As some readers may know, recently FreethoughtBlogs called for people who were interested in blogging for the site to apply. As a result we have a crop of interesting new people (see the sidebar) and Marcus Ranum’s Stderr is one such addition. But this week there was an interesting development. Someone sent in an application yesterday but less than ten hours later followed up with another email:
“I retract this application. Your blog is not nearly worthy of my ideas. You represent nothing remotely resembling freethinking. Instead, you are sentinels of a particular and fascist-leaning form of “leftist” “thinking.” I want nothing to do with you or your readers. You wouldn’t understand my ideas anyway.”
I found this highly amusing. There is nothing wrong with changing one’s mind about joining this group. He could have simply said that on reflection he felt that it would not be a good fit for him. I was curious about why the writer felt he had to go out of his way to be so insulting and dismissive and contemptuous, not just of the bloggers here but of the readership as well. After all, his extremely quick reversal clearly suggests that he had not spent much time on the FtB site before applying. How could he know from such a brief acquaintance that the readers here would not be able to understand his ideas and were not worthy of them? And what does not being ‘worthy’ of one’s ideas mean anyway? That one’s ideas are extremely valuable and that these pearls get somehow devalued by being offered to the swine?
Saying that one’s opinions are far above the heads of others is quite odd, the product of a curious mixture of arrogance and condescension and gratuitous rudeness. His strong statement suggests that he felt somehow soiled by his brief attraction to FtB and had to strongly disavow it in order to rid himself of the taint.
Perhaps it is also symptomatic of the way that the asynchronous nature on internet communication, coupled with the lack of any personal connection, lends itself to rudeness.