Discussion in 'Site Feedback' started by dumbest man on earth, Jun 16, 2020.
Argumentum Ad Nauseam
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You're aware, of course, that efforts to accommodate you, over time, in the name of not suppressing free speech, contributed significantly to people's perception that they can behave poorly.
Don't think it's all on you. One of my allegedly "evidence-focused" colleagues is reconsidering the propriety of evidence for the sake of sympathetic politics. To the one, that's not unheard of; to the other, it's not unexpected. Think back over your nine years, and remember how much shit you took, even and especially from staff, about rational discourse. Turns out that was all just a front. Moderators didn't find out for a while, and it's never been explicitly conceded.
When it comes to bullying, raising bullies sometimes appears to be part of what Sciforums does.
Sad thing is, for well over a decade, now, all that really needed to happen was someone in charge acknowledging what was really going on. Watching people complain about the Fringe subforums, or reminding the importance of evidence to support claims, is something of a sick joke, these days. Or witnessing ostensibly intelligent people freak out and empower what can be left reasonably alone, simply in order to have a fight.
I mean, imagine this, and consider other people, too, and the number of times, and if we consider, say, Wegs' point↑ about writing, reading, and perception—hardly unfamiliar at Sciforums—as well as Paddoboy's mention of a science forum↑, which Sciforums isn't, but how many times over the period did people think they were being bullied because someone told them they couldn't be irrational and vicious? How many times were people offended because moderators were expected to address problems in threads, and the infraction system winnowed down to a jury of one? And now, imagine if someone had bothered to send the memo to the staff, explicitly declaring questions of rational discourse or a science site dead. Consider five to ten years worth of people being frustrated and upset by being called out for being irrational and vicious, when certain forms of vicious irrationality do in fact appear to be what the Administration sought to cultivate.
Meanwhile, I think back on old societal complaints against "political correctness", and the more recent buzz about "snowflakes", and wonder at some definitions of what passes for "religious bullies"↑ that read more like personal politics. These days, with actual standards of rational discourse being anathema↗ at Sciforums↗, certain complaints are nearly stories unto themselves. Once upon a time, the idea that someone would skip out on answering an argument, yet return later to their contested point without ever addressing the counterargument, was problematic behavior; these days, not so much—it really is as simple as the political aesthetics of who is behaving how. What loads up the irony is how certain ostensibly factual, objective, enlightened, and righteous rationality now needs to promote its own manner of crackpottery in order to sustain its critique.
Try it this way: Once upon a time the question arose as to what the staff were trying to achieve. One of the answers from the Administration was that we wanted a science site, but fair. And taken in good faith, according to what ought to seem a fairly obvious reading, that's part of what I mean about someone in charge acknowledging what was really going on. I can think of any number of policy disputes we could have skipped among the staff, and any number of rows with members, had we actually been told. And it's one thing to say I can imagine some supremacists feeling bullied because they didn't expect to have to face certain resistance, but there are probably more than a few people, over the years, unnecessarily alienated by the circumstance.
Okay, now, let's try another reading: A science site, but fair. It was literally in recent weeks that the obvious question finally struck: How is a science site inherently unfair?
And it feels at once like both a stupid question and a bizarre epiphany: Of every unbelievable thing I have witnessed, here, systematic or at least cultic subversion of validity and reliability would not be the most absurd phenomenon I might propose. Because if I rewind in my memory, and try the last nearly fifteen years according to the presupposition that a science site—i.e., invested in rational syntheses of reliable and valid information—is somehow inherently unfair, certain patterns of throwing bones to the disgruntled, and bizarre circumstantial outcomes whereby the tacit preferred option is to leave particular infamies to stand without disruption, a certain amount of what has gone on makes a certain amount of sense. And there is an example—which I admit reads as inherently confusing, but that's actually part of the problem it represents—whereby we must guard against the slippery slope by allowing infinite reiteration of the unsupported and apparently insupportable.
And all that is what it is, and, y'know, whatever, except for the amount even the beneficiaries of all this can be found complaining about the state of things. Inasmuch as we see essentially inevitable results of circumstance, this is, to a certain degree, how things are supposed to be; that is, prevailing outcomes over the years have built these results.
