be before or after he overturned tables and whipped the money exchangers out of the Temple, calling them all thieves. Or implying to the Caananite woman who followed him that she was a begging dog so as to test her. Or when Paul said he'd rather that Judaizers (who were trying their damndest at the time to confuse new converts over legal matters) that he'd rather they go full circumcision on themselves and save everyone the trouble.

Blogger Markku December 10, 2012 3:15 PM  

confront, cow, capitulate

These are merely challenges. Anyone can use them in a disagreement of peers, if he is so inclined. The critic can use the same tactics if he can. Silencing in this context means deleting messages because of the mere fact of disagreement.

Blogger Gilbert Ratchet December 10, 2012 3:15 PM  

Thank you so much for this beautiful post! For so long I have wanted to say the things you said but can't because I am in an oppressive relationship. Your post brought a lump to my throat and tears to my eyes. Kudos to Vox Day, who has the courage to speak truth to power! Etc.

Anonymous kh123 December 10, 2012 3:18 PM  

"It's a more intellectually rigorous approach than shaming but the aim remains the same."

Well, it's good to know that those who come to pick fights don't look to win, merely to leave their territorial pissings and run.

It's like trying to shame the victor having given a thorough beatdown on the idiot who suckerpunched.

Anonymous Stephen J. December 10, 2012 3:23 PM  

"Does VP feature a high tolerance for difference and disagreement or a low tolerance? Yes or no."

Ah, well, to quote Inigo Montoya, one reaction -- from both sides -- concerning the key word tolerance would probably be: "You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means."

If "tolerate" means "permit the expression of without official censure from those given that authority," then yes, VP has quite a high tolerance -- I have never seen anyone flat out banned here or systematically deleted merely for what they said. If "tolerate" means "take seriously and treat respectfully as a basic premise of mutual general interaction," then the answer is no, not very much at all; if people don't agree with something they do *not* tend to be gentle, careful, or considerate in their responses.

If you are a Heterotopic, however, your default definition will be the former; if you are a Sensitive, it will be the latter. And so the answer to a seemingly simple question can be completely different, and self-evidently so both ways, depending on who's answering.

Anonymous Todd December 10, 2012 3:40 PM  

"Lacking the capacity for open dialogue, such groups will exert their influence on wider society primarily by means of political agitation. The fear of conflict and the inability to deal with disagreement lies at the heart of sensitivity-driven discourses."

Isn't that a lot of words to explain the behavior of passive aggressive personalities?

Anonymous JI December 10, 2012 3:41 PM  

You are always so right, Vox. Way to show Scalzi. Did I mention that you're the greatest?

Anonymous VD December 10, 2012 3:41 PM  

Vox has an explicit policy of silencing critics - confront, cow, capitulate. It's a more intellectually rigorous approach than shaming but the aim remains the same.

Incorrect. I seek to cause them to capitulate because they cannot adequately defend their ideas. That is very, very different than trying to stop them from presenting their ideas. It is the polar opposite. I am always trying to elicit information from my opponents, not prevent them from providing it.

Blogger Robert S. Oculus III December 10, 2012 3:43 PM  

Oh, yeah, Vox? Well, I say you're full of shit!

Just kidding. Love the blog, even if you are 100% wrong some of the time.

Anonymous stg58 December 10, 2012 3:47 PM  

Vox is so perfect and awesome for having the courage to reach out ....


Ok sorry almost gagged myself there.

Blogger Markku December 10, 2012 3:47 PM  

Vox is so perfect and awesome for having the courage to reach out ....

Thanks for sharing!

Anonymous Josh December 10, 2012 3:51 PM  

Since when is revealing someone's argument to be wrong equivalent to censorship?

Smashing your mouth with my boot might give the same result as allowing you to smash it with your own foot, but the two are not the same.

Does this mean that when a math teacher corrects a student's work, she's censoring his unique methods of solving for x?

Blogger stareatgoatsies December 10, 2012 3:54 PM  

I mean, you can't possibly think it's hard for me to come up with a reasonable metric.

It's not hard for anybody of average intelligence and education to come up with a reasonable metric. It not your ability to do so that I am questioning. I'm simply preempting a progressively irritating Socratic dialogue in which you ignore or deflect every challenge to define your terms, commit compound errors of false attribution and threaten to ban anyone who continues to question the logical form or legitimacy of your "simple yes or no questions".

It's entirely predictable. A reasonable metric at least put some bounds on your creative interpretations of the responses.

But I will help you out.
Define species for me since you didn't get round to it the last time I tried to help you out.

