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C0nc0rdance and the principle of intelligent, responsible discussion

C0nc0rdance has put up a video berating me for shutting down my youtube comments. It might be more interesting if it weren’t so full of speculation about my motives…motives that I understand very well, while he doesn’t have a clue.

It’s simpler than he thinks. I set up my youtube account to have all comments sent directly to my email account; I read them all. And I was appalled.

Not at the fact that they were critical, but that they were so illiterate, repetitive, and ignorant. After a few months, I had enough: there was no reason to read them any further. I noticed a number of different phenomena. One was that very few of the commenters actually paid any attention to my videos; instead, they’d been dispatched there by thunderf00t or other critics, where they simply parroted their masters. Seriously, it got tedious seeing the same verbatim comments from people over and over again.

These commenters didn’t even read each others’ comments. There was little interaction, and again, I’d just see repeated strings of the same phrases over and over. Did they ever notice that the previous commenter had said exactly the same thing? Or that the previous ten commenters had all repeated the same bogus argument? No. If they aren’t reading each other, why should I read them?

What I was also seeing was further demonstration of the greater internet fuckwad theory. On youtube, there is no accountability, nearly universal anonymity, and amid the noise of neglected mindless commentary, there was nothing but straining to be the loudest and most shrill. There was virtually no attempt to engage or discuss.

C0nc0rdance has a comically inflated view of the quality of the youtube “community”. There’s a reason it has a reputation as the cesspit of the internet, and the comments are best ignored. He calls it a “populist paradise”, with discussion that is more varied and more interesting: I call it an open sewer that further dumbs down the discourse by encouraging the worst to shriek with no concern for quality. I shut my comments down precisely because C0nc0rdance is dead wrong — the “community” (rather, “mob”) was neither varied nor interesting.

His rationale for allowing youtube comments? A ludicrous comparison to blasphemy day — he had the gall to compare the frantic, noisy voices of nattering youtubers to people fighting against religious oppression. Sorry, but no. I’m not using force to silence critics — I assure you, they’re still just as loud. Just read C0nc0rdance’s comments to see a multitude of examples. Any attempt to claim that free speech has been suppressed by the fact that I insist on a little more accountability is ludicrous.

His only cause for asking me to open up comments, besides his grossly inflated opinion of the quality of youtube commenters, is that it does no harm to allow them. Wrong. By indulging idiots, by giving them free rein and never questioning the value of their so-called discussion, you contribute to the further poisoning of real discussion and also, as we can see beautifully demonstrated in C0nc0rdance’s case, diminish taste and expectations to the point where an otherwise intelligent person considers youtube comments a sterling example of smart conversation and the informative exchange of information.

He also seems to think I’m making a commercial decision — that I’m trying to channel youtube commenters to my monetized web site. Nonsense. I get almost 3 million hits a month. Redirecting a few angry whiners from youtube to my site is going to be a negligible addition. I am not a major youtube player where my readership there is going to be significant in number.

C0nc0rdance also tries to make a feeble case that somehow a completely unmoderated forum is superior to one that imposes a few minimal standards, and complains that gosh, people would have to register and subject themselves to the tyrannical hand of my vicious moderation policies. A pointless objection, again: it’s easy to register, and even creationists manage to do it; if it’s a hurdle to youtuber’s participation, then that’s another instance of those people failing to vault over a very tiny hurdle. There are also plenty of people here who routinely criticize me — heck, even the regulars here are often wagging their fingers at me — but they do it by actually trying to make a rational argument rather than parroting someone else or unthinkingly cussing me out.

So no, my final word: I will not ever on any of my future videos provide a venue for fools to delude themselves into thinking that vomiting up invective is clever. I will provide links to a thread on Pharyngula for discussion. If they really care enough to make a sustained and intelligent argument (something you can’t do on youtube), the comments on Pharyngula have no character limits and will actually get the attention of other commenters…which the infantile babblers of youtube probably consider a drawback, since they’re not actually used to getting arguments.

But hey, after this is posted I’ll go over to C0nc0rdance’s video and leave a link to this article. If past experience is any guide, none of his readers will have the guts or willingness to engage to even bother to come over here.

