did someone muck with the backend here

Re: Guest Post - McLuhan Right Here.

1

Praying in football is three times as bad as being offside?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-28-19 7:55 AM
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1: Well being offside is just being overeager to play. Praying is a fundamental misunderstanding of the game.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 08-28-19 8:23 AM
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"And you don't get a refund, if you overpray."


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08-28-19 8:27 AM
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Praying in football is three times as bad as being offside?

Representing the fact that explaining theodicy is three times as difficult as explaining the offside rule.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 08-28-19 8:35 AM
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In American football, offside is easy.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-28-19 8:37 AM
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If liberals get their way, no football teams will be allowed to run a Hail Mary.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 08-28-19 8:38 AM
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6: No, it will just be renamed Hail Satan.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 08-28-19 8:40 AM
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Evangelicals might agree with liberals on that.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-28-19 8:41 AM
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8 to 6.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-28-19 8:41 AM
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or 25 to 9.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08-28-19 8:46 AM
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*applause* Those are four good stories, and worth feeling proud of. The "Amen" link is particularly pithy, but they're all good.

The description of your method makes me think of two things:

First, I recently heard a comment that, "the arguments or evidence which convinces you are unlikely to be the thing that convinces somebody who disagrees with you." That argument or evidence is convincing within a certain mental framework and the person who disagrees with you has a different mental framework. It sounds like you're making an attempt to strip as much of your mental framework away from the point that you're making so that it's in a form that somebody who is starting from a different position could still recognize the argument.

Second, it makes me think of the one transcendent moment in my (otherwise up-and-down) experience of college debate. I competed in a format which was largely extemporaneous. There was a new topic each round and teams had only a few minutes to prepare. In this particular round the affirmative team was arguing in favor of taking proactive measures to prevent terrorism. I was arguing the negative.

It's probably no surprise to anybody here that one of my weaknesses as a debater was that I tended towards overly abstract arguments which lacked any visceral hook. In this case I was making a broad argument about the risks to civil liberties of proactive measures. Somebody from the other team stood up to ask me a question (as they were allowed to do), "could I give an example of my concerns about civil liberties." I thought for a moment or two and then replied that Japanese interment during WWII was done to proactively prevent terrorism (sabotage). In that moment three things were obvious.

1) I would never have come up with such a clear example if they hadn't asked.
2) Even if I had thought of it, it was ten times as effective, rhetorically, coming in response to a question (and after a visible moment's thought) than it would have been if I'd just brought it up in my speech. It made it much harder for them to argue that I was just scare-mongering.
3) Everybody in the room knew, immediately, that the round was over, and that we had won. My, the other team, the judge . . . That was the only time I've ever had that experience in a debate.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 08-28-19 8:48 AM
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I would really like to put in a plug for "The Best Ever Death Metal Band out of Denton". The best part is how they hail Satan at the end. Hail Satan.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08-28-19 8:49 AM
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"could I give an example of my concerns about civil liberties."

And, if you'd been bullshitting, this would be a great example of how to gently ask someone to reflect on the contradictions of their thinking. Just in all cases, asking someone to explain their thinking is a good strategy. Also in teaching math.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08-28-19 8:51 AM
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Isn't Denton like Plano but without the edge?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-28-19 8:51 AM
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Denton has more edge than Plano, because it's a college town with a strong music scene. (Trivers is there at the moment, IIRC.)


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08-28-19 8:52 AM
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I will update my knowledge of Dallas suburbs.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-28-19 8:56 AM
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you can hold a mirror up to people that they find unbearable to look at.
As I recall* quite strong research shows this generally isn't true: when confronted with contradictory evidence people in general and conservatives in particular will react not by changing their view but by doubly down on it.
*If this got killed in the reproducibility crisis, sincerely, please let me know. It's an important premise in my general understanding of politics.


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 08-28-19 8:57 AM
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I assumed Plano was edgier because if Cheetos.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-28-19 8:57 AM
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OP: Following 17, were any of these people who pulled posts committed Republicans? Have any of them abandoned the expressed beliefs in general, rather than retreating in these particular instances?


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 08-28-19 9:00 AM
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17 is what I recall as well, from the past articles that I handwaved about in the OP. However, I wonder if PF is somehow being a little less heavy-handed than what is being measured in the studies as being ineffective.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08-28-19 9:14 AM
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20: Sure. OTOH, anecdote for anecdote, I've probably won* every political argument I've had with my parents and their siblings since I was about 10, and they've never shifted their net positions a whit, just gotten more right-wing with age.
*Scored by logic or rhetoric either.


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 08-28-19 9:18 AM
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17, 19: I make no claim to have changed minds.

In 17, the quote you provide doesn't make the argument you rebut. My claim is that I created a level of tension that could only be resolved by actively suppressing not just my words, but their own. I provided "a mirror ... that they find unbearable to look at."

(Side note for the record: In the discussions of the Constitution and torture, it was actually sympathizers to my views who took down the post. Both conversations were raucous, argumentative and aggressive, but polite factual observations by me were considered too offensive to stand -- quite reasonably, I think. One poster -- the one discussing the Constitution -- apologized to me: "He's my brother ..." And in a separate conversation, the other poster -- the one who objected to torture -- chuckled with me over the McLuhan clip from Annie Hall.)