It's a long story, and it really is fascinating; and we could, in fact, have a nice place to discuss things, which some once pretended to want; some of us were even charged with the responsibility of trying to maintain such an environment. But it's not what people really wanted.
What you see is what they prefer. Or, at least, the prevailing outcome. And there are plenty of recent examples of how it runs awry, even such that those who seem to want it a certain way complain when they get what they want.
It's not even a Prisoner's Dilemma; if there is a right or wrong answer, certain argumentative ranges ought to be able to concede the fact of attending a wrong answer when they do because their underlying pretense is to find the right one.
There is a lot of bullyish truculence going on. Sciforums has always been something of a rough room, and there is, in life, the Universe, and even human society, a rational notion of how things go, so there is an observable sort of right and wrong, because some things are harder to justify rationally than others. My sympathy for certain otherwise righteous arguments ostensibly tending toward the proverbial right side of history wanes when it is expected to attend fallacy. The fact of a rough room does not license irrationality, and certainly not cruelty.
No matter how we parse ranges of violence, no comparative survey of a particular range will hold all violence to be the same. This ought to be an easy enough distinction in the case of physical violence, when there is an aggressor and defender.
And we needn't hew to the word violence when we turn to conduct of rhetoric, but inasmuch as someone might attack science or truth or reputation, there is are least abstract distinctions: At Sciforums, if reality stings, there have always been those for whom the comparative is the sting, not the reality, which in turn is not a functional basis for pretending the role of aggrieved defender against unfair aggression.
But if you ever want the problem distilled, there is a thread sometime in the Religion subforum, in which an atheist discusses envy of theists. And it includes some of the stuff you would expect; faith can provide a shield against fear, and tales of a righteous and eternal reward can certainly offer comfort in hard times. But that isn't what the atheist envied. Rather, the envy was of having something to weaponize and wield against others with such moral comfort. You know, that sick satisfaction you can see some people take when, cornered, it is enough to recognize that at least they are saved, while another isn't. It wasn't the comfort of faith, but the very poison and corruption and failure opponents complain about, that our neighbor envied.
Have you ever watched a fight, and there is a right and wrong, but not even the person who is right is a good guy? If you let yourself notice how much of that goes on around here, it's easy to wonder if something is going on.
I recently watched a particular anime, and it's awful, but, sure, I'm waiting for the next season, anyway; I hate to leave a story like that unfinished. I might even put myself through the live-action version, just for the masochistic exercise. But it's about gambling. And it's effed up, such that I think the first "real" gambling game we see is actually fixed. To the other, I'll skip the compulsive gambling joke. There is, however, an episode in which all the players need to do is not compete against each other, but take down the house; naturally, the gamblers cannot manage to do so until absolutely cornered.
That's not just the way cheap television scripts work; they're not wrong.
Meanwhile, in the cacophony of bullyish truculence, most people seem to think they're victims. And though some people, by default, are not victims at the outset, because they have the bully influence or even majority, it is still possible to bully them. We need not feel sorry for them, but vendetta is as vendetta will; an eye for an eye leaves everybody blind, and many days it is enough to simply take note of those who would be righteous save for their ever more anxious need for the infliction of vendetta.
As you know Tiassa, I have had my own disagreements with a couple of mods here, and I'm sure to this day I was in the right. In fact it is proven to me everyday in everyday conversations with service people. That's over and done with now, as you well know and did finish not exactly the same way as mentioned. But I bit my tongue and did not comment. That disagreement was not in the sciences, but more political correctness and changing standards as far as everyday life is concerned.
Am I happy with what is happening here? Not really, and as I have mentioned to you before, my beef with believers, only surfaces when they start the derision of science.
Is it human nature, to argue/dispute/ disagree/bully anyone with opinions diametrically opposed to your own?
Let me answer that by observing the conversation/debate/questioning/answers etc, in the science sections, and/or with many of the threads that I start. Mostly new science, new discoveries,etc, with sometimes one or two comments that they stagnate.
Then compare that to what is happening now in the politics and religious threads.
I don't believe I'm a bully, and I certainly do not tolerate anyone bullying me or mine, as I illustrated in a couple of accounts in my life.
