Metamorphosis tonight

Just so you know, we’re rolling out a major site redesign in the middle of the night tonight. Alex, our tech guy, is doing it in a smart way by getting it running on a shiny new server first, and then swapping in the IP address of the old one to bring it all live quickly. As with any new design, I expect gasps of horror tomorrow that it’s different — but it’s happening anyway, and productive suggestions to tweak it will be just fine. You’ll just have to adapt.

Most importantly, once we get the redesign out of the way, we’ve got a great big backlog of new additions to the roster who’ve been waiting for this obstacle to be cleared. Expect great new content to follow!

Troll policy discussion

We’ve been getting persistently trolled by one person over the past month. Remember krooscontrol? How about Tomas C? chaoticinflation? All the same person. He has a couple of tells that make him easy to detect once I picked up on them. That latest incarnation, chaoticinflation, is now banned, but if his past record is any guide, he’ll invent a new pseudonym in the next day or two and be right back at it, so if you see any familiar arguments emerging from some new person who just popped up, let me know.

I have a few questions to discuss, though.

One, why are these people who show up to argue for godly objective morality so consistently unable to represent honesty and forthrightness? I’m thinking it either means their god is a lying sleaze who left those traits out of his list, or more likely, that being a dishonest coward is a prerequisite for being a fanatical Christian. They aren’t showing their faith in a good light, that’s for sure.

Two, as a matter of policy, I’ve had zero tolerance for people who show up under false pretences: if you’ve been banned and then leave comments under a sock puppet account, I delete those entries. There should be no reward for evading our rather simple mechanisms to filter out bad actors — really, any idiot can do it, as all the idiots have demonstrated. Unfortunately, this bozo has left over 600 comments here.

Think about that. This obsessed kook has shown up here to lie at us about 20 times a day. The boy has fuckin’ problems.

Now I’ve got all those comments queued up in a list — I told you, there are some easy searchable tells — and I could just click the button to select them all, then click “delete”, and they all get flushed. I know some of you don’t particularly care to see gaps that big appear in threads, so I’m holding off for now. You tell me: flush the crap or let it stand?


OK, people, one thing will not change: when some demented asshole like Graeme Bird shows up, spews a lot of garbage that includes outright racist/anti-semitic slime, I will delete it. No question. No hesitation.

I know it’s hard when the lunacy is so extreme it becomes comedic, and it’s also hard when the wretched racist just dumps a swarm of comments (Bird commented 73 times last night), but try to resist. Now all of your comments are left dangling without referents.

To Kevin W

I’ve had it, whoever you are. For years, you’ve been forwarding your “jokes” to me — your crass, tasteless, racist, crude “jokes” — and you’ve ignored my early requests to stop sending them to me, and over the last few years I’ve just been hitting delete when I see your name. But I can’t simply ignore them in good conscience any more; your last collection of dumbass observations was simply too hateful and bigoted.

The next time I receive anything from you, I’ll be posting it here, with your full name and address and IP number. Furthermore, I’ve noticed that most often your headers have a peculiarity, subject lines that include an odd appended note like “[SEC=UNOFFICIAL]” or “[SEC=UNCLASSIFIED]“, and you’re apparently forwarding stuff sent from an Australian at defence.gov.au. Vile stuff. I’ll also expose his address, too.

I’m not sitting back silently while you spread the hate you consider comedy anymore.Go scuttle under a rock where you belong.

Numbers?

I have been informed by The Digital Cuttlefish that cumulative traffic to this site at freethoughtblogs has reached 50 million visits. I’m not sure what the total capacity is, so don’t be surprised if I have to suddenly stop because the blog is full up.

That’s how it works, right?

An assignment: write the rules

I’m going to have to rewrite our standard rules page thanks to changes in circumstance (there is no dungeon anymore) and to accommodate new suggestions. It would also be nice to fold in Chris Clarke’s ideas. So I’m asking you regular readers to do the job for me!

Here’s the goal: a short document with a list of rules/guidelines, each one no more than a sentence or two. Keep it simple and clear so there’s no excuse for anybody to not read it before posting. Heck, maybe I should just adopt Chris’s Civility Pledge wholesale.

Each of you don’t have to write the whole thing. If there’s just one point you think is really important, just make a comment spelling it out. I’ll assemble the suggestions myself later.

Once I’ve got the new condensed, simplified, easy rules in order, I’ll create a page with them and put it in a tab right up top.

(Man, this is what I do every day: tell a group of people that they have an assignment, get writing, do the work.)

New commenting rules

What are they?

The ongoing meltdown in Thunderdome and the departure of Chris tell me we’ve got something that needs to be fixed. I don’t quite know how to fix everything, so let’s crowdsource it — you people leave comments here telling me what rules you think might work to get the knifey-bitey-smashy atmosphere to lighten up a little. Just a little.

Comments screwed up

Hang tight, everyone, you aren’t banned (well, some of you are. Go away). We’re having some strange technical problems right now, where everyone’s comments are being automatically tossed into moderation. The masters of the machines are working on it now.

Meanwhile, I’m manually approving comments as fast as I can, but I’ve got all these teaching obligations, you know…if your comment is held up, I’ll get to it eventually.