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 08-28-19 9:23 AM
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That was a funny movie, but not as funny as people think it is.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-28-19 9:35 AM
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University of North Texas has an INCREDIBLE music program. Check out the One O'Clock Lab Band.

Middle Tennessee State, too.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 08-28-19 9:37 AM
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22.1: I interpreted that quote to argue that you had in fact changed minds. If you make no such claim, fine.


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 08-28-19 9:42 AM
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I wonder if PF is somehow being a little less heavy-handed ...

The reverse, I think. "Amen" was just straightforward cruelty on my part, and I knew it when I did it.

And as I subsequently revealed, two of the other posts were taken down by people who actually sympathize with my views. It was okay with them that their Facebook friends got aggressively rebutted by others, but what I did amounted to a public humiliation that goes beyond calling someone a fascist or whatever.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 08-28-19 9:44 AM
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Politics doesn't come up very often when I'm around my conservative acquaintances but when it does I also limit myself to simple statements of fact or descriptions of the frame they are using. Typically the smarter ones will grimace and look away, temporarily shutting down. If the implications of my conversational intervention are too hidden they will repeat and reword their previous statements putting us into a bit of a loop that gets broken when they get pissed off and are open to asking me what I'm talking about.
Never ask a conservative a question. They love feeling like they have wisdom to impart, even if the question is, like, how the fuck can you be so brain damaged as to believe that. They will show you how Notice they never ask questions of liberals, possibly aside from an occasional opening gotcha, nor would they listen to the answers except as keyword triggers for some conspiracy theory.
Even if you convert a conservative on some issue chances are they will accept that as a rare acceptable liberal position, like a Republican with a gay child.
I have yet to see a systematic attack. Anyone have reading suggestions on cult deprogramming and sobering up conspiracy theorists? How do therapists talk down schizophrenics?
The best interventions work, I think, when they get the other person to complete the thought, to realize the implication on their own. Then they are set against themselves and ideally should be given a way out, a truthful, likely painful, way out. The problem is, cognitive dissonance is fuel for a conspiracies.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 08-28-19 9:51 AM
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Internet crackpot has theories and small dataset observations.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 08-28-19 9:52 AM
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Excellent responses and style choice pf, I am saving the amen link.

My own feeling about interactions like this is that there's little hope of changing people's fundamental thinking or deep priors, but changing habits of speech and online blather is possible. These can of course reinforce attitudes, so it's a possibly effective nudge.

I see a few folks who forward and click on a pretty high volume of stuff, mostly conservatives. The issue is partly that they've filled their feeds with crap, and partly that clicking forward has apparently become kind of a reflex- "what were you thinking " is an off-key response.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 08-28-19 9:55 AM
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How do therapists talk down schizophrenics?

I think you need a prescription antipsychotic that selectively targets the internet connection.


Posted by: lurid keyaki | Link to this comment | 08-28-19 10:08 AM
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26: That says the most about them, because that "Amen" link shouldn't be cruel at all. How could a good Christian not appreciate the prayers of their Abrahamic fellows, who praise the same creator? If the football player is being punished for his prayer, they should be the first at his side, lest they admit that, say, Tebow's extravagance is hypocritically tolerated as an acceptable display of privilege.

Assholes.


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 08-28-19 10:11 AM
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31: One of several ways pf's interlocutor could in fact have responded, had they been nimble or motivated enough to do so; similarly NickS's opponent.* The OP's approach doesn't work at the strategic level, as acknowledged in 22.1; at the tactical level, it will only work until you have a motivated charlatan in the fight. If you're quick and you know stuff you can come up with a rebuttal to anything (I know, I've done it hundreds of times); if you're willing to lie / don't care about consistency/ are playing for an audience of idiots, you can field those rebuttals even faster.
*"Well actually there _were_ ethnic-Japanese agents in America, including ones watching ship movements in Pearl Harbor, and the attack there was timed based in part on that intelligence; and, speaking of intelligence, almost all the foreign agents the FBI has caught in the last 20 years were hyphenated-Americans, intimidated or indoctrinated via connections in their homelands; why just a couple of months ago a Chinese-American engineering professor was convicted for transferring missile technology to China, and was sentenced to 193 years in jail."**
**I think everything in (*) is at least roughly true. At the logical level I'm obliged to go and find cites, and even if I do those facts might not be enough to justify "proactive measures" (depending how that term is defined); but at the rhetorical level those claims are enough to win the fight, or at least to prolong it for another round.


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 08-28-19 10:33 AM
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that "Amen" link shouldn't be cruel at all.

I know! That's what makes it so vicious!


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 08-28-19 11:24 AM
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The OP's approach doesn't work at the strategic level, as acknowledged in 22.1;

In 22.1 (and the original post) I was limiting myself to claims that I thought I could substantiate. I was not acknowledging failure in the strategy you say I am pursuing.

In any event, changing minds is not my strategic objective here, nor is scoring debating points, though I'll admit to a certain satisfaction when I do those things. What I'm trying to do is to converse in good faith with people who aren't accustomed to that. I want to understand how their epistemic process works, and to that end, I'm willing to let them change my mind.

at the tactical level, it will only work until you have a motivated charlatan in the fight.

I'm not sure what tactical objective is being attributed to me here, but how does your motivated charlatan respond to "Amen?"