Comments

  1. says

    Then why disable ratings? Surely you have the support you always had, being able to micromanage polls on sites other than your own. Doubtless you’d have the strong support you’ve always had and your ratings would show this? Or has the majority of the atheist community at large gone feeble minded and troll bitten?

  2. Forbidden Snowflake says

    triciapetersen, this question has been asked and answered several times in the 500 comments that preceded yours. The exchange can easily be found by Ctrl+Fing the word “ratings”.
    You’re not on YouTube anymore. Here we actually care about whether what we want to say was said before and whether our questions have been answered before.

  3. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Don’t you two have some science experiments to do, or some specimens to collect, or some papers to write or something?

    Don’t you?

    Surely you have the support you always had,

    You obviously didn’t read the they “why” of what PZ did. Makes your comment useless drivel. Which is exactly why PZ turned things off.

  4. says

    One thing I have found about Youtube channel owners, especially the more popular atheist ones, are that they overrate their own importance.

    c0nc0rdance is a good example – he somehow seems to think that PZ really should care about his opinions.

    No, and a thousand times no.

    First – someone’s opinions should stand on their own regardless of WHO they are. If that’s not the case, we’re a culture of fanatics.

    If you REALLY want to go THERE – I suggest you look through c0nc0rdance body of work before you decide that his opinion is unworthy on some sort of basis of lack of credibility.

    Second – putting all “youtube channel owners” in the same boat is insulting and obnoxious.

    YouTube is generally a VERY open forum, and when I have the inclination and fortitude to dive into those forums – I sometimes have extremely productive conversation with people whose ideas seriously frighten me.

    I go there in order to get better at my skills at debate and to attempt to get a glimpse of the viewpoints of those who think very very differently than I do.

    You cannot combat what you don’t understand.

    There is a very very strong culture of open debate there. There are good things and bad things about open forums. I don’t think all forums should be open or all forums should be closed; or even that all forums should be the same happy balance of the two. However, that openness is what many people who use YouTube find to be of benefit.

    The benefit absolutely is that you may be able to reach those that you would otherwise not reach.

    The subject that PZ was talking about in his video – well – doesn’t matter so much. It was a video about a personal fight for goodness sakes – something I think the world could do without entirely. (And yes, that includes, to some degree, c0nc0rdance video about how he disagrees with PZ about PZ’s own comments section.)

    However, the vast majority of subjects that c0nc0rdance makes videos about – matter. Educating people about those topics matter.

    You can’t educate someone while calling them stupid. You can’t educate someone you don’t listen to.

    PZ is a great provocateur and advocate, and please don’t get me wrong and attack me out of loyalty to him. However, as far as using an online presence to educate; c0nc0rdance does that in ways that PZ simply does not.

    That seems to be the conflict here – that they both have a very different approach to what they do.

    In the end though – we’re on the same side.

    As far as PZ getting more very rude comments and therefore not wanting to wade through them constantly – well obviously he can do what he wants there and nobody should be blaming him.

    Nobody should be telling anyone else what they should or should not tolerate in their own spaces.

    Having said that, PZ has gotten nothing compared to the comments that Zinnia Jones gets on her channel CONSTANTLY and for years and years, since she was practically a child – ask ZJ about her attitude about YouTube comments and the YouTube-atheist culture there.

    ..and no, I’m not sure how she can handle it either.

  5. tobiasmbonne says

    “… none of his readers will have the guts or willingness to engage to even bother to come over here.”
    Challenge accepted, professor.
    Since you’ve disabled commentary on the video c0nc0rdance was referring to, I’ll restate the question I asked pertaining to said video:
    Since you claim thunderf00t confused the principle of free thought with the principle of free speech, I’d like to know how you suggest one could achieve the former without allowing the latter? Speech is, after all, the primary method of communicating thoughts among human beings, so it follows rather fundamentally that a limitation of speech would mean a limitation of expressed thought.
    Also I notice that you’ve chosen not to adress a very poignant criticism c0nc0rdance put forward, in that you not merely disabled comments from your video, but also ratings.
    I’d like to know why?