Here is an alternative question. Is more free and open discussion permitted at VP than at most other blogs?

It depends. Charitably, yes. Compared to, for example, most feminist-leaning forums - almost without exception. But I don't commentate or read enough sites to talk about many, never mind most, other blogs.

It also has other singular attributes that sets it apart. It's an interesting, entertaining and intermittently enlightening place to frequent. But a lot of drivel goes unchallenged.

Anonymous duckman December 10, 2012 4:00 PM  

Cruella De Vil: What kind of sycophant are you?

Frederick: Uh... what kind of sycophant would you like me to be?


Blogger Markku December 10, 2012 4:02 PM  

But a lot of drivel goes unchallenged.

If you refer to likes of Wheeler, any regular knows it's just not worth it. The forum is built on rugged individualism - everybody's opinion is to be assumed to be theirs, and theirs alone. And "goes unchallenged" betrays a spirit of intellectual consumerism; why didn't YOU challenge it, then?

Blogger Brad Andrews December 10, 2012 4:09 PM  

When you address spousal relations it would be nice to see some elaboration on how to apply rhetoric rather than logic. I am still trying to figure that out with my wife.

That might be an Alpha Game topic though.

Anonymous Tallen December 10, 2012 4:11 PM  

Vox has an explicit policy of silencing critics

Cherrypicking definition #1 from dictionary.com:

"One who forms and expresses judgments of the merits, faults, value, or truth of a matter."

I don't think the (relatively few) people who are silenced fit into this category.

Anonymous Josh December 10, 2012 4:12 PM  

If you refer to likes of Wheeler, any regular knows it's just not worth it. 

It's occasionally fun to poke at the resident trolls with a stick, just to see how madly they shriek. But it's not a daily thing by any means.

Anonymous MinnesotaSmith December 10, 2012 4:13 PM  

"Vox has an explicit policy of silencing critics - confront, cow, capitulate. It's a more intellectually rigorous approach than shaming but the aim remains the same."

"Incorrect. I seek to cause them to capitulate because they cannot adequately defend their ideas. That is very, very different than trying to stop them from presenting their ideas. It is the polar opposite. I am always trying to elicit information from my opponents, not prevent them from providing it."

You, sure. Your wife is a different story. On at least two, probably three occasions, I stated either that I believed evolution to be accurate or that I believed abortion to be ethical under some circumstances. I then politely presented why I believed as I did. She proceeded to first be rude, then to delete most of what I had posted, following by crowing that I had posted nothing to make any semblance of a decent attempt at explaining or defending my positions. (After all the deletions to my posts she made, with what little she left posted, that is actually about right.) This is the sort of behavior I would expect from a typical moderator at a minor, lower-brow feminist forum, and IMO it did not reflect well upon you.

Deleted (or less probably, categorically denied) by Spacebunny in 10, 9, 8...

Anonymous Josh December 10, 2012 4:14 PM  

When you address spousal relations it would be nice to see some elaboration on how to apply rhetoric rather than logic. I am still trying to figure that out with my wife.

Make it her idea.

Blogger tz December 10, 2012 4:15 PM  

This blog at least has discussion and difference talked about at a high level. There are few pachyderms here, and fewer who are infirm.

I keep thinking of "Bunnicula" - The rabbit in question says nothing (v.s. of value), and I'm not sure he is photophobic but it would fit.

Cruelty itself is not a sin - and it can be a sin of omission. Drill Instructors need to insure the recruits aren't slaughtered. And in other contexts it needs to be shown since the world itself is cruel and will either kill or drive to suicide ("goodby cruel world") those who cannot endure it. It is cooperation with sin not to punish it by all means possible.

Anonymous VD December 10, 2012 4:18 PM  

It not your ability to do so that I am questioning. I'm simply preempting a progressively irritating Socratic dialogue in which you ignore or deflect every challenge to define your terms, commit compound errors of false attribution and threaten to ban anyone who continues to question the logical form or legitimacy of your "simple yes or no questions".

So, let's get this straight. You find a Socratic dialogue to irritating... do you consider that to be an example of my intolerance and determination to silence people?

The amusing thing is that you claim to find it irritating while proceeding to justify its existence. Please provide three examples of when I have committed compound errors of false attribution or retract what is at present a baseless assertion.

threaten to ban anyone who continues to question the logical form or legitimacy of your "simple yes or no questions".

Of course. Why do you think you should have the ability to selectively answer questions? How can dialogue even exist if you refuse to answer questions? Did Socrates accept evasions? Once again, even your argument points to my actively seeking out information from my interlocutor; I am clearly not attempting to silence him if I am trying to get him to divulge information.