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 08-28-19 12:05 PM
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Here's a paper purporting to debunk the 'backfire effect.' No doubt it will only serve to strengthen Mossy's view that the effect exists.

(I have only read the abstract.)


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 08-28-19 12:10 PM
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What's the point of being a charlatan if you need to be motivated?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-28-19 12:22 PM
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34.5: Godless liberals control the NFL, hence their hostility to prayer of all sorts.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 08-28-19 12:33 PM
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17: I think it did not survive the replication crisis, though I don't know a reference.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 08-28-19 12:46 PM
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35 is interesting.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08-28-19 12:47 PM
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37: Tim Tebow's public prayer inspired the verb "Tebowing." He even got it trademarked! So no problem there.

And, in fact, the NFL said the Muslim guy shouldn't have been penalized. So we agree that nobody should be afraid to pray in public, and even the NFL agrees.

That's one of the insidious things about "Amen." I'm actually agreeing with the original post. The motivated charlatan, as portrayed by peep, concedes my point entirely (and attempts to distract me with the red herring of the godless NFL, but I choose to rebut that without directly taking the bait.)


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 08-28-19 12:52 PM
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Fucking hell


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 08-28-19 12:52 PM
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40: So we all agree that no one should be penalized or mockedfor prayer? Than why were those liberals snickering at me when I said grace before drinking my pumpkin spice latte at Starbucks?


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 08-28-19 1:03 PM
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Your zipper is down.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-28-19 1:04 PM
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43: Ad hominem! Below the belt!


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 08-28-19 1:11 PM
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42: We agree. I'm sorry the liberals hurt your feelings.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 08-28-19 1:13 PM
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Is "The Other Place" a certain well-known website? Is "she" taking down posts you've put on a thread/page she has deletion privs on? Seems within her rights, if so. Maybe not nice, but the internet ain't beanball.


Posted by: DaveLMA | Link to this comment | 08-28-19 1:14 PM
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46: Headcodex.


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 08-28-19 1:17 PM
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45: This is so sweet. I'm glad you and your niece are getting along.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 08-28-19 1:28 PM
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46.1: Yup. It's what you think it is. In Catholic school, the nuns told me that if I didn't straighten out, I'd end up in the Other Place. Similarly, I feel constrained against using the proper name of a certain online pit of torment.

And yes, she was absolutely within her rights to remove the post. I wasn't offended at all, and as you can see, I am occasionally inclined to brag about it.

48: I no longer see her posts. She blocked me. (Which is for the best, I think. Her mom supplies the necessary cute grandson photos.)


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 08-28-19 1:38 PM
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So is The Other Place more like The Good Place, The Bad Place, or the Medium Place? I've always thought of it as long periods of boredom (scroll, scroll, scroll, ...) interspersed with screaming (SHE SAID WHAT??????). Plus cat pictures, of course.


Posted by: DaveLMA | Link to this comment | 08-28-19 4:55 PM
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I assume the cat pictures are porn for a fetish I don't share. Otherwise, why so many?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-28-19 4:57 PM
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I have a family member who is of a minority ethnicity and looks very much so. They also have children that are clearly minorities. This person has experienced blatant bigotry. They live in a benighted state where minorities are treated hatefully. None of these facts has changed this person's right wing political views. This person's white hetero cis spouse is also conservative.

Just putting this out as a fact without directly challenging anyone's belief that other people's beliefs can be changed by facts.

I know this looks made up but it's true.


Posted by: lumpkin | Link to this comment | 08-28-19 5:01 PM
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To change hearts and minds, a couple of weekends ago, I bought a beer for the husband of my cousin. They have a kid named "Reagan." I pretended it was a misspelled Shakespeare reference.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-28-19 5:45 PM
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I absolutely refuse to do politics at the Other Place, but sometimes I lose my temper and drop a set of links when someone is being awful about established science. The most recent provocation (they are few and far between) was someone's asshole uncle being in denial about global warming. I left something like five links to reputable sources, noted that government scientists did not reap financial rewards for their findings (ha!) and asked whether the guy second-guessed all the other informed experts in his life - must be hard to be an expert mechanic and physician AND climatologist. The guy had the good grace not to argue, at least.


Posted by: ydnew | Link to this comment | 08-28-19 5:51 PM
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51: Toxoplasmosis. Also the root cause of the "vore" fetish.


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 08-28-19 6:19 PM
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53: A family who named their kid Regan (or Goneril) would absolutely terrify me. Naming your kid Cordelia is merely sick.


Posted by: lourdes kayak | Link to this comment | 08-28-19 6:58 PM
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I keep meaning to see that play, but I haven't yet.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-28-19 7:00 PM
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I did see "Hamlet" and that didn't turn out very well for anybody involved but people still get named Ophelia and Polonius.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-28-19 7:48 PM
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Who gets named Polonius?


Posted by: lourdes kayak | Link to this comment | 08-28-19 7:54 PM
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There's one in every class it seems.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-28-19 7:58 PM
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Causes problems when the kids do active shooter training because when the teachers say to hide, nobody named Polonius will get behind the curtain.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-28-19 7:59 PM
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True story: my best friend named her son Ore/stes. He's like four now, and I'm not done boggling.


