Political discourse on The Comment Section

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Re: Political discourse on The Comment Section

Postby Crimson847 » Sun Aug 20, 2017 8:10 pm

I used to be a major fixture on another forum, many years ago when I was a teenager. It was called Teenspot. Don't bother Googling for it; it's gone, and this is my story of why.

When I first joined, the site was vibrant and growing. At one point it boasted a million users in total, though most just used the "profiles" section (our version of MySpace/Facebook) and private message system to cyber with other teenagers and/or pedophiles. The forums had a smaller number of people but was still large as forums go--a few hundred regulars at least, maybe as much as a thousand. It was a general-interest forum like TCS, with sections for various topics, and the politics and religion/philosophy sections had dozens of regular users from a wide variety of backgrounds and holding a wide variety of ideologies. We had some real red-blooded conservatives, some libertarians, a bunch of moderate liberals, some avowed communists or socialists, some of what would eventually be called "SJWs", and a few kooky folks who held real oddball views (one was a monarchist, for instance). It was the best environment for debating that I'd ever seen before or have ever seen since, with a fantastic variety of views.

All that debating had a gradual effect on all of us regulars. We all became more moderate in our views, and began to form areas of broad consensus on certain issues. First, we came to agree on a broad set of principles for how debating should be conducted--what level of vitriol was or wasn't acceptable, what sources were or weren't credible, and other such "meta" concerns. When we'd gotten to know each other well, we began to better understand our areas of strength and our areas of weakness, and learned to lean on each other to address the latter. For instance, at the time I was obsessed with drug policy and quickly became the forum's resident expert on the subject, while macroeconomics was always a weakness of mine and I quickly learned to rely on two users who were studying to become economists and understood the subject far better than I did. While we still differed substantially on the issues we debated, we were coming to agree more and more on what the process of debating should look like.

At first this shared consensus was relatively weak, but with time it became stronger, and slowly started to have an exclusionary effect: new users who didn't adapt quickly to our consensus started to be viewed with suspicion, then condescension, then eventually in some cases as outright threats to the community's cohesiveness. As regulars moderated their political opinions, we began to treat certain political positions in a similar way--for instance, once the onetime hard-line conservatives had abandoned their opposition to gay marriage and support for the "War on Drugs", and the leftists had abandoned their support or sympathy for communism or pure socialism, the forum's tolerance for these viewpoints declined dramatically. Our understanding of each others' strengths gradually began to create an effective hierarchy in many debates--for instance, questioning me on drug policy became something akin to heresy in the eyes of the forum, and the same was true of questioning our resident econ students (now in college majoring in the subject) on economics, questioning our resident American history buff on that subject, and so forth. The free-for-all that obtained in the early days was gone; we'd established a hierarchy, informal rules, and a clear and definite in-group.

At that point in my life I was much warmer and gentler than I am now, so when I turned 18 the site's owner asked me to join the staff as a moderator. Now feeling a sense of responsibility toward the site as a whole, I spent more time in other forums that weren't dedicated to debating "serious business" and found that the same basic thing was happening everywhere: in-groups and social hierarchies were forming and continually strengthening. Since all the moderators were selected from the user base, these social dynamics were exerting a strong, unconscious effect on us and by extension on our moderating. High-status users who were well-known were allowed to get away with more, because we were friendly with them and understood better where they were coming from. When a new user went off on somebody in a thread, the reaction was "this is clearly unacceptable". When a popular and well-known user did the same thing (especially to a "newb"), the reaction was more like "oh, that [username], such a character" or "well, they've been having a rough time lately, so we'll give it a pass this time". Without intending to, we were bending the rules to spare our friends and reinforce the existing hierarchy.

You might think that on a site explicitly dedicated to teenagers, this would eventually resolve itself as people age out and leave, creating room for new people to create a fresh, new culture. However, people didn't want to leave the comfortable environment they'd created. So, the owner amended the rules: you couldn't join if you were 20 or older, but preexisting users could remain until age 25. As the flow of new users slowed to a trickle, eventually the name "Teenspot" became a constant source of irony, since the average regular on the forums was now a college student. I suspect this further intimidated new users (who were generally in their mid-teens) and contributed to the forum's increasingly insular nature. Most users did leave the forum when they were done with college though, and many others left out of boredom or because their best friends had left. We weren't keeping enough new users to replace them, and consequently the forum slowly died, with the site finally becoming unprofitable and closing down about a year after I left.