  6. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Also I notice that you’ve chosen not to adress a very poignant criticism c0nc0rdance put forward,

    Gee, the criticism was criticized. You must not be used to reading, but just watching.

    Since you claim thunderf00t confused the principle of free thought with the principle of free speech.

    You are confusing them too. FreeThought from Wiki:

    Freethought holds that individuals should not accept ideas proposed as truth without recourse to knowledge and reason. Thus, freethinkers strive to build their opinions on the basis of facts, scientific inquiry, and logical principles, independent of any logical fallacies or the intellectually limiting effects of authority, confirmation bias, cognitive bias, conventional wisdom, popular culture, prejudice, sectarianism, tradition, urban legend, and all other dogmas. Regarding religion, freethinkers hold that there is insufficient evidence to support the existence of supernatural phenomena.[5]

    Free Speech from Wiki:

    Freedom of speech is the political right to communicate one’s opinions and ideas. The term freedom of expression is sometimes used synonymously, but includes any act of seeking, receiving and imparting information or ideas, regardless of the medium used. In practice, the right to freedom of speech is not absolute in any country and the right is commonly subject to limitations, as with libel, slander, obscenity,[citation needed] sedition (including, for example inciting ethnic hatred), copyright violation, revelation of information that is classified or otherwise.

    You can have one without the other. Anybody who knows the definitions knows that. And TF has his own cognative biases toward women.

  7. CJO says

    Since you claim thunderf00t confused the principle of free thought with the principle of free speech, I’d like to know how you suggest one could achieve the former without allowing the latter?

    You’re equivocating. “The principle(s) of free thought” regard content: what one is saying; “the principle of free speech” regards only one’s liberty to say whatever one is thinking, which in Thunderfool’s case was a self-serving and incoherent screed against certain principles of free thought, such as that all persons regardless of race, gender, etc. should be afforded equal protection from harrassment and demeaning behavior. Even given your inane equivocating terms, the distinction is obvious, even to you, since the “expressed” in your redundant phrase “a limitation of speech would mean a limitation of expressed thought” makes it quite clearly.

  8. tobiasmbonne says

    @Nerd of Redhead

    How droll. I’m sure you’ve made someone snicker at this childish attempt at humour. Good for you.
    Now if you read any of those conditions for which free thought should be independent of in your little wikipedia definition you’ll find “intellectually limiting effects of authority” listed.
    So, it should go without saying that executing editorial authority over what is expressed in a forum would actually go against the principle(s) of “free thought”, since it effectively limits the intellectual exchange to be had.
    @ CJO
    I’m not equivocating. For a forum to be a place of free thought necessitates a need to abstain from the personal biases and editorial mandate of an arbiter with his own “agenda”. Do you not agree?

  9. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    So, it should go without saying that executing editorial authority over what is expressed in a forum would actually go against the principle(s) of “free thought”, since it effectively limits the intellectual exchange to be had.

    Gee, what a fuckwitted idjit showing no idea what free thought really means. You think “freethought” is just expressing OPINION. It is factually based and evidenced OPINION. The TF supporters have been extra long on OPINION and attitude, but really haven’t presented any facts and evidence, which is why they changed no minds over here. They were allowed to speak, until their arrogant and bombastic attitude and lack of evidence/facts became tiresome. Think about that before you respond.

  10. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Oh, and tobiasmbonne, there was no free speech issues the with TF firing. FtB isn’t required to provide a forum for anybody, and when someone goes against management and doesn’t respond to inquiries they can expect to get their ass fired, which is what happened. TF can speak anywhere but here, and even here as commenter. Just not as a blog headliner. That is private ownership at work, not the government censoring somebody. Thems the facts. Show otherwise by citing case law.

  11. dubinspath says

    Here’s my summary of the conversation so far:

    PZ: YouTube comments aren’t worth the effort. They’re too repetitive and lame. I’ll link to my blog and anyone that has anything worthwhile to say will take the time to post there.

    C0nc0rdance: Many YouTubers really don’t like it when channels disable comments and ratings. It will appear to them that you are inclined to silence rather than encourage response. Creationists often disable comments and ratings, so you’ll be lumped in with them by association.