Anyway nice post, bit lengthy but OK.
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Let me get this straight, Tiassa :
My Posting an average of 1.014218 Posts Per Day over the 3,165 days(8 years 8 months) that I have been a Member of this Forum has "contributed significantly to people's perception that they can behave poorly"?
May I inquire, Tiassa, did accommodating a Member that Posted an average of 10.023971 Posts Per Day over the 2503 days(6 years 10 months) that they have been a member of this Forum "contribute" in any way at all "to people's perception that they can behave poorly"?
Or, Tiassa, do you propose that it was the significant contribution of mainly my 1.014218 Posts Per Day that made that Member Post those 10.023971 Posts Per Day exhibiting that poor behaviour?
Tiassa, if I am the significant contribting cause of Members exhibiting such poor behaviour in their Posts, then shouldn't I have already been Permanently Banned?
Indeed, shouldn't I be Permantly Banned immediately so that this Forum can once more become the sole shining example of a Forum that completely adheres to the furtherance of True Real Science and the Full Practice of The Scientific Method across all of the World Wide Web?
Afterall, Tiassa, haven't all of those 10.023971 Posts Per Day been Posted by that Member solely in the interest Promoting True Real Science and the Full Time Practice of The Scientific Method?
Tiassa, this is addressed to you, by the way. Please Register or Log in to view the hidden image!
Thank you, exchemist, for your immeasurable assistance in pointing out to Tiassa that my Post was addressed to Tiassa.
Your assistance is surely appreciated by a great many Members of this Forum, and not just by me.
Again, exchemist, Thank You.
Patience patience. Don't eat all the popcorn before the film starts.Please Register or Log in to view the hidden image!
You guys are bad.
Yet, I may end up actually reading one of Tiassa's posts in entirety this time. Please Register or Log in to view the hidden image!
Well, then at least in some small way something will have came of this Thread...
Mind you, Beer w/Straw, there is no guarantee that that something will be a positive!
Well, it comes with being me, so to speak.
He makes his own example.
It's actually kind of funny who needs to be reminded of what. It's also kind of sad. Like this:
Would we have needed to escalate to permanent banning? That is, consider his question:
Tiassa: … efforts to accommodate you, over time, in the name of not suppressing free speech, contributed significantly to people's perception that they can behave poorly.
DMoE: Tiassa, if I am the significant contribting cause of Members exhibiting such poor behaviour in their Posts, then shouldn't I have already been Permanently Banned?
I mean, he did call himself "Dumbest Man on Earth", so we ought not be surprised if he doesn't know what the phrase "efforts to accommodate" means.
Meanwhile, he can try providing examples of his "10.023971 Posts Per Day ... solely in the interest Promoting True Real Science and the Full Time Practice of The Scientific Method." Because as I look through staff notes, a discussion from 2013 stands out, in which we considered a performance rife with the appearance anti-Semitism, and I even documented a basic troll formula:
(1) Say something stupid.
(2) Take personal offense to the response.
(3) Now this thread is about me.
That one is still in somewhat frequent use, around here, but the occasion had me recalling the third season of Family Guy, and the commentary on the network's objection to jokes about Jewish people. It was a weird standard, as Seth MacFarlane explained, because FOX didn't have anything to say about trashing Catholics. Still, the point of the Jew jokes was straightforward: The presence of anti-Semitic jokes in the script was only an endorsement of anti-Semitism if you believed Peter Griffin an admirable sort. He's not. He's the Dumbest Man on Earth. And how he behaves is part of that joke. His actions are not to be admired. And our own DMoE was playing the routine poorly. The reference point offered up by one of my colleagues—a discussion about Syria↗—is also where I landed with a rough search before scrolling through enough of the staff discussion to find the link; same page↗, even. But his Jewish media conspiracism entered the thread over a week before↗
He's not quite sealioning, in that old episode, but the term had yet to be coined. In the moment, looking back, there's actually a lot going on in that thread nearly seven years ago, but it's true, time and experience have justified certain skepticism about the behavior; at the time, staff concerns about this manner of conduct were not persuasive enough to even move forward toward figuring out what to do about it. We got distracted by the difference between attacking the idea instead of the person; something or other always pushes aside discussions of what to do about problematic behavior. These days, I can watch another member play DMoE's sort of game with white supremacism, albeit with a pretense of being even dumber.