I've seen this cycle happen in forum after forum. The first forum I ever joined (called Futazi) suffered a similar fate. PWOT bears the unmistakable signs of dying a similar death at some point in the past, only to be kept "alive" in a state of shambling undeath by the profitability of the rest of the site. TCS seems to be going through the same cycle as well: it appears to be deep into the second stage (hierarchy and calcification) at the moment, possibly nearing the third stage (slow decline and death), though it's hard to spot that one before it happens.


The lesson I took from Teenspot's self-destruction (as well as contemporaneous events in my own life) was to be extremely suspicious of groupthink and actively work to avoid being fully assimilated into any forum's in-group. The plan was to reserve forums for debating and get my social needs met elsewhere...theoretically. I don't think this is all that practical as a general solution to the problem, however, since I get the sense that most people on most forums (including TCS) aren't just there to debate, but to feel accepted, to make friends, and to have a place where they feel wanted and secure, precisely because they don't feel that way in real life. In the long term, that desire is very much in tension with the desire to treat everyone equally and remain open to new and threatening ideas or viewpoints, and I honestly don't know how to reconcile the two adequately within the same social context.


One other option that occurred to me as I was writing this was to embrace the cycle at least to some degree. All accumulations will eventually disperse, all meetings will eventually end in parting, and all births end in death--for forums just as much as for people. Despite the ignominious way they ended, I believe Teenspot's forums did the world a lot of good during their heyday (though I'm not sure the profiles section did...there were just so many pedophiles in there, you guys), and perhaps trying too hard to postpone the inevitable comes at too great a cost. This just occurred to me though, so I haven't had any time to figure out the consequences or how it would work in practice--it's just an idea that comes to mind.
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Re: Political discourse on The Comment Section

Postby Learned Nand » Mon Aug 21, 2017 5:16 am

I might be misunderstanding your model, Crimson, but it feels like TCS skipped phase 2 in that cycle. It could just be my memory failing me, but I'm having trouble recalling an issue over which there was major dispute, but on which we've since developed a consensus. Of course, we did start out with some consensuses. As an example, almost nobody here supported Trump at the beginning, and almost nobody here is sympathetic to him now. But I suppose even consensuses that were formed before phase 2 can still contribute to the decline in phase 3.

NoodleFox wrote:Can you understand how I feel?

I'm not generally the one to say this, but to some extent, yeah.

It might not be apparent given the threads that we've both participated in, but historically on this forum and others, I've usually been the gadfly. I'd tend to be the one expressing an unpopular opinion and defending it from attack on all sides. I didn't tend to lose friends this way, but that was mostly because it prevented me from gaining any in the first place. It's a relatively recent development that people will agree with me and disagree with me at similar rates. (A combination of factors contributed to that change; I changed my opinions a little, I changed how I express them a little, and people have probably just gotten used to me.)

I was pretty defensive when I first came to TCS because a previous forum I'd frequented was very hostile to dissent from their political orthodoxy. They weren't usually threatening or outright insulting, but would tend to respond to opinions they didn't like with harsh language, sarcasm, and contemptuous condescension. So, naturally, I read that into posts on TCS.

It really didn't help me. Despite certain areas of political consensus, TCS is actually a relatively open place. Short of advocating actual genocide, you aren't likely to be punished solely for expressing a view here. People will disagree with you at times, and often those people will make up a significant percentage of the active users on the forum, but that doesn't mean they're attacking you. If someone insults you, threatens you, or insists that you are arguing out of malice, then it doesn't matter what view you're expressing -- they're the ones misbehaving.