Charitably, yes. Compared to, for example, most feminist-leaning forums - almost without exception. But I don't commentate or read enough sites to talk about many, never mind most, other blogs.

Then how can you possibly claim that it is not heterotopic, as defined and described in the linked article?

a lot of drivel goes unchallenged.

Let's get this straight. Because I do not challenge drivel, I am intolerant? Because I permit people to freely make nonsensical comments, I am trying to silence them and enforce sensitivity-based discourse?

Did you even read the linked article?

Define species for me since you didn't get round to it the last time I tried to help you out.

The major subdivision of a genus or subgenus, regarded as the basic category of biological classification, composed of related individuals that resemble one another, are able to breed among themselves, but are not able to breed with members of another species.

Anonymous VD December 10, 2012 4:22 PM  

On at least two, probably three occasions, I stated either that I believed evolution to be accurate or that I believed abortion to be ethical under some circumstances. I then politely presented why I believed as I did.

I remember that. Polite or not, you were not abiding by the rules and you were failing to provide evidence for your assertions. You should know better.

Look, it's not that hard. If you make an assertion, you're going to be called on it. If you're going to get squirrelly and evasive, it's not going to fool anyone for a second. This is nobody's first rodeo.

Anonymous Luke December 10, 2012 4:22 PM  

Important point: I was taught in Paleontology classes in graduate school (I'm a geologist) that normally only the genus level is worried about in the fossil record.

Blogger Spacebunny December 10, 2012 4:23 PM  

You, sure. Your wife is a different story. On at least two, probably three occasions, I stated either that I believed evolution to be accurate or that I believed abortion to be ethical under some circumstances. I then politely presented why I believed as I did. She proceeded to first be rude, then to delete most of what I had posted, following by crowing that I had posted nothing to make any semblance of a decent attempt at explaining or defending my positions. (After all the deletions to my posts she made, with what little she left posted, that is actually about right.) This is the sort of behavior I would expect from a typical moderator at a minor, lower-brow feminist forum, and IMO it did not reflect well upon you.

Deleted (or less probably, categorically denied) by Spacebunny in 10, 9, 8...


Outright lying as well as breaking the rules of the blog by making naked assertions and then not backing them up or retracting them when called on it is why you got banned, dear. Pretty much exactly what you are doing now. And no, I'll leave comment up as further testimony to your blatant dishonesty and petty whinging...

Anonymous MinnesotaSmith December 10, 2012 4:26 PM  

Hint to Spacebunny: I have lived many places, but did not encounter the word "whinging" until I traveled to the U.K. in my late forties. Apparently it is something only people over in Europe do.

Blogger James Dixon December 10, 2012 4:30 PM  

> Apparently it is something only people over in Europe do.

Apparently those many places don't include Australia either.

Anonymous Tom O. December 10, 2012 4:32 PM  

@Markku And "goes unchallenged" betrays a spirit of intellectual consumerism; why didn't YOU challenge it, then?

Good catch there. For a moment, you could've gotten sucked into rabbit-people thinking.

@Log: According to the Bible, love = rebuke. If you don't rebuke your neighbor, you hate him.

Blogger Spacebunny December 10, 2012 4:32 PM  

Apparently it is something only people over in Europe do.

Demonstrably not given your performance. I have no doubt you will continue to be a petty, sniping little girl who can't own up to her mistakes. *yawn*

Anonymous Tom O. December 10, 2012 4:37 PM  

Apparently it is something only people over in Europe do.

Doesn't Spacebunny live in Europe though?

Blogger Markku December 10, 2012 4:38 PM  

The correct conclusion would be that it is something that only people over in Europe (or specifically U.K) have identified as a specific thing, as opposed to other kinds of complaining.

Anonymous Edjamacator December 10, 2012 4:41 PM  

Hmmmmm? I'll retract. I have a lunch to get to.

Some crow with a side of humble pie?

Anonymous Stephen J. December 10, 2012 4:45 PM  

"I was taught in Paleontology classes in graduate school (I'm a geologist) that normally only the genus level is worried about in the fossil record."

That's interesting. Do fossils not in general provide enough information to reliably identify specific species? (If that's not a memo from the Department of Redundancy Department.)

Blogger Spacebunny December 10, 2012 4:46 PM  


Some crow with a side of humble pie?

No, no, no. Clearly you don't know Tad very well. He could he just can't bothered.