At some point, our application of the principle of charity insisted despite pretty obvious evidence to the other, but those are obscure and occulted details. Time and circumstance, history and hindsight, tell us a lot of what we saw really was what it looked like. Like I told DMoE↑, it's not all on him. There are a lot of people who have behaved in pretty apparent ways, and among these behavioral ranges they are, in fact, easily offended by challenge. And there has, over the years, been enough concern on behalf of this behavior that has remained functionally permissible; one really must screw up particularly. The same thing I said to my colleagues, back then, holds true now: It's not really about banning people, but that only begs the question of what to do. This time later, that question remains largely unaddressed.
And, as I told DMoE, there remains a question of how a science site would be inherently unfair. The ban cycle, through basic infraction, takes something like fifty-five days, to achieve permanent dismissal, and can be cut to about twenty-five under extraordinary circumstances. The common objection to figuring out to do about problematic behavior is the proposition of suppressing political views, and over time, this counterpoint really does seem to view behavior and political views as inseparably intertwined.
And there you have it. If, given that many chances, someone behaves incorrigibly, what do we do? Because here is how it works out that a science site is inherently unfair: Some arguments are harder to justify according to rational assessment of evidence than others. If an advocate is unable to achieve that argument, should people be allowed to recycle identifiable irrationality in lieu of rational discourse? Reading through DMoE's Jewish media conspiracism can demonstrate the point: Discussing Jewish representation in "media" is not inherently inappropriate discourse, but what, really, do people want to discuss? The same old anti-Semitic crackpottery? I'm not at all surprised, these years later, to find people pushing typal white supremacist tropes in a similar manner. The one thing we wouldn't want to be seen doing, apparently, is "silencing" people by requiring some manner of rational argument. Of course, how do we require them? At the end of the line, of course, are permanent potentials, but the question of what goes on in between merely exists.
What does such policy abstraction mean? It means people are supposed to hash and thrash it out in the threads. And if I say fallacious and provocative behavior is protected in particular cases for the sake of particular aesthetics, that's not absolute or even explicit; rather, it's what is left after all this time.
And if we add in infinite reiteration to guard against the slippery slope of tyranny, what makes it hard to describe is how straightforward it is. If, in Argument 1, we reject Presupposition A for being observably false, that ought not in itself silence Argument 1. Moreover, rejecting Presupposition A in Argument 1 ought not in itself silence that other Argument 2, over there. And I know that sounds unbelievably simplistic, but that's how it goes and has been. Knowing, then, that particular fallacies are fair game for potentially infinite reiteration, you have to choose whether or not to engage the discussion. After all, fight tooth and nail to finally put this one to rest, and you still have to deal with the next typal advocate who wants to show up and go there anew as if they don't know the history of the question.
And it's true; as this goes on, many people cut to the chase, and in such an environment, someone, somewhere, is certain to feel bullied.
And how people feel is how people feel, there is a way things go; some of what people have to say is more or less supportable than others. It wasn't even two years ago, for instance, that someone decided to pitch particular identity tantrum, but did so in a manner that so fulfilled type it seemed merely an exercise in reciting the stations of his cross. Moreover, the timing was hilariously, awfully, absurdly apropos. Beyond that, though, it's easy enough to accept we were dealing with a real person in particular emotional distress, so the whole thing is kind of tragic. He made a point of behaving atrociously, yet it is easy enough to imagine the rejection his behavior met felt like bullying.
I can think of someone else who wanted to go with rape/DV surrogate masturbatory-fantasy temper tantrum as disruptive accelerant to an already heated and sparking discussion of sexual harassment and violence, and as that sort of deliberate, supremacist, abusive provocation is apparently okay under our rules—(I was actually surprised, that time)—you can only imagine the response he and another drew for that one felt rough. We haven't heard from him publicly in over eighteen months. It's true, though, as I look through his last few posts, they don't age well.
Over time, there are all sorts of stories about people who feel poorly treated but require a blithely ignorant narrative unbelievable for anyone so ostensibly concerned about a given subject.