Posted by: Tia | Link to this comment | 08-28-19 8:29 PM
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I don't know if this link will work, but 100% of the time when I hear that name, I think not of Greek tragedy but of Stories for Free Children and this little tenrec creature who tries to figure out what a man is by asking all the other animals. If I ever actually read the Oresteia it's going to be really bewildering. Even the name makes me think of cute, fuzzy little ears. It's hopeless.


Posted by: lurid keyaki | Link to this comment | 08-28-19 8:40 PM
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@ The Other Place, this is The Other Place.

Wherever you go, there you are.


Posted by: md 20/400 | Link to this comment | 08-28-19 9:55 PM
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For Mossy.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 08-29-19 12:59 AM
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A family who named their kid Regan (or Goneril) would absolutely terrify me. Naming your kid Cordelia is merely sick.

Well, she came to a tragic end, but basically she was a good kid, wasn't she? Might as well say you shouldn't call your kid Juliet. (The wee kid in The Exorcist was called Regan.)


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 08-29-19 1:49 AM
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So we all agree that no one should be penalized or mockedfor prayer?

Counterpoint: no, everyone should be penalised or mocked for public prayer. Christ said so. My text is taken from the Gospel of Matthew, chapter six.


Take heed that ye do not your alms before men, to be seen of them: otherwise ye have no reward of your Father which is in heaven. Therefore when thou doest thine alms, do not sound a trumpet before thee, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward. But when thou doest alms, let not thy left hand know what thy right hand doeth: That thine alms may be in secret: and thy Father which seeth in secret himself shall reward thee openly. And when thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites are: for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward. But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly. But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking. Be not ye therefore like unto them: for your Father knoweth what things ye have need of, before ye ask him.

Or, as our old chaplain once put it: "Giving to charity should be like pissing in your wetsuit. It should give you a nice warm feeling, but no one should know you're doing it, and you certainly shouldn't talk about it afterwards."


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 08-29-19 1:54 AM
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He's like four now, and I'm not done boggling.

Hang in a couple of years and he'll be ready to join you.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 08-29-19 2:10 AM
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35: Thanks. I'll read and respond properly in time.
65: Thanks.


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 08-29-19 2:19 AM
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67.last is wonderful


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 08-29-19 2:21 AM
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70: yeah, he was a great guy. Like a PG Wodehouse cleric who had wandered into the real world through a slipspace portal while looking for a drive he had sliced into the rough on the long fourth.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 08-29-19 2:25 AM
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Hasten to point out that he's still alive, just retired.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 08-29-19 2:25 AM
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how does your motivated charlatan respond to "Amen?"
See 32.1/31. Assuming the charlatan is even paying lip service to liberalism. If he's a straightforward Christian supremacist "Amen" isn't even a rhetorical problem, it's just more evidence that Christians should mobilize.


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 08-29-19 2:48 AM
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71: and I am not quite sure where the Halo/Wodehouse crossover came from but it is now lodged firmly inside my head.

"Cortana and the Feudal Spirit".


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 08-29-19 2:53 AM
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"Arm yourselves. The Flood is upon us."
"A most disturbing development, sir."


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 08-29-19 2:54 AM
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Speaking of vore porn, the Arby's reopens in two weeks.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-29-19 4:57 AM
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I just learned that Beto named his first-born kid Ulysses, and I'm having judgmental thoughts. OTOH, maybe the kid will grow up to be an alcoholic general who leads us to victory in the forthcoming civil wars.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 08-29-19 5:00 AM
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Maybe he'll take ten years to cross the Mediterranean.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-29-19 5:02 AM
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I'LL BE WAITING.


Posted by: OPINIONATED SALVINI | Link to this comment | 08-29-19 5:05 AM
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A guy who was carrying a gun downtown, presumably because of the stabbings lately, managed to shoot himself. On the one hand, it seems bad to mock somebody who is in the hospital with a serious injury. On the other hand, I don't know exactly how he was carrying the gun, but he's lucky he didn't shoot his nuts off.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-29-19 5:24 AM
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We should probably have warnings on the TV about how you shouldn't stick a gun in the waistband of your trousers to give people something to think about in between the shows where people shove guns in their waistbands.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-29-19 5:27 AM
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79: Not for much longer, it seems.


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 08-29-19 5:35 AM
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82: Inshallah.


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 08-29-19 5:43 AM
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OP: Dealing with trolls is the central problem of modern public discourse
See 32, 73. Trolls are, pretty much by definition, motivated charlatans, and won't be defeated by PF's approach.


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 08-29-19 6:09 AM
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1. So, PF isn't going to reach the trolls themselves; his (?) targets presumably are the non-trolls in discussions.
What then are PF's aims?

OP: Name-calling and red-herring digressions are the trolls' stock-in-trade, and it saddens me when I see my smart friends responding in kind.
34: What I'm trying to do is to converse in good faith with people who aren't accustomed to that.

So, I infer his aim is something like "reduce the trollishness of discussions".

2. What are PF's interventions?
OP cases (which he presents as exemplary):
A. Pearl - entire discussion deleted
B. Amen - entire discussion deleted, PF blocked (49)
C. 13/14th Amendment - entire discussion deleted
D. HS Republican - entire discussion deleted

3. What occurs in a PF intervention?
3.1. PF makes a polite factual observation in a troll-contaminated discussion.
3.2. The entire discussion is deleted.
3.3. (Possibly) PF is permanently excluded from future discussions.
3.4. The discussants move on to another discussion.