Anonymous Stickwick December 10, 2012 4:47 PM  

Vox has an explicit policy of silencing critics - confront, cow, capitulate. It's a more intellectually rigorous approach than shaming but the aim remains the same.

Vox has already explained why this is an inaccurate statement, so I'll just point out that this observation explains why most women and a fair number of men cannot tolerate the free exchange of ideas. The most intellectually free environments -- places like VP -- are kind of like the Wild West, where you survive by your wits and determination. Women and lesser men are baffled when they encounter unrestrained competition of ideas, because they've never seen it before, and so they confuse defeat with intolerance and censorship. (Note that such people, when they have the power, tend to claim a priori victory and then censor people with whom they disagree.) Furthermore, they tend not to be rules-oriented, so they also confuse enforcement of those rules with intolerance/censorship.

Blogger Spacebunny December 10, 2012 4:48 PM  

But a lot of drivel goes unchallenged.

Of course it does. Much of the drivel doesn't merit a reply and most of the people who regularly spew the drivel have long since been relegated to scroll by status by many of the regulars, because of said drivel.

Anonymous Stephen J. December 10, 2012 5:03 PM  

"Furthermore, they tend not to be rules-oriented, so they also confuse enforcement of those rules with intolerance/censorship."

In all fairness, this is not always an unreasonable conclusion to leap to when the people in charge of enforcing the rules are the same ones who wrote them, and who claim the prerogative of *re*writing them as preferred.

I don't attribute every disagreement I encounter or survey to Bulveristic power dynamics, but I don't think one can sensibly pretend that they don't exist.

Anonymous Koanic December 10, 2012 5:13 PM  

"Vox has an explicit policy of silencing critics - confront, cow, capitulate."

This is classic rabbit-speak. Your aggression was overt, therefore you are guilty! They do not comprehend the license of chivalrous combat, nor the violation of it that rabbit censorship entails.

What pathetic tears burst forth from these prematurely whelped frog spawn! How their tiny misshapen flanks bulge with every wheezy gasp of waterlogged lungs!

One needs only the barest modicum of rule lawyering and tiniest smidge of emotional continence to troll this place. I could manage it whilst half dead, and frequently do.

Though deeply unpopular, and constantly critical, yet I am not banned. You sniveling slimelings are not fit to bear the name of TROLL!

Anonymous Josh December 10, 2012 5:13 PM  

Also, challenging the drivel just results in more drivel being spewed out by the drivelers. Trolling 101, dontcha know?

Anonymous Kyle In Japan December 10, 2012 5:16 PM  

"c) cheerfully argue with me vociferously over everything from inflation/deflation to the limits on God's knowledge."

Exactly! I love this blog, but we disagree on all sorts of stuff. It's what makes this place so fun.

Anonymous Stickwick December 10, 2012 5:17 PM  

In all fairness, this is not always an unreasonable conclusion to leap to when the people in charge of enforcing the rules are the same ones who wrote them, and who claim the prerogative of *re*writing them as preferred.

This isn't a constitutional republic, where the rules are there to benefit the readers and protect them from the tyranny of the blogger. We already know the rules are there explicitly to benefit the blogger and serve his own purposes. But we have the freedom to decide whether we want to engage him on his own terms or not, and so far it has resulted in a much livelier conversation than you tend to find elsewhere. In any case, why should you be concerned as long as the rule-enforcer/writer isn't arbitrary about the enforcement? If anything, I've observed Vox to be on the permissive side with this. Or maybe a better word is selective.

Anonymous Daniel December 10, 2012 5:25 PM  

Man. I should change my handle to unchallenged drivel.

Anonymous Jack Amok December 10, 2012 5:33 PM  

True, but we don't blame the bullet for where the gunman pointed the gun...

And I don't blame the bunnyboy for being a bunnyboy, but that's beside the point. It's still a ploy to eliminate dissent from the Alpha Bunny's rule.

The ploy is best described as "'Shut up', he explained"

Anonymous Tad December 10, 2012 5:34 PM  

Spacebunny is Vox Day's Wife???

Well, that explains the tolerance showed to her "comments" and "reasoning".

Blogger stareatgoatsies December 10, 2012 5:37 PM  

So, let's get this straight. You find a Socratic dialogue to irritating...

Your version of one, yes. Your italicised incredulity at the idea of an irritating Socratic Dialogue is amusing considering his eventual demise. You've never in your life expressed similar sentiments?

The amusing thing is that you claim to find it irritating while proceeding to justify its existence.
There are many things I find irritating in some forms whose existence I wouldn't hesitate to justify.