    PZ: Whatever. Nothing of value will be lost.

    ————————

    Although the quality of comments varies based on the channel, my
    personal experience indicates that most YouTube comments are not worth the time to read them. I’ve had fewer than five tolerable conversations in the comments section and have given up reading them even on videos I find particularly interesting. So, I don’t fault PZ for excusing himself from that conversation in the least.

    In some sense, PZ has added a spam filter between himself and the YouTube audience. But no filter is perfect – there may be well-reasoned, quality comments that would be made on his videos had this filter not been in place. Additionally, by disabling comments, PZ has put his videos in the spam filter of some YouTubers (since disabling comments is correlated with poor arguments/quality, see Creationists). Just like PZ won’t read a random YouTube comment, some YouTubers won’t watch a video that has comments disabled. C0nc0rdance’s point is that PZ will lose a potentially diverse audience based on the signal he sends by disabling comments.

  12. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    C0nc0rdance’s point is that PZ will lose a potentially diverse audience based on the signal he sends by disabling comments.

    Why the fuck should PZ give a damn about that given his reasons for disabling comments? You never answered that.

  13. dubinspath says

    Why the fuck should PZ give a damn about that given his reasons for disabling comments? You never answered that.

    The point is that disabling comments has the side effect of reducing visibility with potentially interesting participants. c0nc0rdance certainly feels that having a conversation with a wider audience is valuable and has managed to do so on YouTube. If one of the reasons PZ posts videos to YouTube is to start a conversation, then perhaps he feels having a wide audience is valuable too.

    My feeling is that if his video description stated that anyone interested in a conversation on the topic is welcome to head here while leaving the comments open he would, in fact, be maximizing his audience. This way he wouldn’t be lumped in with Creationists and so not immediately turn away some reasonable YouTubers. He can still ignore all comments on YouTube.

    At the end of his post PZ makes it clear that he doesn’t want his videos to be a “venue for fools” which to me means he’s trading off a slightly larger audience for not having foolish comments next to his video. I imagine c0nc0rdance feels differently: that a larger, more diverse audience is worth the cost of putting up with the fools.

    Don’t get me wrong – I agree with all of PZ reasons for disabling comments. I just wonder if he realized what a big deal it is to the YouTube community to disable comments and considered all the side effects.

  14. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    . I just wonder if he realized what a big deal it is to the YouTube community to disable comments and considered all the side effects.

    Are you saying PZ isn’t smart and hasn’t thought this through? I disagree with that, but I acknowledge I don’t YouTube.

  15. dubinspath says

    Are you saying PZ isn’t smart and hasn’t thought this through? I disagree with that, but I acknowledge I don’t YouTube.

    Even smart people don’t always consider all the consequences of their decisions. PZ probably does understand how violently some YouTubers react to disabling comments and concluded that it is still worth it. c0nc0rdance feels like dealing with the noise is worth reaching that broader audience. I felt his video made a decent case for keeping comments open. Doesn’t mean I agree with his conclusions, but I don’t think he was being unreasonable.

  16. nobodyslamb says

    pz myers, in order to understand why a youtuber would not want to come here and comment all you have to do is read some of the comments. many replies that i have seen to dissenting comments on this blog have been extremely vulgar, condescending, and otherwise rude. in fact the only noticeable differences in my admittedly short experience with this site have been that 1) because many people are regulars here you frequently encounter the same rude, condescending, offensive people over and over again, whereas on youtube you really only have to deal with a particularly rude individual once, and 2) because there is no character limit here people are given even more space than they would on youtube to treat each other like children. oh, and also there is the apparently institutionalized elitism. at least people on youtube understand that there is a lot of garbage there, they know its a website for the general population. on this blog it seems like every one thinks they are a phd in an ivory tower.

  17. erikthebassist says

    on this blog it seems like every one thinks they are a phd in an ivory tower

    well actually, many of them are PHD’s.

    If you think character limits are a virtue, you’re an idiot, go away. By the way, you’re a tone troll, not welcome here at all. Tone trolling is for the weak minded who can’t make real arguments so they seek to hide behind hurt fee fee’s. Take your hurt fee fee’s and get lost. No one cares.