4. How do PF's interlocutors experience this process?
4.1. PF makes a polite factual observation (often with transparently combative intent).
4.2. All evidence of (1) disappears.
4.3. (Possibly) PF disappears.
4.4. The interlocutors move on to the next discussion.

5. Did PF advance his aims?
Is the discussion in (3.4/4.4) any less trollish? Has the tone improved? Have the trolls gone away? Are non-trolls any less receptive to or prone to trollish tactics? Will PF's example lead any non-trolls to reconsider their own behavior? Possibly; but, I expect, vanishingly rarely. In the case of (B), I think it's safe to assume not. In the cases of (ABC), I'll guess the same, but await PF's polite and factual evaluation.

6. What results does PF actually demonstrate, from his own evidence?
He is sometimes able (a) to get entire trollish discussions deleted, and (b) to get himself removed from certain venues. If application of (a) could reduce the absolute number of trollish discussions, that would be worth bragging about; but of course it cannot, as indicated by (b): the trollishly-inclined will instead segregate themselves where they feel unthreatened.


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 08-29-19 6:09 AM
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Aside from PF's aims - which are laudable - what is his affect while pursuing them? What might this imply for his efficacy?

22: polite factual observations by me were considered too offensive to stand
26: just straightforward cruelty on my part, and I knew it when I did it.
26: posts were taken down by people who actually sympathize with my views...what I did amounted to a public humiliation
33: That's what makes it so vicious!
TBC, I would be fine with the infliction of lots of humiliation on lots of conservatives, if I thought doing so would produce some meaningful structural change; but the infliction of trivial humiliation on trivial numbers of individuals I think is pointless at best.


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 08-29-19 6:10 AM
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To sum up:
1. PF can't change minds, and doesn't want to (22).
2. PF can't win arguments at the rhetorical level (32), and doesn't want to (34).
3. PF wants to reduce the trollishness of discussions, but his approach is dubious, to put it charitably (85).
4. Apart from the many fine jokes, the only thing of value to emerge from all this comes from Heebietake and 35: how real is the Backfire Effect? I'll write something up when I have time.


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 08-29-19 6:10 AM
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You should also consider the effect of what happens if nobody challenges any of that kind of nonsense. People could start thinking everyone is a right wing troll.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-29-19 6:43 AM
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Removal of a trollish discussion from the view of additional trolls/troll-adjacents/non-trolls has value you're not accounting for. Not just view, but also possible signal boost through sharing.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 08-29-19 6:48 AM
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87.4: So clearly this is one of most productive Unfogged threads ever. Thank you, politicalfootball!


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 08-29-19 6:48 AM
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89: True. But, mutatis mutandis, I think 87.6 applies.


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 08-29-19 6:56 AM
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And also to 88. And for reasons given I don't see PF's mode of challenging would be especially effective.


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 08-29-19 6:59 AM
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To 87.6, I have no response.

I'm not sure, Mossy, whether or not you're a denizen of the Other Place. If not, I'll remind you that unlike the open internet, where DNFTT is time-tested, at the Other Place, people know each other, on some level. Often more than causally. This changes the values of silent acquiescence and laying down a marker, respectively.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 08-29-19 7:30 AM
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91 s/b 85.6.


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 08-29-19 7:49 AM
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Might as well say you shouldn't call your kid Juliet

TBH I think Juliet is an iffy name for a kid, for similar reasons (and the Juliet I know best would agree). But with Cordelia it's the extremity of the parent-child relation that makes it seem like an especially perverse thing to put on a baby blanket, if not quite in the same league as Orestes.


Posted by: lourdes kayak | Link to this comment | 08-29-19 8:07 AM
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1. PF can't change minds, and doesn't want to (22).
2. PF can't win arguments at the rhetorical level (32), and doesn't want to (34).
3. PF wants to reduce the trollishness of discussions, but his approach is dubious, to put it charitably (85).

I think that's too uncharitable. I don't think PF's approach is "one weird trick" that will change people's minds, but I do think it has some rhetorical advantages, and that it has some potential to be an efficient way to respond to trolls (and to provide some personal satisfaction which, is something).

As I see it one of the most tiring things about trollish discussions is how they often fall into well-defined back-and-forths which are familiar (and tiring) to everybody. One significant element of what PF is describing is that it departs from the expected script just enough to avoid prompting the expected (and tiresome) response.

Consider the "Amen" conversation. The standard earnest, well-meaning response would be to talk about how ostentatious prayer can make non-Christians feel ostracized (either in public schools or NBA teams.). That leads to a response of, "people just need to toughen up/not make a big deal out of it" and it becomes just another culture wars argument. PF's response, by contrast, is delightful in part because it makes the point while highlighting somebody who is clearly not feeling ostracized (in that moment; I have no idea how the rest of his NFL experience is).

Or the first story just slightly sidesteps the familiar dynamic of "people advocating for torture are being pointlessly cruel" / "it's a cruel world, and you need to be willing to respond in kind" which can go on forever.