Why do you think you should have the ability to selectively answer questions?
I do have that ability, just as you have the ability to ban anyone who asks you define your terms or provide a reasonable metric before answering.

How can dialogue even exist if you refuse to answer questions?
Do I refuse to answer all questions? Have I answered any questions in this thread? Do you answer all questions. Are there some specific questions you are challenged to answer but either refuse the opportunity or deflect with other questions of your own? Are all "questions" actually questions? Can answering a question with another question ever be irritating?

Did Socrates accept evasions?
Did Socrates idly stroke a banhammer while he demanded three examples or a retraction?

Please provide three examples of when I have committed compound errors of false attribution or retract what is at present a baseless assertion.

I'll provide one:

Then how can you possibly claim that it is not heterotopic, as defined and described in the linked article?

You falsely attribute to me a claim I did not make - that VP is not heterotopic - when I've openly admitted comparatively speaking, it is.

It's not quite a compound error because you've only one response in this chain of questions to work with but I have no interest in crawling thorough old threads.

Sticking to the conventions of the blog, requires a retraction, so I'll make like Tad and do so: officially retracted. You can put the banhammer away.


Let's get this straight. Because I do not challenge drivel, I am intolerant?
I was imprecise. I was referring to your output. The responsibility of a host for the behavior of his guests is a different issue.

I am clearly not attempting to silence him if I am trying to get him to divulge information.
Your approach is self-avowedly adversarial. Getting people to divulge information can serve whatever purposes you choose.

Blogger Doom December 10, 2012 5:39 PM  

Yeah, and stuff. Take out the names, to protect the guilty, and it looks like you are describing Any College/University USA. Oh, yeah, nice fine points and such. Whatever.

Anonymous Daniel December 10, 2012 5:48 PM  

Tad, please tell me your neurosurgeon takes cash only, in advance.

Anonymous WinstonWebb December 10, 2012 5:49 PM  

Tad December 10, 2012 5:34 PM

Spacebunny is Vox Day's Wife???

Well, that explains the tolerance showed to her "comments" and "reasoning".


You've never actually READ the blog rules, have you? If you're exceptionally lazy, just read #7. Your feigned surprise and indignation is completely unwarranted.

Anonymous Stephen J. December 10, 2012 5:52 PM  

"This isn't a constitutional republic, where the rules are there to benefit the readers and protect them from the tyranny of the blogger. We already know the rules are there explicitly to benefit the blogger and serve his own purposes."

Granted; but the problem with invoking that fact is that it is very easy to go down a Heads-I-Win-Tails-You-Lose road.

I myself am not entirely sure it is consistent to mock and criticize blogs which pretend to an ostensible "fair and open space for dialogue" for banning, deleting and blocking opposing viewpoints, yet simultaneously assert one would have every right to do so oneself if one did. The analogy that comes to mind is that of someone boasting that he can fight with one hand tied behind his back, yet refusing to allow anyone to actually tie up that hand. While he can certainly establish an admirable record in practice of keeping the hand back there by choice anyway, the fact that he insists on having the, to use your word, "selective" right to employ it nonetheless can come across as the kind of bet-hedging that takes a lot of the teeth out of the ridicule of weaker fighters.

(Which is why one should be concerned -- insofar as who gets to comment on a blog is a matter of "concern" -- even if the rule-enforcers/writers haven't been "arbitrary" so far; as long as they can always change the definition of what counts as "arbitrary", or change the rule that obliges one not to be so, there is no guarantee of such fairness persisting.)

Or more briefly: Silencing others can be both wrong and a sign of weakness and also be a necessary prerogative of blog-running; but it's very hard to condemn the former case while defending the latter without giving the impression of being a goalpost-mover, especially to someone disinclined to believe the sincerity of the distinction.

Blogger stareatgoatsies December 10, 2012 6:01 PM  

This is classic rabbit-speak. Your aggression was overt, therefore you are guilty!

Not overt, explicit. Simply drawing attention to it's indiputability.

I seek to cause them to capitulate because they cannot adequately defend their ideas.

Other possible causes of capitulation:
Being less inured to confrontation than is necessary to remain level-headed enough to win an argument on the internet.
Being less committed to the argument than the opponent.
Having less to lose by capitulating than your opponent.
Getting fed-up with absurd ban-hammer augmented demands.

and so on


The most intellectually free environments -- places like VP -- are kind of like the Wild West, where you survive by your wits and determination.
I can do the taking part of the give-and-take with VP commentators without blinking an eye. It's tangling with Vox that is a uniquely offputting experience. Since few if any of the regulars get the full condescending ban-hammer threatening insult-artist extraordinaire Vox Day experience, you should be wary of circle-jerking yourselves for "surviving" in a forum where most of you mostly agree with each other most of the time.