So at least on TCS (and probably in life in general), you'll want to give people the benefit of the doubt. If they actually are attacking or threatening you, that will quickly become apparent (and on this forum, you can report them to a moderator). But if they're not, and you assume they are, that is going to make the conversation hostile no matter what. As a bonus, it lowers your stress levels. It's no fun to be constantly worried about how other people are going to react. Just post, and if someone steps out of line, report them and ignore them.
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Re: Political discourse on The Comment Section

Postby Tesseracts » Tue Aug 22, 2017 10:30 pm

I don't fall on any predictable place on the political spectrum, there are times when people call me conservative and times when they call me liberal. I was much more frequently called conservative before 2015. Ever since Trump I have been considered liberal because I am very much against Trump. I am also strongly opposed to the alt-right in general which seems to be gaining increasing influence. I often vote libertarian, yet with the amount of libertarians who are weirdly sympathetic to the alt-right I feel very ambivalent about identifying myself as libertarian. I suppose I consider myself unaffiliated but very much left leaning on social issues. Basically I am not actually a liberal but I accept that I am shoehorned into that category because I'm fine with being whatever the opposite of alt-right is supposed to be on our ridiculous binary political system.

Much of this conversation has been about how we are too hostile to the minority of people on the right. However I have to say the hostility against the left is very real and oppressive. It wasn't an issue before Trump, but it certainly is an issue now. It's quite clear that many of our members do not take people seriously who they perceive to be on the "wrong side." This isn't an issue exclusive to any particular side, but I haven't seen anyone publicly call out ring wingers who behave like this so I'm calling it out right now. There is lots of prejudice and people who discuss the person who made the argument rather than the argument itself. This is basically what people are doing when they bring up irrelevant threads.

Not long ago I posted a Tweet I found of someone e-groveling at President Trump's e-feet because he is strong and brave enough to stare directly at the sun. In response I was told I "complain too much." Not that my reaction was incorrect or otherwise wrong. Instead they chose to attack my personality. Because I'm against Trump, anything I say about him isn't to be taken seriously because anything I say is "complaining."

This is only one example, but this kind of behavior has gotten very common lately. I am asked "why do liberals think this" as if I speak for a large swath of people I have never met and probably don't think similarly to at all. I frequently am stereotyped. Many are attacking personalities rather than actual arguments. On TCS we have a diverse array of opinons yet even here some people (on all sides) react with incredulity when they are challenged on their opinions. It's like they expect to only hear from people who agree with them. Often their expectations are met, I feel there is less actual debate than there used to be.

One of the solutions is people need to STOP bringing grudges from outside TCS to TCS. I am sick of arguing with complete strawmen. If you have a problem with people who act like this or people who say that, don't take out your frustrations on TCS members. If someone on TCS believes something you disagree with, say that, but don't say something ridiculous like "ugh I don't understand why all you people support antifa" in a discussion where antifa wasn't even mentioned.

Sometimes people think TCS has changed, but it's actually they who have changed. I've seen people drastically change their political stances, even become extremists. If you believe in unpopular opinions you have to take responsibility for that. It's not everyone else's fault we don't see things your way, and you can't expect everyone to instantly understand or agree with you.

I think the toxicity of the political environment in general is more of a problem than anything we are doing here. People go into any political conversation pre-loaded with expectations and are ready to be defensive before anything has been said. As others have pointed out being conditioned to expect hostility can be a problem on the internet in general but it is a problem in general right now.

I have never been a person who shies away from discussion or debate. In the Cracked comments I would intentionally get into vicious flame wars out of sheer boredom. Yet now I wish I was a lot MORE bored than I am. I am so tired of what politics is like now. Every time I post an opinion I preemptively wince at what I anticipate the response will be.

On a more positive note: I have been on a lot of internet communities. Overall I actually think we are doing quite well. Every other community I've been a part of would have devolved into a cliquish monstrosity by this point in it's history. TCS has always been open minded and supportive and it has remained that way. So while I think it's very much worth discussing what has changed for the worse, I think we need to remember where we have succeeded also.
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Re: Political discourse on The Comment Section

Postby cmsellers » Tue Aug 22, 2017 10:47 pm

I've become more comfortable calling myself libertarian since the election. Yes, I have a lot of problems with stereotypical libertarians, not least their weird sympathy many of them have to authoritarians ranging from the alt-right to Pinochet (though I had plenty of issues with them before this). But with the alt-right on the rise and leftists reacting to it by saying "we shouldn't give rights to people who want to take them away from us" (something that has been a sentiment on right among "law and order" types for a long time, I'll note), I feel like I need to emphasize the importance I place on individual liberty.