PF describes his approach as "show don't tell" but I think part of what it accomplishes by leaving out the "tell" portion is to limit some of the ways in which trolling can pushing conversations into endless spirals.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 08-29-19 8:14 AM
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95: But Orestes is probably still a shade better than Oedipus.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 08-29-19 8:25 AM
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I ain't trying to cure cancer here or anything, so it's perfectly possible for Mossy to be unimpressed with my results while I am quite pleased. Mossy really illustrates this in 73 when providing the response of our "motivated charlatan."

See 32.1/31. Assuming the charlatan is even paying lip service to liberalism.

As I said in 40, that would be entirely conceding my point. I'm not asking for anything here but an affirmation of basic decency.

If he's a straightforward Christian supremacist "Amen" isn't even a rhetorical problem, it's just more evidence that Christians should mobilize.

"Christian supremacist" is very strong language, and constitutes a concession that probably goes further than anything I would have insisted on. But yes, this also is a direct concession to me, and not a counter-argument at all.

That would have been an especially productive concession, from my point of view. We would have then laid the groundwork for a discussion of the merits of Christian supremacy. And (as I think Nick, in particular, understands) you can't have that discussion until your interlocutor acknowledges that this is their perspective.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 08-29-19 8:54 AM
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But with Cordelia it's the extremity of the parent-child relation that makes it seem like an especially perverse thing to put on a baby blanket

And yet we have plenty of Isaacs and, for that matter, Jesuses.


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 08-29-19 9:31 AM
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We would have then laid the groundwork for a discussion of the merits of Christian supremacy.
Inconsistent on its face with:
Had I been challenged, I would have declined to discuss the morality and usefulness of, for example, killing immigrant children.
I'll take the latter to be your actual position, assuming you're trying to be consistent overall.
You say from your point of view a "highly productive concession" would be the interlocutor saying in effect "I'm a Nazi."* All this will do is accelerate the segregation of the group into Nazis and non-Nazis. While this would likely create a more pleasant environment for the non-Nazis, it would also push the Nazis into increasingly uniform alternative venues where their views would be challenged even less often. Giving the Youtube suggestion algorithm a helping hand, in short. I see nothing for you to be pleased about at all, beyond the aesthetic, point-scoring level.
*/racist/whatever


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 08-29-19 9:40 AM
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And yet we have plenty of Isaacs and, for that matter, Jesuses.

A friend just reported a sibling pair at the school where she teaches named Cain and Abel.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08-29-19 10:38 AM
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That's sensible. If they had different names and one killed the other, it would be an unmitigated horror instead if a funny news story and a horror.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-29-19 10:44 AM
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If s/b of.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-29-19 11:02 AM
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101: That may be the worst of all.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 08-29-19 11:17 AM
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Regarding consistency: I'm not saying that I respond with the same approach to everything every time, or that I aspire to do so. Circumstances alter cases, and sometimes I'm just not interested in following a troll down a particular rabbit-hole. (Troll-hole?) And sometimes I have come very close to laying the groundwork for a particular discussion, but haven't fully succeeded. So I'm willing to drop it.

So when I say this:

We would have then laid the groundwork for a discussion of the merits of Christian supremacy.

I don't mean that I have an obligation to pursue that discussion. But I have made that discussion possible. I haven't boxed myself into a stupid conversation about the whether and why Christians are persecuted in the US. We can talk about the thing that is actually going on. Or we can simply agree that Muslims ought not be persecuted for religious practices that are acceptable for Christians. Either is fine with me.

And when I say this:

Had I been challenged, I would have declined to discuss the morality and usefulness of, for example, killing immigrant children.

I don't need to explain or defend this. Again: Show (we're killing children), don't tell (killing children is bad). Now if my interlocutor really wants to go there -- killing children is an affirmative good! pour encourager les autres! -- then I would be willing to entertain the possibility of engaging in that conversation, and I have laid the groundwork for doing so. But the conversation started with an explicit denial that the US brutalizes immigrants. You can't have a conversation about the utility and morality of abusing people until you acknowledge the facts. And to be clear: As with the "Amen" thing, my interlocutors made the absolute correct choice (from their point of view) in not wanting to engage in that debate. To do so would have been to concede my point, as we saw in your 73.

Ah, but is it a discussion worth having? That's implicit in your query here:

You say from your point of view a "highly productive concession" would be the interlocutor saying in effect "I'm a Nazi."*

You have read me with precision and insight. This is exactly what I'm saying. You conclude:

All this will do is accelerate the segregation of the group into Nazis and non-Nazis.

Maybe! What I'm looking for is clarity. It is my belief that precision, honesty and decency act in opposition to fascism, but I am absolutely open to the idea that I am wrong about that. The fascists themselves largely agree with me -- that's why they are so resistant to discussing things factually in the context of normal morality. That's why sometimes posts disappear and motivated charlatans don't try to rebut me.

But (and this is really important) if, in fact, honesty, precision, clarity and morality serve racism, then I absolutely want to know that, so I can get fitted for my hood and robes. I really do mean to engage in a discussion in good faith. I want to cut through the dog whistles and the trollery to be able to discuss the actual thing, and not the red herrings.

I see nothing for you to be pleased about at all, beyond the aesthetic, point-scoring level.

According to you, point-scoring was my whole tactical objective, and I failed. But yes, as you now acknowledge, I scored! And it was fun! Also: I like publicly humiliating bigots in part pour encourager les autres.

