Sunday, August 13, 2017

As I (sort of) expected

What did I say after Trump more-or-less turned a Scout jamboree into a Trump Youth rally?:
Next up:  night time, fire torch lit rallies on the streets of some city or other..

OK, perhaps they weren't burning copies of the New York Times as I forecast, but there's no doubt they support Trump.  (Look at how few women you can spot in all the photos and videos of this event, too.  So far, I have spotted precisely one in that photo above.)

Trump is deservedly getting harsh attacks from all over the place for his woeful use of moral equivalence in response to the death of a counter protester at this white supremacist, neo Nazi rally (one at which, as many have noted, the participants nearly all feel confident enough of the political climate that they don't even worry about hiding their identity.)   The headline at this Slate piece sums it up well:

In Appalling Speech on Charlottesville, Trump Condemns Bigotry and Violence “On Many Sides”

Out of many noteworthy tweets, I'll post this one:

Meanwhile at Sinclair Davidson's Alt Right Supporter's blog, there's a hell of a lot of shrugging of shoulder's going on, and in fact it is only being discussed at all because monty brought it up.   Meanwhile Sinclair himself, showing his chronic moral immaturity (sorry, I can't read it any other way), shares a chuckle about nuclear threats to North Korea. 

Monty - trying to engage with the foolish and offensive is a losing strategy, and participation unavoidably gives the blog a sense of endorsement.  I, once again, think you are silly for appearing there at all.


not trampis said...

Those idiots do not seem to understand a couple of things.

NK can kill untold SKoreans through conventional weapons.

If NK is nuked they have already nuked someone else and caused a lot of dead.

There is NO defence against ICBMS.

no brains and no work ethic. Catallaxy at its 'best'

John said...

Go rile them up Monty. The more angry they get the worse it is for the Right. As I've said before, Catallaxy is strictly for screaming at the choir and anyone else within earshot will run for the hills. It is not at all surprising that no-one on the Right hails Catallaxy as an exemplar of all that is good within the Right.

Paul Montgomery said...

I think my post to Candy was the crux of it. If some of the Nazi-curious Cats read that and have second thoughts, I will have achieved something.

I just couldn't cop srr's arrogance. He deserved to have reality shoved up at him today.

Steve said...

monty, the mistake you are making is that you are dealing with a group of people who not only will never admit error (because they are continually arguing with 100% ideological conviction) but also bring no goodwill to a debate. And it's clear that many treat many people in real life that way too - look at the number of people on the blog who are divorced and make reference to having strained relationships with family over their political views, and to having previous bouts with depression. It is clear to anyone who has read the blog for a long time that many there have actual personality "issues". You can't productively argue, or even satisfyingly "win" any argument with people like that.

And as I have taken to arguing, the blog as a whole deserves to be condemned for providing an outlet for the obnoxious and offensive to find comfort and even support for the views that they can't express elsewhere. The justification that a lot of stuff is said with humorous irony (like the teenage insult way many will refer to gay men or women, or that someone can refer to a woman being "kicked in the slats") just doesn't wash. Repeating disrespect and insult continually does alter minds - hence you should be very cautious about any blog which continually has people saying things "leftism is a mental illness" or "lefties are evil" - because people who "pretend" things long enough start to genuinely believe it.

Hence, I don't think it makes sense to engage with them at all. You will not change a single mind, and those who pay you the occasional respect for putting up arguments there are actually happy that you are giving them the credibility of treating them as worthy of enough respect that you will try to engage.

They don't even deserve that, in my opinion, and Sinclair also ought to be regularly condemned for providing a de facto alt right outlet too.

I know you don't agree, but maybe I'll eventually turn you around...

Steve said...

And furthermore: I actually don't understand Sinclair Davidson at all. For example, he is obviously of liberal attitude towards gay and transexuals, having them as friends, yet hosts a blog where many, many people are openly and continuously contemptuous of homosexuality and gays, and discuss them in the most immature way that I found embarrassing as a teenager in the 1970's, let alone now. And not only will a long term commenter talk about "pillow biters" etc, but he'll be given the chance to contribute an article that, as it turned out, was completely plagiarised. And what does SD do - leaves the post up, with only the comments thread explaining the plagiarism. And, of course, we have that commenter reappearing lately to continue his stupid teenage language treatment of homosexuality.

What is the free speech value of such a blog?

Sure, I can understand SD arguing that such views should not be banned from publiciation - but he is also under no obligation to host them.

Yet he has done so for years - with the place being abandoned from any "contest of ideas" justification too, since most of us gave up on dealing with the obnoxious and immature inhabitants.