  18. Tony the Queer Shoop (proud supporter of Radical Feminism) says

    Nobodyslamb:
    Oh, I see. YouTube comments are not rude or condescending, so thats why people prefer posting there.
    Btw, you made multiple assertions in that comment. Do you have any links to these rude, condescending, vulgar comments? Or are we supposed to just accept your assertions at face value?

  19. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    pz myers, in order to understand why a youtuber would not want to come here and comment all you

    Obvious dumb and repetative troll, reopening a dead thread with fuckwittery and idiocy that is a copypasta of previous posts by fellow videofools. Prima facie evidence of why PZ closed his boobtube comments.

  20. nobodyslamb says

    tony the queer shoop:
    i never meant to imply that the quality of youtube comments was better, what i meant by that statement was that this site is very intimidating, and to come and comment on a new site with many regulars, many of whom seem to be very rude, is obviously not something many youtubers are likely to want to do. why come here when they can get the same quality of responses on youtube? i think (whether its correct or not) thats a question many youtube users would ask themselves before commenting here. the purpose of that post was to explain from an outsiders perspective, in my own opinion, why someone from youtube, unfamiliar with this site, would be unlikely to want to comment here.

    also, i do not know how to link to or copy particular posts on this site, but if you want to see examples of rude and/or condescending comments just look at the replies addressed to me before and after your own by erikthebassist and nerds of redhead. the first called me a tone-troll (i dont really know what this is/how im guilty of it) and told me to get lost, when i only came to this website because pz myers literally asked youtubers to come here, and also accused me of trying to revive a dead thread, when in reality i only just learned about this post by pz myers and chose to accept his request for youtube users to comment. nerds of redhead then proceeds to call me an “obvious dumb and repetitive troll”, and accuse me of “fuckwittery and idiocy”. that was literally the first post i ever made on this website (and this is only the second) and these are the sorts of replies i was welcomed with. i do not believe my post was uncivilized, and especially not to any degree warranting of responses such as those. but if in your honest opinion those comments dont illustrate rudeness or condescension then im not sure what will.

    erikthebassist:
    im sure many of them do have phds, but theres a difference between being someone with a phd, and being an elitist phd in an ivory tower, which is what i actually said. having a phd, or just genuinely being a brilliant person, is in my opinion no excuse for being rude to others, which is what i was accusing people of.

    you also call me a tone troll and say this “tone trolling” is for people who cant really make an argument. i confess i dont really know what a tone troll is, but either way myself and other youtube users were invited to come and comment and express our opinions and thats what i did. if you have a problem with that i am sorry, but i really dont think calling someone names is a proper way to deal with another person expressing their opinions in what i honestly think was a fairly civilized manner. all i did was try to explain why, from an outsiders perspective, someone from youtube might be reluctant to come comment here, and point out the few differences that i observe between this forum and youtube, none of which in my opinion are particularly persuasive. perhaps if you had actually made some sort of point against anything i actually said in a civil manner (rather than insulting me and creating a strawman, which i address in the next paragraph) we could have discussed that, but instead the discourse has been reduced to this. congratulations.

    finally, i never said that a character limit on comments was a good thing (hence why i accuse you of strawmaning me). what i did say was that while that is a difference between this forum and youtube, it doesnt seem to do the quality of comments much good in my admittedly short experience on this site. again, i expressed that opinion because the purpose of my comment was to explain why a youtube user might not want to come comment here.

    nerd of redhead:
    in all honesty your reply to me is so inane, rude, and repulsive, that i will not even honor it with a formal response. instead i will just say that on this site i have never seen anything more from you than insults and childish behavior, as demonstrated in your reply to me and others in this particular thread, and i hope that being such a crass individual results in some punishment for you later in life, because if not you may never learn any better.

  21. erikthebassist says

    I have responses to every single sentence you wrote, as one is dumber than the next, but right now sleep and my job take precedence. But stick around, with in 24 hours, I’ll confirm that PZ’s disgust for youtubers is justified by pointing out to you what an idiot your are. It won’t be hard, just time consuming because just about everything you just said was stupefyingly dumb and requires it’s own liner notes.