It's nearly seven years later, but it's true, accommodating DMoE's performance with the Jewish media conspiracy tinfoil is an example of what people can find here contributing to beliefs that it's okay to behave poorly. And some people crashed on for problematic behavior will, indeed, feel bullied.
Compared to what has gone on since, though, that old episode feels nearly rudimentary.
Not sure about all of this but your "troll formula" seems to me to contain a real insight. Please Register or Log in to view the hidden image!
In reference to my username, I have explained repeatedly that the "dumbest" part has to do with being born with a Congenital Birth Defect affecting my ability to speak - the "dumb" in what used to be referred to as "Deaf and Dumb".
I have only averaged 1.014218 Posts Per Day over the 3,165 days(8 years 8 months) that I have been a Member of this Forum.
Actually reading and fully considering my Post might aid in forming a sensible response
Oddly enough, Tiassa, that Member that has averaged 10.023971 Posts Per Day ... solely in the interest Promoting True Real Science and the Full Time Practice of The Scientific Method, has repeatedly Posted attacks and insults towards me concerning my Congenital Birth Defect.
See Post #211 , Post #216 , Post #299 , and Post #315 of http://www.sciforums.com/threads/are-we-made-in-gods-image.163113/page-11#post-3639363 , for just a few of them
Surely just a coicidence, though.
The remainder of your Post does not Merit any response.
Do it for your fans.
You get in there and FIGHT! Please Register or Log in to view the hidden image!Please Register or Log in to view the hidden image!
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Plus I got mired up in trying to understand how Family Guy relates to you.
It doesn't relate to me in any way, Beer w/Straw.
So there is nothing to understand.
just another one of the little bullies validating their miserable existence?
I'm sorry to have missed it:
• Been reading posts for a while now and finally registered to post! I honestly have to say that I am surprised at the responses to this thread! Being as Dumb as I am, the first thing I did was look at the pictures - they did not appear empty to me! Seemed to get a lot thinking going on in smarter people though! (Oct., 2011↗)
• I know I'm DUMB and probably more than a little foolish, but should I be worried about a power outage,virus, malware or someone spilling coffee on a keyboard or something like that? Even being as dumb as i am (obviously!!), I have learned to accept help from the really smart people that I've met and would like to feel comfortable knowing that a computer glitch somewhere out there would not have me waking up tomorrow an old Bic pen, a stripped lug nut or a mosquito or something like that. You have a lot of posts, so maybe you could help me make some sense of this. Only a couple billion other things scare the HECK out of me on daily basis (I live in United States), but one less would be weight off of my shoulders! Hope you will not mind helping one of us little people out! (Dec., 2011↗)
• I can tell you for sure that it is not so easy a life being Dumb as I am - so I can only imagine it must be hundreds of thousands of times harder being truly intelligent like you. (Dec., 2011↗)
• But heck, even as dumb as I am - I understand ; It's all my fault!! (Dec., 2011↗)
• Virtual Sheeple...HOPEFULLY will ALWAYS ACCEPT me as The Dumbest Man On Earth!!
My virtual identity is, I HOPE, Dumb enough to BET MY VIRTUAL LIFE SAVINGS that the majority of posters on this forum DO NOT, let me repeat DO NOT have a facebook page !!!!!!!