Anonymous VD December 10, 2012 6:01 PM  

Though deeply unpopular, and constantly critical, yet I am not banned.

Oh, I think you've gone through the far side of unpopular and come out the other end now. Anytime the Ilk are genuinely wondering whose ideas are crazier, yours or Wheelers, you've arrived.

Anonymous Tad December 10, 2012 6:03 PM  

Winston
You've never actually READ the blog rules, have you? If you're exceptionally lazy, just read #7. Your feigned surprise and indignation is completely unwarranted.

It's not indignation. It's revelatory. It explains a lot.

As for "The Rules", anyone who has to use 1000+ rules to explain how a blog works probably needs to learn how to write more concisely, and find a few other things to worry about.

Finally, I wasn't attacking Ms. Day. That would look much different.

Anonymous dr kill December 10, 2012 6:05 PM  

Who is Jared Wilson? Should I be ashamed of my ignorance?

Anonymous Tad December 10, 2012 6:05 PM  

Anytime the Ilk are genuinely wondering whose ideas are crazier, yours or Wheelers, you've arrived.

I'm not convinced the "ilk" are the best judges of "crazy".

Anonymous WinstonWebb December 10, 2012 6:11 PM  

It's not indignation. It's revelatory. It explains a lot.

It is certainly relevatory [sic] for a child to touch a hot stove even after being warned not to do so.

As for "The Rules", anyone who has to use 1000+ rules to explain how a blog works probably needs to learn how to write more concisely, and find a few other things to worry about.

You know where to find the conceptual door. If you have rules about smoking in your home, yet I enter and proceed to light a hog-leg, perhaps YOU should just find a few other things to worry about?

Finally, I wasn't attacking Ms. Day. That would look much different.

I made no indication that you were.

Anonymous Koanic December 10, 2012 6:12 PM  

That's the beauty of attaining the distinction here.

Anonymous WinstonWebb December 10, 2012 6:14 PM  

I'm not convinced the "ilk" are the best judges of "crazy".

Nonsense. With the outlandishly colorful variety of opinions that are issued here on a regular basis, if a consensus of the Ilk agree that a particular post is "crazy", you can bet the farm that it is certifiably bat-shit insane.

Anonymous Koanic December 10, 2012 6:15 PM  

Ah, the old argument from heterodox consensus.

Anonymous Tad December 10, 2012 6:19 PM  

Winston...

What Koanic said!!

Anonymous WinstonWebb December 10, 2012 6:25 PM  

Tad,
I took Koanic as being humorous. Even if that wasn't the attempt, I still found it so. Anyway...

Would you deny that lunatics have a better grasp of identifying truly deep lunacy?

Blogger That Crazy Christian December 10, 2012 6:27 PM  

Well, chalk this comment up to one devoted reader and casual commenter who will defy you until the day I die on most or your Biblical views (I'm a dispensational calvinist), but knows a good mind when he sees one and values the fruit that comes from it.

Soggy emotionalism is no substitute for thinking. Never has been and never will be. The fact that it is often mistaken for thinking is a testament to the small intellects of the soggy emotionalist, and the culture at large. F(orget) them. Either defend your idea or shut up.

Blogger That Crazy Christian December 10, 2012 6:29 PM  

Also VD, I don't care about your books, and don't agree with much of what you say about game theory.

I know, I know... I'm a sycophant run amok!

Anonymous Tad December 10, 2012 7:00 PM  

@Winston.
Would you deny that lunatics have a better grasp of identifying truly deep lunacy?

By using the archaic term "lunatic" I'm going to assume the meaning to be "insane". Now, while I wouldn't necessarily label the "ilk" to be insane, I would answer your question with: Absolutely.

Anonymous VD December 10, 2012 7:11 PM  

I do have that ability, just as you have the ability to ban anyone who asks you define your terms or provide a reasonable metric before answering.

Not here, you don't.

Did Socrates idly stroke a banhammer while he demanded three examples or a retraction?

Ooh, ze poor baby wabbit can't back up his assertions.... I back up mine. You can't back up yours, then obviously you can't play at my level.

You falsely attribute to me a claim I did not make - that VP is not heterotopic - when I've openly admitted comparatively speaking, it is.

Perhaps I was wrong. Let's find out. Your position is that VP is simultaneously sycophantic and heterotopical?

I was imprecise. I was referring to your output. The responsibility of a host for the behavior of his guests is a different issue.