    Cya tomorrow.

  22. nobodyslamb says

    erikthebassist,

    if your purpose in replying is to somehow enlighten me, with what i sure would be pure brilliance, or really in any other way affect me at all, dont bother, as i wont be here to read it. if however your intention is simply to satisfy your own ego and those of your compatriots on this site, as i suspect it is, then by all means, waste your time. continue participating in the giant circle jerk/mob lynching that are the comments on this website. but i will no longer be a part of it. trust me when i tell you that i dont think i have ever regretted joining any discussion on the internet more so than i regret having wasted my time with this one. what has been touted throughout the secular community on the internet as an open forum for intelligent, rational, secular discourse has instead shown itself to be in my opinion a rather sad display of fake internet pseudo-intellectual egos, possessed by people who evidently think they shit gold. rarely in my life have i been confronted by such genuinely pathetic behavior. again, congratulations.

    the ironic thing is that i myself am a rather strong atheist, empiricist, secularist, and feminist. you would think that a forum such as this would be more appealing to me. unfortunately im just also not an asshole.

    bye.

  23. Nick Gotts (formerly KG) says

    nobodyslamb

    unfortunately im just also not an asshole.

    I have to disagree with you there: all you’ve done is throw unsupported insults around, and demonstrate an inability to find the shift key. If the characteristics of this site prevent the likes of you wanting to comment here, that’s not a bug, it’s a feature.

    i myself am a rather strong atheist, empiricist, secularist, and feminist

    Why do you think anyone here would believe you?

  24. nobodyslamb says

    nick gotts,

    i will respond to this only because you have claimed my criticisms have been unsupported (and you did so in a way that was not rude, though the tone did seem a little hostile at least to me) and if you genuinely feel this way, and if theres any chance you might be correct, id like to try and fix it. there are few things i dislike more than an unsupported argument.

    perhaps i was overzealous in my condemnation of the comments on this site as a whole. but given the responses that i and some others have been met with in this thread that overreaction really shouldnt be too surprising.

    by “unsupported insults” i suppose you mean my saying that there are a lot of people commenting here who are in my opinion incredibly elitist and rude. i supported my claims of rudeness in my second post, number 523, where i quoted directly from erikthebassist and nerd of redhead. in case you would like some more though, here are some other examples from this discussion:

    1. Ing:Intellectual says in response to reliwhat “No offense to anyone young, but this is literally a second grade writing level sentence. You have managed to say absolutely nothing.” when reliwhat then explains that he is french and cannot write as clearly in english Ing:Intellectual says “It doesn’t mean anything in French either. ‘I can’t say what something is because it’s complicated but I know some other things.’ The thought is vacuous, there is no point. Have a point, it makes it so much easier for the listener.” I personally find this response to be highly inconsiderate, and therefore rude, and also very unhelpful.

    2. immediately following this Janine says “Reliwhat, I will make this fucking easy for you to understand. People who want to comment about a YouTube video can do it here. PZ even provides a link. People who want to comment are not being prevented from doing so. Fucking idiot. Reliwhat makes the warrior seem almost reasonable.” I really hope no explanation is needed for why this could be perceived as rude.

    3. later Ing:Intellectual says to reliwhat “Grow the fuck up”. again, i hope no explanation is needed.

    4. in a later comment responding to c0nc0rdance pz myers says “There are talented people producing YouTube videos. There are very few talented or intelligent people commenting on YouTube videos. Hitchens is wrong and inapplicable. You recommend just not reading the comments? Then what is the point of the comments? To give the mob the illusion that their mindless cacophony matters? And again, your bias is showing. You tube is not neutral ground. It is a venue that favors noisy morons.” It is offensive and pretty elitist in my opinion to say that very few talented or intelligent people comment on youtube. for one you cant genuinely assess a persons relative talents or even intelligence from a youtube comment, no matter how stupid what theyre saying may seem. its also insulting to me at least to refer to them as “the mob” and their opinions as “mindless cacophony”. this is a further example of why i think youtubers are unlikely to feel comfortable commenting here, why would they when they are talked about like this?

