Skip to comments.Clown Fest
Posted on 09/26/2010 12:59:28 PM PDT by Bean Counter
Ive gotten 95% of my information from the internet over the past 5-6 years. There exists a special mix of intelligence, altruism and collegial respect that can unite to make internet forums worth much more than the price of admission. As such I've become habituated to a variety of sources, bloggers, websites, and internet personalities. Of late it seems these forums have become more shrill and predictable in their aggregate coverage of real life. Recently the signal to noise ratio is so low that I find myself using the internet for learning less and less, and when I do, with increasing occasion shake my head at the content. Buzzwords such as 'fiat currency', 'fractional reserve system', 'banksters', 'hyperinflation' and even 'peak oil' are prevalent, though the analysis and understanding of these concepts seems shallow and repetitive. Worse, the denizens of particular forums (not surprisingly) all seem to drink their own particular form of kool-aid. Given the prevalence of high quality content and thought of a few years ago, the blending and parroting of the major themes that a casual perusal of the resource/energy/finance blogosphere reveals today reminds one of the time shift in the movie Idiocracy. A psychiatrist might label this phenomenon information anhedonia. An economist would say weve reached decreasing informational returns from the marginal blog entry. I'll just call it clown-fest.
We evolved to favor the in group over the out group, for resource, defensive, and ultimately reproductive advantages. The internet has spawned millions of in-groups peak oilers, tea-party evangelizers, deflationistas, gold-bugs, Austrian economics followers, anti-abortion activists, and myriad less controversial groups such as Claremount High School Boosters", "Kerr Jar Enthusiasts", Earthworm Snack Creators and the like. People gravitate towards groups they identify with. And they usually stay there. (After all, a room full of clowns feels a lot less clown-like).
It is possible, that with highly polarized issues like finance, energy depletion, and environmental damage, that some leading clowns may act as decoys on the way to (positive?) change. As Dan Ariely wrote about in Predictably Irrational, there is a concept termed asymmetric dominance effect where the existence of a third, extreme value causes what was originally an extreme option to be preferred. The example in the book was (something like) the choice between buying a $250 barbecue grill or a $1000 grill. Ceteris paribus, most people chose the cheaper grill. But if the grill manufacturer put up a super stacked $5,000 grill next to the other two, then people would start to prefer the $1000 grill as next to the $5,000 version it didn't seem so outrageous. This practice, known in professional marketing as 'the decoy effect' may inadvertently apply to what appears to be a clown uprising among the energy/environment/economic tribes. Options for change that at first seem extreme might not seem so extreme in the face of a carnivale barrage.
If this post has sounded a bit harsh on the status of blogging/education on the major topics of our time, it is meant to be. Those glorifying dystopian futures, and only recommending action steps involving Kruggerands and/or ammunition etc., are probably getting their status/ego boost at an ultimate cost to society. A hijacked pursuit of status and novelty gets firmly in the way of real education and change. Just like time, greed and entropy have caused our political system to become a one dollar one vote monolith, the blogoshphere has become a one neuron one vote system. Those who have free time and are vocal, novel, confident, and possessive of short memories drown out the less clown-like in their forums - Greshams Law. Democracies cease to work in these circumstances unless there exists a strong republic/framework of rules. The watershed moment comes when clowns have become the scout team for the civically minded, rational systems-thinkers who find their voices. Or maybe that already happened years ago and we're mean-reverting.
I've got my red nose on...where's yours??
This complex cyber landscape exists concurrently with accelerating real crises in energy, the economy, and the environment.
What crisis, other than perhaps an Obama generated economic one.
My first thought based on the one comment, is: Nate, where you been hanging out?
You rub noses with clowns, you begin to look like them.
I just glanced at that this but he seems to be dealing with “group think”
I have found it strange, but almost all the group think I have seen has occurred in groups
I love the reply from one of the doomers:
“Good to see Nate is as petulant as ever. Yet another long winded and pointless post, entirely devoid of otherwise useful information, which seems to serve no other purpose than to obsequiously trumpet how much smarter he thinks he is than everyone else.”