Oh, well, you're simply stupid then. We'll just ignore your drivel here.

Your approach is self-avowedly adversarial. Getting people to divulge information can serve whatever purposes you choose.

Irrelevant. Heterotopic argument is adversarial.

Anonymous kh123 December 10, 2012 7:19 PM  

"Do fossils not in general provide enough information to reliably identify specific species?"

Depends on if researchers in a narrow field - say, they only study ancient canines like dire wolves - consider a particular feature diagnostic for those animals, like teeth or skull shape. Partly depends on if they feel they have ample sampling of a genus or species already to declare a feature divergent (passed down) rather than convergent (similar feature arising accidentally between non-related taxa). But the key ingredient lies with whether or not any of it has implications on popularly accepted cladograms or phylogenies ("family trees") and if these are acceptable at the moment; in short: Political considerations in research circles.

Blogger James Dixon December 10, 2012 8:03 PM  

> ...where you survive by your wits and determination.

Or by keeping your mouth shut when you don't know what you're talking about.

> Though deeply unpopular, and constantly critical, yet I am not banned.

Bingo.

> Spacebunny is Vox Day's Wife???

As someone else noted, haven't bothered to read the rules, I see.

> As for "The Rules", anyone who has to use 1000+ rules to explain how a blog works

There are 15 rules, as you would know if you bothered to check.

Anonymous VD December 10, 2012 8:11 PM  

As for "The Rules", anyone who has to use 1000+ rules to explain how a blog works

In fairness, Tad, we completely understand that anything over "fiver" is hard to grasp for the Rabbit People.

Anonymous Kyle In Japan December 10, 2012 9:43 PM  

"Also VD, I don't care about your books, and don't agree with much of what you say about game theory."

I guess you come here for the VPFL, then.

Anonymous Tad December 10, 2012 9:53 PM  

@Vox Day

You know, I just noticed you filed this blog post under "Philosophy". You're funny.

Anonymous Loki of Asgard December 10, 2012 10:04 PM  

Where's Loki? He's a far more entertaining troll.

I was occupied tracking down the last of those mutant gila monsters that escaped Friday afternoon, thank you very much. Unfortunately, it would appear that SHIELD has a new reptile-slayers division, and all save one of my creations was destroyed.

I would fire my secretary for recommending "How to Train Your Dragon" to Wilson, but she is the only person who understands the filing system--and she makes damned good brownies.

Anonymous Josh December 10, 2012 10:09 PM  

For once, you weren't foiled by a hammer, Loki?

Anonymous Loki of Asgard December 10, 2012 10:13 PM  

For once, you weren't foiled by a hammer, Loki?

I see you are not overly fond of your viscera, mortal.

Anonymous kh123 December 10, 2012 10:13 PM  

"Unfortunately, it would appear that SHIELD has a new reptile-slayers division,"

Of course they do - more toy tie-ins.

Anonymous Toby Temple December 10, 2012 10:21 PM  

No, I am not.

Yes, you are, camelite.

Your deductive error (A with B is always-OK) remains if you assume, as I have, that the cause is just.

That would have been correct if I made the conclusion based on a random person's sermon. But I did not. I based it on the sermon of Christ.

You are basically claiming that Christ himself made a deductive error, which is utterly stupid.

Toby, Neighbors and brothers are not synonymous, but Christ is using them as synonyms.

And this is where you, B.A.D, are clearly mistaken.

Blogger That Crazy Christian December 10, 2012 10:23 PM  

"I guess you come here for the VPFL, then."

Well, first off, by books, I meant his fantasy fiction. Just not my thing. I'm sure it's good to those who like it, but it doesn't interest me. I read RGD and thought it was EXCELLENT and got some things out of TIA, but could sense the theological differences.

Truth be told, I subscribe to (checks google reader) 83 bloge. Most of them, probably close to 65, are just scroll bys unless something catches my eye. This blog is one of the 3 or 4 that I make sure to read every single thing written. The libertarian point of view is excellent and enlightening, the economic analysis is some of the best around, and the takes on culture and other assorted items usually ranges from amusing to refreshing.

And yes, I was even in the VPFL a few years ago.

My point in posting was merely to demonstrate that the readership here is varied and hardly sycophantic. I disagree with Vox on some things we both consider very important and we clearly have different interests. Yet, I'm glad this blog exists.