    5. Janine later says in response to reliwhat “Reliwhat is such a supporter of free speech that he supports TAA’s right to mock a dead bullied teenaged girl. But he draws the line when he is the one being mocked. Prove me wrong, fuckface.” yet again i hope no explanation is necessary for why this is incredibly rude.

    i could keep going if you really insist, but 5 examples of really unnecessary rudeness towards people disagreeing with pz myers’ post and his supporters’ comments (not including the two examples i mentioned in my previous comment which were directed towards myself) seems like enough to me, at least for now. and those 5 examples are all within the first 60 comments.

    so hopefully that covers the whole “unsupported insults” thing, and if not i really could keep citing more examples, especially if i cease to limit myself to just this thread. and its not an inability to find the shift key, its that i avoid it, much in the same way i avoid apostrophes unless its necessary, because i really dont care to capitalize much unless im writing a formal letter, paper, etc. i hardly think that makes me an asshole.

    finally, im really not sure why i would think anyone here would believe me. im guessing you meant this rhetorically, but i actually think its a very good question. i honestly dont know how a person goes about proving that they are any of those things, especially over the internet. afterall, i could regularly attend mass or group prayers, and yet not actually believe that any of them have any meaning. similarly im sure many pretend all day long that they respect women and treat them equally as far as anyone else can tell, and yet deep down they hold serious biases towards women. so i suppose at least over the internet its just up to you to take my word for it or not. ill also guess that thats not something youre going to do, but im not sure why. do people often come here and lie about those sorts of things? i cant think of any good reason why i would. i have no problem with pz myers or even with him disabling comments on youtube. the only point i was ever trying to make is that in my opinion this is a pretty hostile place for youtube users to come to. and i only made this point because pz myers and others had pointed out the fact that youtube users rarely come here to comment.

  25. Matt Penfold says

    nobodyslamb,

    If you want to be taken seriously, then at least try not to waste people’s time. Learn how to capitalise correctly. Not doing shows you hold those you direct your comments at in contempt, which would make your complaints that people are being rude to you rather hypocritical.

    I don’t know how old you are, but are you not ashamed at your ignorance with regards how to capitalise ?

  26. nobodyslamb says

    Matt Penfold,

    I apologize if my failure to capitalize properly offended you or any others who may have read my comments. I was genuinely not aware that not capitalizing properly was viewed in this way, and you are quite right that given this view my criticisms could seem very hypocritical. This was not my intent. I understand perfectly well how to capitalize, and therefore have no ignorance regarding capitalization of which to be ashamed. I did not capitalize in my previous posts because doing so does not seem very important to me personally, but given that it seems to be the custom here, in the future I will not make that mistake again.

    Thank you

  27. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    is obviously not something many youtubers are likely to want to do.

    *SNICKER* given the bile and idiocy shown on boobtube comments.

    n all honesty your reply to me is so inane, rude, and repulsive, that i will not even honor it with a formal response. instead i will just say that on this site i have never seen anything more from you than insults and childish behavior, as demonstrated in your reply to me and others in this particular thread, and i hope that being such a crass individual results in some punishment for you later in life, because if not you may never learn any better.

    You ever think your post was crass, unpolite, full of attitude and bullshit? It was. You just presupposed you were polite. And one thing that wasn’t polite was reviving a dead thread. You don’t deserve a response, but you are SIWOTI,

  28. Matt Penfold says

    I did not capitalize in my previous posts because doing so does not seem very important to me personally, but given that it seems to be the custom here, in the future I will not make that mistake again.

    It is the custom in most Western languages you will find, not something that is peculiar to here. Given you were unaware of that I cannot accept your claims you are not ignorant.

  29. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    perhaps i was overzealous in my condemnation of the comments on this site as a whole. but given the responses that i and some others have been met with in this thread that overreaction really shouldnt be too surprising.

    Ever stop to think the responses are due to unevidenced assertions from loudmouths with attitude? You pretend to be polite, but you aren’t.