But yes, you're absolutely right that TCS has resisted devolving into the sort of cliquish cesspool that is PWOT. I think being a direct reaction to the anti-commentator sentiment on PWOT may play a part in that: TCS's founder pool is composed of people who cannot stand that sort of environment. However this also means that people are hypersensitive to anything that looks like PWOT to us, which is amplified in today's toxic political climate.
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Re: Political discourse on The Comment Section

Postby gisambards » Wed Aug 23, 2017 1:33 am

Something about this site that I think actually will make us much more understanding of conservatives than other similar majority liberal sites is that the majority of people here, both liberal and conservative, are either pretty moderate or have a range of beliefs that defy the spectrum, and in the increasing polarisation of politics I think it's people like that on both sides who are more likely to be attacked than anyone. I don't think it's only the conservative users here who have felt alienated by politics IRL or elsewhere online. I know many people here are liberals (or at least more liberal than not) in quite conservative areas, for example, and that must result in a bit of hostility. Similarly, some people will be moderate liberals but mostly know very left-wing people.

I'm in that boat, being mostly very liberal on social issues but having centrist economic views (which does matter a bit more in Europe, where socialism's a much bigger thing) and some opinions that are considered right-wing in a British context (supporting Israel, supporting British ownership of Gibraltar and the Falklands, having respect for Margaret Thatcher, etc.), and so IRL I've been accused of being an SJW by a few people but far more often a war-loving, poor-hating fascist by others (and this has gotten worse lately - a year or two ago, the response to expressing anti-socialist views from most socialists I know would have just been to imply I just don't know enough about the world and ignore me, but now they act like I'm a monster). I've not only lost friends for expressing moderate views, but in one case even made an enemy (a friend of my father's who seeks me out if we're both at a party to have a go at me for being, he feels, a racist homophobe who wants to kill the poor [which is what he thinks of everyone who doesn't vote for Labour, only he singles me out for reasons relating to my next point]). I think, as the polarisation increases and because I think things are even worse in the US right now, most people here who are open about their politics will be in a similar situation.

So I don't think conservatives here need to feel like the majority of people here don't get it. Because they probably do. Even if you think the people insulting you are just idiots - and honestly, if they're immediately choosing insult over debate it's probably because they are - it can still be very hurtful. I also know it's rough, in particular, to be accused of hating your own people because of your views (particularly when the people accusing you of this are not a member of the group they're accusing you of betraying). I can very much relate to Noodle being called a traitor for her views on gender, for example, because I can tell you SJWs think very little of accusing LGBT people who don't follow their orthodoxy of the same thing (it's this logic which is why my dad's friend hates me in particular - I'm not only LGBT but half working-class and have a regional accent, so I'm a traitor to all sorts of people), and at least according to my housemate, who's of Jamaican descent and also a moderate liberal, they're not above it with ethnic minorities either.

But this site really isn't like that at all. The vast majority of people, regardless of their politics, are reasonable. Sometimes things do get heated with regards to politics (sometimes with regards to things that aren't political at all), but that happens to nearly everyone and I think it's very rarely an indictment of that person's character, and certainly not of the forum's as a whole. Obviously this also gets worse when tensions are running high, and the severity of events will affect people's emotions and thus increase the risk of hostility - I think a major part of why the Charlottesville thread got so heated was because the car attack was still prominent in a lot of people's minds and that sort of thing makes people much more likely to be, without realising it, looking for somewhere to vent the anger something like that causes. The vast majority of people here won't treat you like an idiot - and certainly not like you're an immoral person - because your beliefs are against the site's orthodoxy. There are definitely a few users who could stand to try to be more respectful of others (in a couple of cases a lot harder), but there are examples of this across the spectrum. For the most part, this really isn't somewhere where I think people will generally be met with genuine hostility from multiple users for their beliefs, and while that is woefully - and increasingly - rare online (and, even more woefully, IRL), I think it does reflect well on this forum.
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Re: Political discourse on The Comment Section

Postby Dr. Ambiguous » Wed Aug 23, 2017 1:47 pm

sunglasses wrote:He's around. If you post in the metal thread you summon him. Especially if you say that your favorite band ever is Pantera. It's like magic. He'll come and tell you that Pantera is incredibly overrated and give you a bullet point presentation on it.

