TOTW: Difference

  • Posted on: 10 June 2019
  • By: thecollective

Some of my least favorite recurring comments on this site are the ones which boil down to “why are you posting this here?” While it may sound innocuous, it’s an attempt to browbeat some kind of consensus about what’s appropriate or not to post on this site. The idea behind the question is “I don’t agree with this and therefore don’t wish to see it.”

Yes, we get it - you don’t like (IGD / Tiqqun / people who are open to having sex with children) because they’re (liberal / red / part of the fascist creep) - the indignation comes from all sides, and is just as uninteresting no matter who’s expressing it when it comes down to “bad thing is bad, remove it from my sight.”

But in a way I understand the sentiment - there are all sorts of sources I filter out of my news apps because I see little value in them and people I filter on social media because I find no value in the content they post. I don’t find disagreement inherently interesting, and there are lots of views I don’t waste my time with. But I also think about how much of the internet (and, increasingly, society at large, anarchist spaces included) is designed around the filter, and how personalized space or space personalized for you a la services which shape themselves around what they think they know about you can lead to cutting out things you disagree with or find uncomfortable.

What are some ideas you disagree with but have found value in thinking about or engaging with? What are better or worse ways you’ve seen anarchists engage with controversial or repugnant ideas?


I have to say The Brilliant podcast with Ian was worth listening to as Aragorn! (in my opinion) asked some very worthwhile questions. Please could you interview/chat with more people about how they live (try to live as anarchists). Ian was an interesting guest due to his openness and willingness to swerve the snark. Still, Aragorn! couldn't resist his trademark snarks. This makes me ask, there are plenty of people out there only too ready to snark about anarchists/anarchism, so why does Aragorn! help their cause?

Do you understand how conversation works? I am 58 minutes into this episode of the brilliant and there has been very little or none of what I would call snark.

This makes me ask, there are plenty of people out there only too ready to concern-troll anarchists, so why are you, anon, helping their cause?

This isn't your first post like this.

snark or gtfo!

snark from friends is different from snark from enemies.
context is important.
now you know.

ps: no one's asking you to have the same sense of humor as other people, just stop acting like your humor is the only kind.

i am very much in favor of not wasting any energy on insignificant things or through unnecessary interference.

my skin's flora wards off ("filters") the scabies that wish to occupy my time/energy through scratching and nuisance. my immune system filters out things that could do me harm. my intelligence filters out things that will make me dumber. i've spent a lifetime developing it.

be water, frens. wu wei 4 eva.

tl;dr, "what is this [adjective] dogshit doing on my beloved anews?" … j/k, j/k. xoxo.

At this point in my life, I tend to prefer intelligently written essays, articles and books with which I have enough disagreements to actually have my mind challenged. I have long had a critique of modern science. By reading intelligently written books by scientists, I have had to hone and refine that critique, to give it far more nuance than it originally had. In philosophy, I can also find much of this sort. In anarchist writing, I get bored reading ideas that seem just like mine (unless they are written humorously or poetically or both), and if the writing is bad and the arguments poorly made (which is far too often the case), then I simply wish I had never come across them.
Oh, I do sometimes read informative books the basic premise of which I agree with, in order to gather evidence for my perspective, but that is simply research, and not that interesting to me,
In the realm of ideas, I want to be challenged, and challenged well. That is what I find most engaging.4ptUga

Emile, dat you all filtered down?

I'm a delicate freakin' little snowflake with anarcho-neoliberal tendencies and it really really destroys my faith in our beautiful species and heritage of humanity to have to read the terrible words of amoral fascist nihilists who wish to destroy the fabric of the innate democratic tendencies of the masses.
Furthermore, as our great historical rebel Founding Fathers forged a free independent anarcho-neoliberal wonderland where dirty talk and gutter humor has been eradicated and cleansed from the lexicon of daily intercourse oops discourse we can be confident that in the future all debates will follow the clean wholesome pathway which promises a fertile and prosperous rebellious future for all of us.
No more the foul trolling racist sexist jokes which satirized the hypocrisies of idpol social values, democracy demands the majority of people are least offended, haha, the founders of democracy failed to realise that to maximise the pleasures and comforts of the majority, that the inverse automatically triggers the minimization of the truth. Face it, reality hurts, democracy hates pain, censorship FTW.
the truth