    PZ closed comments because they were nothing but attitude, and weren’t constructive criticism. Here, you have to defend your criticism. And your “evidence” lacks post number, are childish about attitude, quotemining, etc. Not solid evidence that scientists and science lovers expect.

  30. vaiyt says

    @nobodyslamb
    You can take your politeness and shove it in your nostril until it hits your brain. We have no need for “polite” people who can’t even bother to write in a readable way, who come out guns blazing with dismissiveness and condescension, regurgitating inane bullshit that was already shot down before.

    You are being called a dumb and repetitive troll because that’s what you are. Go back to YouTube. Nobody here cares about your opinions.

  31. Nick Gotts (formerly KG) says

    nobodyslamb,

    i will respond to this only because you have claimed my criticisms have been unsupported

    That’s because they were. They mostly still are. You have now pointed to some rude comments (yes, this is a rude site, and so what?), what you have not done is supported:
    1) Your claim that this is a reason for youtubers not commenting here, given that youtube comments are very often rude.
    2) Your claim that the only differences between here and youtube are that here you encounter the same rude people more frequently, and that the comments are longer but no better.
    3) Your claim that “it seems like every one thinks they are a phd in an ivory tower”.

    As for appropriate capitalization, the purpose of it is to make text easier to read, by making it clearer when a new sentence begins.

    i honestly dont know how a person goes about proving that they are any of those things, especially over the internet. afterall, i could regularly attend mass or group prayers, and yet not actually believe that any of them have any meaning. similarly im sure many pretend all day long that they respect women and treat them equally as far as anyone else can tell, and yet deep down they hold serious biases towards women.

    You provide evidence of such things by a consistent record of behaviour. If, to use your example, someone consistently appears to respect women and treat them as equal, their assertion that they are feminist will generally be accepted, since any internal biases won’t make any difference and in particular, won’t reinforce existing inequalities. But when someone has no such record, such an assertion is pointless, as there’s no reason to believe it.

    do people often come here and lie about those sorts of things? i cant think of any good reason why i would

    It is behaviour typical of a “concern troll”: someone who pretends to agree with the POV of a blogger or community, but in fact aims to sow dissension. I don’t know that you are such a person, but you’ve provided no evidence that you are not.

  32. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    the only point i was ever trying to make is that in my opinion this is a pretty hostile place for youtube users to come to. and i only made this point because pz myers and others had pointed out the fact that youtube users rarely come here to comment.

    This is a very hostile place if one comes with attitude, and the concept that “free speech” means what you say can’t be criticized. As you so aptly show. We treat people as they treat the blog. Someone like posts hostiility, unevidenced assertions, and idiotic claims, they their attitude reflected back to them. Many of those folks get upset if their opinions are questioned. If the come with evidenced arguments, and present the evidence without anger/attitude, they get responses in kind.

    You were faux polite with a bad attitude, (and obviously hadn’t read all previous posts to see you were repeating what a half dozen or more previous posters had said) so that is what you got reflected back to you minus the politeness. This isn’t a polite blog, but then, neither is youtube.

    Tone trolling is when you complain how something is said, not the content of what was said. Your attitude is that of a tone troll. Tone trolls are a step below pond scum. Nobody has to be polite to you, and to try to change a blog by screaming “you’re mean” is nothing to brag about. Prima facie evidence you consider form over content. We prefer content, not form.

  33. erikthebassist says

    I can see I no longer have to reply as some fellow hordlings have done the job for me quite effectively.

    nobodyslamb , The only thing I’ll leave you with is this, all you have done thus far is tone troll, which several commenters here have pointed out to you as being considered rude and unnacceptable in the culture here. The fact that you couldn’t be bothered to look up what that meant speaks volumes about your sincerity.

    You’re also mistaken if you think PZ or anyone else here gives a shit if youtubers come here to comment. PZ posted that link just so that people who watch his videos know there is a place to go and discuss them, not because he is anyway courting the idiots that hang out on youtube.

    I’ll second Nick Gotts when he says if the tone here keeps people like you from wanting to participate, that’s a feature and not a bug. Come back when you have input or thoughts to share beyond whinging about the tone.