I would respect SD if he actually had some form of moderation, or at least called for respectful use of language and debate more than once in a blue moon, or if he simply recognized the routine poisonous nature of nearly all threads and made the place simply an avenue for him and his mates to post.

But no, he had let it turn into an alt right for Australia forum, where a large number of commenters even deride him for things such as his support of Turnbull over Abbott.

why does he do that?

John said...

You make good points about SD's moderation or lack thereof. For SD moderation is banning lefties who upset the prevailing ideology of the Cat but he leaves a few there so to be seen as tolerating free speech. SD is a raging hypocrite: he doesn't believe in free speech but uses it as an excuse to promote hate speech.

You are correct that being too involved with such a blog can potentially have a detrimental effect. That possibly explains why so many of the better commentators have long since moved on.

Regarding the plagiarist, it goes to my previous point: he should have been banned outright but is tolerated because he likes spreading hate speech. I was banned because I challenged SD on the issue of tolerating a serial plagiarist because it reflected very poorly on his academic status.

Many on that site are so delusional about the political beliefs that they believe conservatism of the Abbott style will eventually win out. The site is replete with obsessives who keep posting the same things over and over. Is Dover Beach still ranting about SSM?

I would love to see the Catallaxy outed to the general public. The response from both sides would be fascinating to observe.

not trampis said...

you are spot on with hypocrisy about free speech and Sinkers.

Catallaxy has been made a deliberate echo chamber for delusionists.
Plagiarism is simply another of their extreme laziness.

Paul Montgomery said...

Steve, it's a fair point you make about many Cats not bringing goodwill to the debate, such as it is. I don't think everyone there is a lost cause, though. The key thing to understand with a site like that - and indeed at most Internet forums - is that there are a lot more lurkers than posters. This has been proven in studies about such things, and my own (day job) site is the same as are most comment-based sites.

The nasty pasties who snipe at me continually are probably beyond redemption, it's true. But I'm not necessarily there for them. I'm there in part to set a good example for people who merely read - the people who think like candy, who is probably not real but is a parody of the political weathervane who could go either way depending on what he/she last read. Several Cats have acknowledged my cheeriness in the face of all this nastiness, and I think that's important. They may not encounter many lefties in their daily lives, or not engage with them about politics. I may never convince any of the commenters, but there are a lot of quiet readers at the bottom of the iceberg.

Steve said...

Monty, i'm very skeptical of your "but I might be doing some good with the lurkers" theory. Sure they exist, but I reckon that because of what it has become, no one goes there to be swayed one way or the other - they either go to have their wingnutty opinion validated (95% of lurkers) or to watch how stupid and wrong and appalling it is (the rest - and that number has been in decline because watching economists stuck on stupid - re climate change etc, and a wingnut mutual support club in comments, is repetative.)

As such, your contributions are never going to sway anyone. The most you achieve is to show that there are Lefties of a cheerful disposition. And some there do like you for that - but you're still never going to change their mind.

I've explained the downside of participation there many times, and why I think Sinclair's conduct of the blog is a gigantic blot on the internet that decent people should not participate in.

One day I'll convince you...

Paul Montgomery said...

Even if that's true, Steve, I have lots of fun trolling the trolls. Toecutting was my original purpose, and it's still valid. If I manage to make some successful outreach to wavering wingnuts, that's a bonus.

As for Sinclair, I reckon he is suffering a lot for his adherence to laissez-faire commenting policy. Apart from the frequent Bird strikes, he'd deal with a lot of crap behind the scenes which stems directly from his lax policy towards moderation, probably all the way up to visits from Plod. He made his bed, he lies in it.

Steve said...

But monty, your "toecutting" is completely ineffective on these intended targets!

That you even make the attempt on them is taken by them as vindication of how wrong you are. In fact, in their perverse way, I would bet that they take it as a compliment to (what they think is) their rationality that you think you can deal with them rationally.

That is why I describe dealing with fools a losing strategy. It is actually counterproductive and encourages them.

Better that the vault is sealed from rationality and wait while to see if it burns itself out. In a sense that is what has happened already - since all moderate voices except for yours have abandoned the threads, and Sinclair doesn't care about plagiarism, bitchiness, pro-Trump hyperbole or inaccuracy in posts either, I am sure the blog is not taken seriously on economics or politics by anyone anymore, and is only read with approval by fellow travellers like Andrew Bolt.

It still deserves to end because of the false comfort it gives to alt.righters here - but your participation is not going to help it towards that.

Anonymous said...

"I'm there in part to set a good example for people who merely read - the people who think like candy, who is probably not real but is a parody of the political weathervane who could go either way depending on what he/she last read."

FFS Monty you must even vomit at your own sanctimonious bullshit.