Disclaimer: I actually like his breakdowns of music even if I think he's a bit harsh on Pantera.

Jesus fuck, sunny, this is why I advocate censorship. Some people like Pantera, but they're just wrong, and we don't need them spreading lies. Okay, so...

1). Exhorder
2). Chuga-chuga-chug
3). Responsible for butt rock
4). 5 Minutes Alone is 6 minutes long. That's just not cool.
5). Panterrible

So yeah, I'm still around, just a lot busier with life in general; as evidenced by responding 4 days later. That's the main reason I'm not on the forum as much nowadays (happy now, Marc)? I'm still around on IRC, and at least check by the forum almost daily, though I usually don't read a thread unless it's posted about in the mod forum. I'm still reachable by PM if needed, and will usually get back within 24 hours. Hopefully I'll get back to posting more often again, or at least blathering into the void about metal. Seriously, this has been a good year for death metal. Or just post about Pantera, that's my trigger.

ANYWAY, since this isn't really about me, much as I like to be the center of attention, the political atmosphere hasn't driven me away from the site, but I'd be lying if I said it doesn't cause me to avoid or quickly skim most CAASS threads. And no, it's not cause of the way conservatives are treated here or anything, I'm pretty liberal and left leaning, probably by TCS standards even. 'Sides, I'm used to being the minority opinion in meatspace, where I'm often treated like 2013 aviel during arguments. Yes avi, I'm referring to you by your years. For people who weren't here back then, avi was basically still avi, except he pissed more people off doing his thing, partly cause he was a bit more blunt, but mostly I think people here just got used to him. Fuck you avi, I'm not grabbing you a damn source for that last sentence. Point being, much like the Earth, I'm the center of the TCS solar system, so we're gonna talk about me again anyway. Or that I get that it's frustrating to be the sole voice on your side of the aisle.

Which brings me to the point at hand finally, I do feel there is a problem with the political discourse on TCS of late. True, I'd say it's still far better than most of the 'net, but it really doesn't feel the same to me as it did in the early days of TCS. Yeah, part of that is probably rose colored glasses and me changing with time, but CAASS did used to be more heavily moderated. I really loved early TCS CAASS threads for it's diversity of well-reasoned opinions. We still have diversity, and some pretty well-reasoned opinions, but maaaaan, do we have a lot of shit posting too.

There's a lot of sniping and just criticizing people's character instead of their argument, neither of which have any place in CAASS. And the reaction memes? I wanna lock the damn thread every time I see one. (That's not how TCS moderates, just how I'd prefer to moderate. I should probably mention that this entire post is my personal opinion, not TCS or mod policy). The one liners, the trolling, the flame baiting, all that shit needs to go, flush it down. If you can't write a reasoned, civil, preferably sourced post in response to someone's argument, then don't bother posting.

Seriously, if you think someone is trolling, either assume good faith and respond as such, or ignore them. If they're in good faith, then you can have an actual, productive discussion, and the rest of the site can benefit by reading/partaking in it. If they're a troll, then don't feed them, they win every time, and it just brings down the quality of the thread, and everyone else has to read/scroll past it. Know what posts I scroll past as fast as I can? One liners and gifs in CAASS. Know what ones I read? Walls of text, especially if it's got sources, which I also try to read. (Time allowing obviously, which is a lot more limited lately). If someone is out of line or breaking a forum rule, take it to the mods instead of sniping and shit. Click the report button on their post, it flags the post for every single mod to see. I may not post here much, but I still partake in every mod decision that's brought to my attention. Sometimes it takes us a bit to discuss and decide on something, but we will look at it.

If you want specific rules for your thread, post them in the OP. As long as they're within reason, we (the mods) will treat them as the rules of the thread. If they aren't reasonable, then we'll tell you. Saying "no reaction memes" in a thread about a current event is reasonable, saying "no sniping or flaming" is something we already mod anyway, saying "no conservatives" is not.