Seriously though, why on an anarchist site were we expect the full free speech and opinions from all of the spectrum of society, from the
1/nutter moronic tirades, the
2/peurile self-absorbed adolescents, the
3/ sociopathic incels, the
4/smug socialist workerists, the
5/ twisted bitter nihilist the
6/demented substance abusing patriot the
7/inhibited masturbation addicted recluses the
8/aloof ancap entrepreneurs the
9/fundamentalist religious bigot the
10/beautiful compassionate Stirnerian individual.???
Some thoughts :/

This book may be of interest to both Aragorn! in that I hear he may be thinking of getting into a land project? Localism bolo bolo is in Boyle's project too: free to stay too so if A! fancies going to West Ireland... Also, Ria may be interested in this book as Boyle was a 'committed' vegan (uh hum! really?) Boyle does like to harp on about how hard he works and likes to think of himself as a pioneer, martyr, guru etc. He didn't write much about how and what his 'suffering' partner contributed: it is a book about him essentially. Yep, she ditched him... probably to get away from him and not necessarily to find 'herself!' It is an interesting read into how to be self sufficient, neighbourly, face-to-face, building community etc... a guide for young people too in its own way. There's no website for his place 'The Happy Pig.' He has no electricity, gas, no water on tap etc. All in all, Boyle has written a decent informative book.

I was raised in a conservative home, when I became extremely concerned with environmental issues those above me pushed me toward a host of right wing news organizations, books, and articles that had me feeling as though environmentalism was a hoax and I had been deceived. I became personally opposed to environmentalist views. My computer later became my pri.ary source of I formation. I never saw much evidence for global warming or a host of other serious issues. When I got a new phone I had a fresh start and decided to review my opinions with something that hasn't saved extensive search algorithms based on previous interest and couldn't believe what had been hidden from me. I am now thoroughly against extensive filtering and greatly appreciate their absence.

Filters are designed to maintain a status quo, society at large uses them with suburbs, politics and news. Consider that most filters are just means to preserve an individuals comfort.

In my opinion they suck unless designed to stop inundation or direct attacks. And I don't mean well thought out attacks, I'm talking about anonymous call outs of individuals. Accusations of fascism with no substance etc. Rumors with no backing blah blah.

A lot of those debates are about whether something is anarchist or not. A lot of the commenters on this site are sceptical of all forms of action - a decade ago, this would not have been considered anarchist, now it is. Their critique has entered the anarchist space. Similarly, a decade ago, there would have been no way anyone organising in the DSA could call themselves anarchist. Its not on this site, but its happened. Perso, anarchy involves eliminating the separation between ideas and their consequences, so if an idea leads to a good democratic life or to one cynically devoid of conflict with the existent, its not anarchist. Contrasting ideas on the level of theory won't reveal this, so more communiques snd less empty talk would help.

That said, "anarchist" isn't a synonym for "interesting", so read what you want.

This is completely compatible with anarchy. Perhaps anarchism needs its elective conflictuality, but that tends to lead you to mediating directions and strange bedfellows. It's also politics by other means which is why the everyone from the philosophical anarchists to the individualist anarchists/anarchs(such as myself and Le Way) tend to avoid it.

A good democratic life is obviously off the table mind you. Cynical anything is congruent with anarchy.

Yes its incredibly refreshing to have a cynical disregard for democracy's charade, and its players.

if the desire is for people to have better control over what they see or find interesting, there are many things that could be done with drupal to make that happen. some of the things i have thought of that could help:

- upvote/downvote particular articles and comments (reputation-like)
- hide comments from users you don't want to see
- force some level of pseudonimity on anons (eg, programmatically modify the name to include some differentiating info for each "anon", it won't be perfect but it would help distinguish at some level, much of the time)

if the site maintainers are not willing/able to make technical changes, then just accept what is and stop bitching about it.

Pretty sure this TOTW is the best summary of why I value @news!

It's the only possible answer, exposure to ideas and critiques that chip away at my assumptions, where I'm still grumpy about it days later, unable to get the problem out of my head until I resolve it, like an itch you can't scratch. Is this what thinking feels like when you get older? lol

I dug up another unexamined assumption and all it took was a deep-dive in to @news comments! Now I just need eye bleach and a shower, good to go!


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