If I had a gold eagle for every doomer investment, dystopia, survival book I’ve bought over the past 30 years, I’d be wealthy.
*I am, but that’s because I don’t pay attention to the doomers.
I have termed it ideological anarchy, and it is a result of a nation increasingly forsaking the authority which it once largely looked to as its supreme ideological authority, the Bible, understood in the light of the New Testament and preached by churches. At one time the evangelical faith was a form of “civil religion,” and the McGuffey’s reader with its Biblical morality and allusions helped raise of children in the way that should go. Having entered into benefits of such labor, State-sanctioned secular liberal ideology now functionally serves as a religion, raising up generations in a way that seems right to them, but in the end thereof are the ways of death.
-I love the reply from one of the doomers:-
Yep, that’s what I thought, around the third sentence in.
Nate knows some 2 dollar words, and I think he’s
bothered that 50 cent word people are allowed
to fraternize with elite such as himself.
What a damned boring rant he wrote!
Aye, Aye, Sir!! Three bags full, Sir!! Any other obscure rules and/or edicts about posting guidlelines to dispense tonight??
yeesh! When this guy talks about different clowns on different websites...
If you disapprove so strongly there AM, either move it, lock it, or delete it. Your call.
Yah, that’s about all I expected out of you. The Great Anonymous Mouth has spoken, huh? Imagine how I care.
I don’t know who you really are, and I am not particularly concerned. I’m sure you are some Freeper who has been handed the keys to the Kingdom for a Sunday night while there isn’t much else going on, and there is little you can do to muck things up too badly. If you ruffle a few feathers, no problem because you have anonymity, the very subject of this article as well as Internet “clowns”, (such as yourself), and the roles they play at places like Free Republic. A couple of the Admin Mods here at FR, along with many others came immediately to mind when I read this article and that is why I posted it exactly where I wanted it, as opposed to where you wanted it.
I’m reasonably certain you are someone who I have personally pissed off for one reason or another for some period of time here at FR, and now that you have finagled yourself the Admin Mod keys you figure the time is right for a little housecleaning, starting with people like me. Fine, game on. You’ll only ban me once my friend, so make sure you do it right the first time. Are you Canuckistani by chance?? I think I’ve pissed off more Canadians in the last 20 years online than anyone else, I lose absolutely no sleep about it, so you could be any number of our unsavory Northern “neighbors” with an axe to grind with me.
Your job is not to steer the discussion here, but to ride herd on the more heinous behavior. I posted this exactly where I intended it to go, and again, if you don’t like it, move it, lock it, delete it or leave it the hell alone. I am not privy to, nor do I care, about your personal set of Admin Mod rules, nor is the majority of the people who post here and take it far less seriously than you obviously do.
Thank you very little for killing what could have been an interesting discussion thread, and if you had taken my original comment seriously, and read the damned thing before you shut this thread down with your comments, you might have come down from the Tower, logged back in with your regular Freeper ID, and contributed in some meaningful way to a conversation. Instead you choose to play Admin Mod in Black. So be it.
At least I recognize that I do have a clown role online and freely admit it, and if only you could see that you do too, these kinds of guidance counseling sessions would not be necessary and you would not waste so much of my time explaining things that you really ought to be aware of in the first place.
For the last time, carry on....
I apologize for that upity mod, he’s only been a freeper since 1999 and and an admin mod for only about 7 years. I apologize for his newbie moderating.
After further review, I agree with this young moderator’s decision.
Ping for laughs
Blogpimp getting snippy with the mod.. this can’t end well for him.
Not a thing I would attempt. And I'm fairly careless.
Looks like the Adminerator kicked his beans pretty good.
Let’s keep beating this into the ground. Maybe someday we’ll get to the bottom of it.