We want diverse viewpoints here, we just want people to be civil and respectful about it. Every side here is guilty about breaking that, and going forward every side is responsible for adhering to that. No-one is saying we have to all agree and be a happy hugbox of tolerance, but you can be polite when saying "you're wrong." (Saying it more tactfully than that helps). If you're making a thread, set the tone for the discussion in the OP and thread title. I've bitched about this before, but inflammatory titles ("Trump makes an even BIGGER asshole of himself" for example) set the tone for an inflammatory thread, and it doesn't encourage productive discussion from differing viewpoints. What Trump supporter is gonna wanna post in that thread? Make a thread about Trump, argue about him, criticize him all you want, same with Hillary or Obama or whoever, just set it up to be productive if it's in CAASS. Your OP should set the tone for the discussion. Don't link dump, tell us about the link, give us your thoughts on it, but please avoid "idiot politician wants to do something." It just sets a hostile tone for the thread, especially if we have members who agree with said politician (which has happened before here, probably a lot). We have smart people here, many of us disagree on lots of shit, but fuck, we should be able to debate it better than we have been lately.

So that's been my cranky ramblings on this topic, and probably not even entirely focused. But whatever, y'all should thumb me and make the one person who disagrees feel bad. Or make me that one person. Whichever.
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Re: Political discourse on The Comment Section

Postby Marcuse » Wed Aug 23, 2017 2:39 pm

(happy now, Marc)?


Not when you put the question mark outside the brackets. Jeez.

*continues listening to Illud Divinum Insanus remixes*

Also, I concur on the issue of shitposting and sniping being pointless and bad for the threads in CAASS.

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Re: Political discourse on The Comment Section

Postby Learned Nand » Wed Aug 23, 2017 9:13 pm

Dr. Ambiguous wrote: 'Sides, I'm used to being the minority opinion in meatspace, where I'm often treated like 2013 aviel during arguments. Yes avi, I'm referring to you by your years.

Real fans know that I did my best work in the 90's. Frankly, it's been all downhill since then.
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Re: Political discourse on The Comment Section

Postby Krashlia » Thu Aug 24, 2017 3:44 pm

http://www.resilience.org/stories/2014- ... r-america/

(dark circles around wide eyes, pale faced) Fred Halliot 2020! Vote for progress and power to the people!
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Re: Political discourse on The Comment Section

Postby Marcuse » Thu Aug 24, 2017 4:57 pm

Krashlia wrote:http://www.resilience.org/stories/2014-02-27/fascism-and-the-future-part-three-weimar-america/

(dark circles around wide eyes, pale faced) Fred Halliot 2020! Vote for progress and power to the people!


I...don't know why that's relevant to this thread. It's a really ham-fisted comparison between the US right now and Weimar Germany. Of course it leaves out all the inconvenient things like communist agitation, hyperinflation and the treaty of fucking Versailles. The general point that fascism is probably worse than even a dysfunctional democracy is reasonable, but I don't know what relevance that has to do with the tone of debate on TCS.
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Re: Political discourse on The Comment Section

Postby sunglasses » Thu Aug 24, 2017 6:58 pm

He also posted it in another thread, so I'm rather wondering if it was a mistaken post.

But, I haven't clicked it as I'm wary of clicking things at my totally not work computer when I'm not 100% sure of the site.
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Re: Political discourse on The Comment Section

Postby Krashlia » Thu Aug 24, 2017 10:10 pm

Marcuse wrote:
I...don't know why that's relevant to this thread. It's a really ham-fisted comparison between the US right now and Weimar Germany. Of course it leaves out all the inconvenient things like communist agitation, hyperinflation and the treaty of fucking Versailles. The general point that fascism is probably worse than even a dysfunctional democracy is reasonable, but I don't know what relevance that has to do with the tone of debate on TCS.


You'd have to check out the previous two to get it. It was made in 2014, and The general theme is rather apocalyptic, with concerns about the outcomes and future of politics in industrial societies and dysfucntional governments. The previous two are about the actual origins of the term fascist (and the names of our current political-alignments and the thinking that accompanied them), what its implications and connotations really were wherever it manifested, and the political alignments and interests of pre-Cold war western world.

What does it have to do with the tone? Our thinking, your honor.
The names and language we make use of bear connotations that affect how we think of the issues its involved in. So long as we hear "Devil" when we hear "Fascist" or hear "Serpent" when we hear "Communist" we'll never truly understand them or know why that is or how they've touched us....