I'm sure VD couldn't care less about me.... cold hearted, rules nazi, banhammer wielding, joke of a man he is. ;-)

Anonymous Stickwick December 10, 2012 10:47 PM  

@ Stephen J.: I myself am not entirely sure it is consistent to mock and criticize blogs which pretend to an ostensible "fair and open space for dialogue" for banning, deleting and blocking opposing viewpoints, yet simultaneously assert one would have every right to do so oneself if one did. ... While he can certainly establish an admirable record in practice of keeping the hand back there by choice anyway, the fact that he insists on having the, to use your word, "selective" right to employ it nonetheless can come across as the kind of bet-hedging that takes a lot of the teeth out of the ridicule of weaker fighters.

It's entirely consistent and will remain so until the point at which Vox ever decides to wield his power the same way other bloggers do. In the years I've been commenting here, the only thing I've observed that could be termed an inconsistency is that Vox lets some people shadowbox in the corner while he chooses to actively engage others. That's what I meant by "selective" application of the rules. If anything, he errs on the side of permissiveness -- I've never seen any deleting or banning for reasons other than those explicitly stated in the rules. If you get away with breaking any of those rules it probably means you're not worth the effort. So, how would you resolve what you apparently see as an inconsistency, and to what end?

@ stareatgoatsies: I can do the taking part of the give-and-take with VP commentators without blinking an eye. It's tangling with Vox that is a uniquely offputting experience. Since few if any of the regulars get the full condescending ban-hammer threatening insult-artist extraordinaire Vox Day experience, you should be wary of circle-jerking yourselves for "surviving" in a forum where most of you mostly agree with each other most of the time.

I'm guessing you haven't been engaged in the comments here for very long, otherwise you would know that's an inaccurate assessment. When I first came to VP a few years ago, I got whacked with the Vox stick a few times. I learned how to sharpen my arguments and (in most cases) think before commenting. Consider that a fair portion of the regulars similarly survived the Vox experience early on and learned something from it, and that's why they're still here.

Anonymous Josh December 10, 2012 11:14 PM  

I see you are not overly fond of your viscera, mortal.

Eh, if you are who you say you are, my King has infinitely greater power than you can fathom. I am unafraid, His blood covers me, and His angels stand ready. You cannot torment that which has not been given over to you.

Blogger stareatgoatsies December 10, 2012 11:17 PM  

Ooh, ze poor baby wabbit can't back up his assertions.... I back up mine. You can't back up yours, then obviously you can't play at my level.

Ridiculous. One guy you challenge to provide 269 example or retract (or get banned). You want three from me to cover a single claim. You're posturing as usual safe in the knowledge that you can shape the direction and outcome of the debate by demanding your facile questions get answers, ignoring any questions you dislike, and banning anyone who doesn't play along. Posturing for the peanut gallery and no more.


Oh, well, you're simply stupid then.
You're regressing. This is weak sauce.

Perhaps I was wrong. Let's find out.
That's easily achieved: read more carefully.

Perhaps I was wrong. Let's find out. Your position is that VP is simultaneously sycophantic and heterotopical?

No. I don't neither of those statements are my 'position'. If you want to know my position, read more carefully.

Its 4am in my time-zone so good-night.


You are basically claiming that Christ himself made a deductive error, which is utterly stupid.

It was the guy who said "So being angry with a brother is fine as long as you have cause." that made the error. You continue to miss the point.

Anonymous Tad December 10, 2012 11:21 PM  

@stickwick

Consider that a fair portion of the regulars similarly survived the Vox experience early on and learned something from it, and that's why they're still here.

Sort of a Sychophant-in-Training program?

The rules a blogger sets down for commenting really can't be disputed even if they can't find a way to set down those rules in less than 1000 words. They are his rules and that's that.

But trying to defend against the charge of followers piling on in a gleeful and caterwauling descent into chummyhood when it's pretty apparent that are chums are in the house, is just pathetic.

Still, rules are rules.

Anonymous Loki of Asgard December 10, 2012 11:38 PM  

Eh, if you are who you say you are, my King has infinitely greater power than you can fathom. I am unafraid, His blood covers me, and His angels stand ready. You cannot torment that which has not been given over to you.

Whether or not, I can toss you into a reindeer stampede on Christmas Eve. You can say you don't believe in Loki, but as for all the others, they'll believe.

Anonymous Loki of Asgard December 10, 2012 11:42 PM  

I knew it was a mistake to let my secretary play that horrid song in my hearing. Now to destroy her guitar.

The King of Midgard will not be a slave to an earworm.

Anonymous Josh December 10, 2012 11:50 PM  

Whether or not, I can toss you into a reindeer stampede on Christmas Eve.

That's the worst you can do?

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