But really, what I want to do is engage in a good faith conversation with people who are consciously (or instinctively) reluctant to do that. By what mechanism do people become Trumpists? What do they get out of it? How do they reconcile their views with factuality and decency? I am fascinated by these questions, and I think there are limits to what you can learn about these people by talking to their opponents. I want them to tell me.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 08-29-19 12:05 PM
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That all sounds like a lot. Have you tried shitposting?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-29-19 2:55 PM
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fascists themselves largely agree with me [...] That's why sometimes posts disappear
In two of four cases given, the posts were taken down by liberals (22).

I am fascinated by these questions, and I think there are limits to what you can learn about these people by talking to their opponents. I want them to tell me.
I reiterate 85.5, to which PF notably failed to respond. Did he advance his aims?
1. How much good faith discussion has he had, and how much has he learned, from the circle of his niece, from which he was banned following his gleeful cruelty?
2. How much good faith discussion did he have, and how much did he learn, from the threads which were deleted, following his gleeful cruelty?
3. How much good faith discussion has he had, and how much has he learned, from the venues in (2), following his gleeful cruelty?
4. How many good faith discussions has he started, anywhere, following an application of gleeful cruelty?
5. How much has he learned, from any interlocutor, following an application of gleeful cruelty?

really, what I want to do is engage in a good faith conversation
I reiterate 85.6, more explicitly, for PF's benefit: what PF has described and celebrated throughout this thread is a discursive tactic which has, on his own evidence, resulted solely in the termination of discourse; he has not advanced conversations, but ended them.

What I'm looking for is clarity.
I will let the quality of PF's writing in this thread speak for itself.


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 08-29-19 3:52 PM
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what PF has described and celebrated throughout this thread is a discursive tactic which has, on his own evidence, resulted solely in the termination of discourse

That presumes that the four examples given were the only cases in which PF has attempted this tactic. I think it's more likely that PF has attempted this tactic repeatedly and that those four cases were noteworthy for the fact that they provoked a specific reaction (deleting the post). It's, obviously, still fair to ask what other reactions he's received, but I don't think it's fair to assume that the examples in the post are the only examples.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 08-29-19 4:03 PM
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It also seems off to me to describe what PF is doing as gleeful cruelty. I don't know if it does any good -- I don't know if anything does any good -- but the described interactions are perfectly civil.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08-29-19 4:05 PM
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108: They are the examples he chose to celebrate. As with his celebration of his own cruelty, this suggests, at the least, incoherence in his motives and lack of reflection on his methods.


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 08-29-19 4:10 PM
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86 to 109. His descriptions, not mine.


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 08-29-19 4:12 PM
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Did he advance his aims?

Yeah - I think I really do understand these folks and how they think better than I otherwise would. Nick is correct that I am describing one interesting result, and not every result. How much good faith conversation have I had? Not anywhere near as much as I'd like, but some. I had a great in-person conversation with a Trumpist about the nature of truth and its appropriate applicability in politics and daily life. It was really annoying having this really smart conversation in a group of liberals who were all trying to side-track us into irrelevancies like "How can you support that monster Trump?" etc.

Certainly I haven't seen an alternative approach with better results in this regard.

And while my liberal friends have taken down a couple posts, other liberal friends have publicly congratulated me (and my fascist interlocutors!) on our ability to maintain civilized discourse. Both responses strike me as reasonable reactions to functionally identical conduct.

what PF has described and celebrated throughout this thread is a discursive tactic which has, on his own evidence, resulted solely in the termination of discourse; he has not advanced conversations, but ended them.

Nick has already provided the obvious answer. I will add: In these particular examples, I found the choice to end conversations to have advanced the conversation in an enlightening way.

109: I'm okay with "gleeful cruelty." That's a reasonable reading of my language. I'm not trying to be kind -- just polite. I also referred to "publicly humiliating bigots." I'm not terribly proud of this, and it's not my central purpose, but in all honesty, I have to acknowledge that I get satisfaction from it. I can certainly understand if Mossy doesn't think this speaks well of me. (As long as I'm doing true confessions, I'll also admit to cackling about my interaction with my niece in conversation her parents and sister.)

I will let the quality of PF's writing in this thread speak for itself.

Ouch! As I said: I look for clarity; I seek good-faith conversations; I don't always achieve these things.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 08-29-19 4:46 PM
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112: Thank you. Why did you lead with those four examples?
I had a great in-person conversation with a Trumpist about the nature of truth and its appropriate applicability in politics and daily life.
What did they say?


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 08-29-19 4:56 PM
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The other issue that I am exploring: How do we engage with trolls without feeding them? I think it's a hugely important problem. It is crystal clear to me that we must engage with Trump and Trumpists, but how do we do so without abetting them? When I figure it out, I'm going to explain it to the New York Times.

I took Moby in 106 to be making friendly fun of me for my obsession, but there it is. It's a hard problem, and Mossy has a point in asserting that I have failed to crack it.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 08-29-19 4:59 PM
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My son yelled at my cousin (60 year-old retired police officer) for saying he voted for Trump. Honestly, I had to stop him, but it was pretty funny.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-29-19 5:01 PM
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106 is just because I learned a new word. I'm still learning how to use it, but I don't want to be left behind like I was for "totes."