ERGO; being that I am indeed the Dumbest Man On Earth.... NOT ONE OTHER SINGLE POSTER ON THIS SITE SHOULD MISCONSTRUE MY MEANING!!! (July, 2012↗)
• Sorry, but my moniker forces me to post these dumb thinks. (July, 2012↗)
• First off, I must confess to being The Dumbest Man On Earth, so therefore I must confess that I can follow all that you are saying - but can only understand about 00.0000003% of it! (Aug., 2012↗)
• I do not care if you get back to me or let me know what you think of this above - because, even as DUMB as I am, I am still leaning toward casting my ballot for CESSPOOL MATERIAL. (Aug., 2012↗)
• BTW, do not let my user name dissuade you - most operating systems are designed so that even people as dumb as myself can use them. Heck I've even heard tell (hearsay evidence, mind you) that computers are used by Lawyers, Policemen, Car Salesmen, Politicians, Churches, Corporations, CEO's, Governments, Sheople... (Aug., 2012↗)
• Of course it was Dumb. I, the Dumbest Man on Earth, posted it. (July, 2013↗)
• Now, back to my "Dumb Theory", I think it only fair at this point, to tell you that my favorite flavor of "Kool-Aid" is Grape - though when I am feeling really Randy or Wild and Crazy, I prefer to Guzzle Copious amounts of the Lime flavor. (July, 2013↗)
• Geez, I read post #6 and by the time I was able to organize my thoughts and get them typed (hunt and peck), and then re-read them for spelling or grammar - 5 more posts got in front of me
I am slow and old in addition to being Dumb. (July, 2013↗)
• Would my being "high" or not when I wrote it make it any more "coherent" to you? Is it common for people to get "high" and try to have a meaningful conversation? (July, 2013↗)
• I only brought up Wal-Mart because, to me at least, it does not seem to be the place that I would find the CEO of a major corporation shopping at on a regular basis - but alas being as dumb as I am - I am often wrong, also. (July, 2013↗)
• … as I have stated numerous times in numerous threads, the meaning of "dumbest", as I use in my moniker, has nothing to do with intelligence or level of learning, education or even knowledge. From my involvement on SciForums, it could, probably, more accurately be defined as meaning "most cursed"! A quip!
I actually use "dumbest" as meaning - suffering the heavy restraints of values, morals, tenets, beliefs, principles and honesty. (August, 2013↗)
Those are the relevant uses of the word, "dumb", I found from your arrival, in October, 2011, through August, 2013; that last is worth taking a moment to consider. Between then, here are a couple occasions when you responded to people calling you dumb, as in ignorant, foolish, ridiculous, &c.:
• Perception. "One picture is worth a thousand words". Non-Queens English. Communication goes both ways. (Aug., 2013↗)
• Gee, I have only been reading the Posts on SciForums for maybe 5-6 years, and to me, it hasn't even made the move over into the turn lane for Dumb Street yet.
Of course, with my moniker...well...I...probably shouldn't... (Aug., 2013↗)
• Anyway they were saying science like words so I must have figured that I could look dumb less by Posting it to grab a...to grab a...well any way thanks for letting me know why I did that. (Jan., 2014↗)
• I am not as think as you Dumb I am. (June, 2014↗)
The earliest mention I find of congenital anomalies is July, 2014↗. And again some days later↗. There's kind of a gap, but the issue resurfaced yesterday↗, after you took a pass on the point earlier this week↗.
So, yeah. Sorry I missed it. Can't imagine how that happened. Let me know if I overlooked anything.
Of course not.
The [supremacist] has chosen hate because hate is a faith. At the outset he has chosen to devaluate words and reasons. How entirely at ease he feels as a result. How futile and frvolous discussions about the reality of his hatred appear to him. He has placed himself on other ground from the beginning. If out of courtesy he consents for someone to defend his point of view, he lends himself but does not give himself. He tries simply to project his intuitive certainty onto the plane of discourse. I mentioned awhile back some remarks by supremacists, all of them absurd: "I hate [them] because they make servants insubordinate, because [one of them] robbed me, etc." Never believe the supremacists are completely unaware of the absurdity of their replies. They know that their remarks are frivolous, open to challenge. But they are amusing themselves, for it is their adversary who is obliged to use words responsibly, since he believes in words. The supremacists have the right to play. They even like to play with discourse for, by giving ridiculous reasons, they discredit the seriousness of their interlocutors. They delight in acting in bad faith, since they seek not to persuade by sound argument but to indimidate and disconcert. If you press them too closely, they will abruptly fall silent, loftily indicating by some phrase that the time for argument is past. It is not that they are afraid of being convinced. They fear only to appear ridiculous or to prejudice by their embarrassment their hope of winning over some third person to their side.
(adapted from Sartre; boldface accent added)
Honestly, the irony that the above paragraph on supremacism is adapted from one on anti-Semitism ought to be irrelevant. Then again, here we are.
Sartre, Jean-Paul. Anti-Semite and Jew. 1944. New York: Schocken Books, 1995.
Maybe it's time for everyone to forget the past and resolve to be nice to each other in the future.
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