I don’t agree with it entirely, but I agree with the core message. I would add “Anonymity” is powerful and the personas we create are important.
And yes, I have caught myself doing some of the things he mentioned. And it may explain why we aren’t liked even if we produce original content.
I think one of the most important things we can remember about anonymity is to use it to be ourselves rather than something we are not. That anonymity is a powerful tool and to use it to spew things about fags and bitches and niggers is a frightful waste of something that can be used to speak out against oppression and the like.
I think one of the most useful things to remember is what you would and wouldn’t say IRL. Would you run around offering to show your penis to random women you meet on a daily basis? Are your conversations with the cashier punctuated with racist slurs? You wouldn’t and with good reason. You would be ostracised and treated like a social pariah. When the Klan go on about “them negroes” we don’t listen to them.
Why do we listen to idiots who say these things online? Well Athene may hit the nail on the head in some parts, because we reward these idiots. That the bad behaviour is positively reinforced and sometimes we don’t even recognise that we are supporting bad behaviour. So while your incisive post flaying Duane T. Gish’s most recent argument (as an example!) on Reddit may have gotten hits before, it is unlikely to do as well as well today.
In part it may have to do with memes and the ascendancy of the concept. (Oh Dawkins! You fool! You know not what thou has unleashed! It is too late, there is naught but hope in Pandora’s Box!). It may have to do a lot with rewarding one liners and because you reward these one liners that have basically been stamped onto a common image you are actually killing genuine new material.
I hold no aspirations to being a blogger. I got super lucky. I never had this level of feedback or conversations with anyone who read my work. It’s nice when you are read but for that to happen we need to start rewarding original work a bit more than we normally do. There are other bloggers like me out there who have not had the good fortune that I have had.
So think when you up vote and don’t stop making original content. Reward the writers because it takes effort to write. And Anonymity is awesome but it has to be used responsibly and not to hurl racist, sexist or phobic slurs..
Otherwise you are all just artless onion eyed hedge pigs!