Although, I was better off not posting it in two different places. One of which for relevance (this one. I thought it would be helpful and interesting.), The other for fun (BAI is basically a giant TCS s**t-post thread)
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Re: Harvey Weinstein and Victim Blaming

Postby Crimson847 » Sat Nov 11, 2017 11:16 pm

Alright. This post is from the alt-right pedophilia thread, but I'm responding to it here because the event discussed occurred in this thread.

gisambards wrote:
Crimson847 wrote:Regarding the bolded: I suspect getting dismissed as a self-deluded homophobe and having her sincerity and presumed motives attacked by an admin may have had something to do with it as well.

It is deeply insulting that I have been unable to challenge any of Noodle's repeated disgusting accusations aimed towards LGBT people without you telling me off for "shaming her as a bigot" or "dismissing her as a self-deluded homophobe" - both of which are massive exaggerations. I was not unreasonable in either of those cases, and I am not going to stop challenging beliefs I think are genuinely prejudiced just for the sake of not wanting to hurt the other person's feelings.


If you don't care about respecting the feelings of someone who says bigoted things, then why do you care if I say you didn't do so? If it was never your goal to be nice to such a person then why does it matter to you if I say you weren't?

Frankly, if you want to strike back at someone who's hurt you, that's your decision and your prerogative. That's why I asked this question in the first place rather than just launching into a lecture:

Crimson847 wrote:
gisambards wrote:Frankly, I fail to understand how anyone here could have been any more civil in this particular instance, and so I really don't see why any member of this forum should apologise. Noodle cannot claim to have been dogpiled on, nor treated uncivilly.


Okay then, do you want to?


If you want to be as civil as possible toward people even when they're being deeply uncivil toward you, then I have ideas about how that goal could be furthered. By contrast, if being nice and welcoming to someone who's acting like that isn't a big priority for you, then you have no reason to care about those ideas and I have no reason to lecture you about something you don't care about. Hence the question: do you want to know how you could have been more civil, or do you believe a degree of incivility was perfectly fine in this case?

That was neither a rhetorical question nor a trick question; I simply wanted to know. If you don't care, then there's nothing more for me to say. If you do, then that's a different story.
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"If it were all so simple! If only there were evil people somewhere insidiously committing evil deeds, and it were necessary only to separate them from the rest of us and destroy them; but the line dividing good and evil cuts through the heart of every human being. And who is willing to destroy a piece of his own heart?"
- Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn
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Re: Harvey Weinstein and Victim Blaming

Postby gisambards » Sun Nov 12, 2017 12:01 am

Crimson847 wrote:If you don't care about respecting the feelings of someone who says bigoted things, then why do you care if I say you didn't do so? If it was never your goal to be nice to such a person then why does it matter to you if I say you weren't?

Frankly, if you want to strike back at someone who's hurt you, that's your decision and your prerogative.


I don't not care about respecting the feelings of someone who says bigoted things, but I'm not going to prioritise their feelings over my right to challenge those statements. The problem is your dismissal of my challenging those statements as being nothing but overly emotional attacks on their character, as seen by your referring to me challenging her opinions as "shaming her as a bigot" or "dismissing her as a self-deluded homophobe" or "striking back at someone who's hurt me" - all of which imply irrationality and make it sound as if all I was doing was insulting someone because they said things I don't like, and this is very insulting. As I have said, I am not going to stop challenging beliefs I think are genuinely prejudiced just for the sake of not wanting to hurt the other person's feelings, and I don't think this is a remotely irrational outlook - quite the opposite, actually. As I mentioned in the other thread, I think all that would be accomplished by a forum bending itself over backwards to accommodate members who are consistently rude and bigoted would be to make that forum no longer welcoming to those they are rude and bigoted towards - and if it has to be a choice I don't see any reason to prioritise the first group over the second.
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Re: Political discourse on The Comment Section

Postby DamianaRaven » Sun Nov 12, 2017 12:46 am

iMURDAu wrote:Too bad we can't give exit interviews to people who have posted more than ten times or lurked longer than a couple weeks. Mmmaybe it's good though because our feelings would probably get trampled and danced on.


People who leave a community that they've been a part of for months/years don't usually do so without some hurt feelings of their own. Right or wrong, everyone has feelings.
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