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-29-19 5:02 PM
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Why did you lead with those four examples?

I didn't "lead" with them. They encompass the entirety of what I was looking to say. I am really interested in the reaction of people -- not just conservatives -- to simple factuality, and I thought those were interesting reactions.

My original post was too long as it was, and you might notice that I have gone on at excessive length in this thread and still haven't really developed the ideas that I have on this subject.

What did they say?

The liberals cut it short before we could really develop it, as they often do on Facebook and on blogs. We didn't really get past the stage where we were agreeing on premises: Truth is not the obvious central value that liberals make it out to be; science and reason are often defective methods to deal with reality. Factuality fails as a means to some legitimate ends. Stuff like that. We were ready to get down to cases -- how does this apply in real life? in politics? -- but we got distracted.

It was a rare opportunity, and I'm still sad that it didn't pan out. Conservatives want to talk about how immigrants are raping your sister. Liberals want to talk about how immigrants are NOT raping your sister. Nobody wants to talk about the benefits of saying that liberals are raping your sister -- or saying "the arc of the moral universe bends toward justice" or whatever.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 08-29-19 5:17 PM
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This piece is very good and along those lines. Not exactly, but I think it covers the rhetorical dimensions very well and explains why I stopped giving a fuck about people who complain about the left being mean to them.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-29-19 5:25 PM
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OT: Is it now a thing for prostitutes to ask you to text them a picture or is that just West Virginia?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-29-19 5:38 PM
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67: This, by the way, is great. I remembered the alms bit, but not the prayer part. I obviously should have gotten more than I did out of eight years of Catholic school.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 08-29-19 6:27 PM
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A lot of the discourse on the left has reached a dead end, driven by fear and thus serving not to persuade or further understanding but to reaffirm group identity and isolate out groups. We need more experiments like those of pf because winning what elections we can may not be enough.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 08-29-19 6:46 PM
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121: I wanted to mention to you that I am all about asking questions (contrary to 27.2). But if you do that, you have to ask the right question and commit to getting an answer. As you are obviously aware, the typical answer to an uncomfortable question is to ignore the question and drag things off on a tangent. I will ask the question again or, alternatively, I'll ask the person if there is something about the question that makes them uncomfortable. I always try to listen and I try to assume good faith, so that when I object, I am pointing out a mistake or misunderstanding rather than a deliberate effort to mislead me. I think that is much more often the case than we acknowledge. People have a real problem with epistemology: They don't understand how to ascertain truth, or they don't understand that there is some reason you should want to. And if you are genuinely listening, you are aware when a question doesn't get a responsive answer.

I like your word "experiments" in this context. That's what I'm doing: Experimenting.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 08-29-19 7:11 PM
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I should mention that whenever I talk about the discourse on the left you should consider my ox gored.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 08-29-19 8:24 PM
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How was your ox in an election in Florida?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-30-19 3:33 AM
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124: Bushwhacked.


Posted by: Doug | Link to this comment | 08-30-19 3:41 AM
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118. "You are calling for civility. The pro-slavery Confederates called for civility, and they were racists. Therefore you are a racist." I'm not sure that sort-of syllogism stands up to any sort of analysis, or achieves anything towards what pf was reaching for. It's not much different from "Shut up, he explained." (Fact: I used up my WaPo free reads, so I'm just reacting to the "trolling graf.")

Most threads or comment sections IRL are dominated by some in-group, and devote themselves to shouting down the out-group. This "works" because no one (even at such august publications as my local fish-wrap, the "BeanTown Beagle"*) referees the "conversation" among anonymous people. If there was a referee, people who are just posting garbage ("Obviously you are in Putin's pay" or "You want us be Venezuela") would have their posts removed (the "Beagle" does that, and I shudder to think what one must say to have ones comments removed, considering the ones they allow), or they would be banned (not very effective since they are anonymous and just return under a new posting name). Like most things about our society that are horrible, the internet is magnifying them and augmenting their horribleness.

* Not its real name.


Posted by: DaveLMA | Link to this comment | 08-30-19 5:12 AM
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When was the last time a fishmonger literally wrapped a fish in newspaper?


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 08-30-19 5:18 AM
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It's really a much better argument than that. It's worth clearing you cookies for. The point isn't that both are calling for civility, but that both are using "civility" to keep the argument focused on painting the other side as extremists and the aggressors. There was no way to support abolition without being attacked for lack of civility just as there's no way to object to Trump's very obvious racism without being attacked the same way.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-30-19 5:20 AM
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I want to add that I'm blaming the internet for this, even though human nature is at the root of the problem. pf's fun game is amusing but basically pointless, as research shows that people are rarely convinced to change their minds, and that pushing facts on them mostly makes them cling to their current beliefs more tightly. So, troll if you want, but don't expect anything more than trollish satisfaction. Just because something is true, saying it doesn't mean it isn't trolling.


Posted by: DaveLMA | Link to this comment | 08-30-19 5:25 AM
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128. Man, I hate tossing my cookies.


Posted by: DaveLMA | Link to this comment | 08-30-19 5:26 AM
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The other point, which is more mine than in the article, is that engaging in a debate where the basic equality of other races is in question but the motivation of the people who keep asserting white people are better (which is exactly what "civility" requires) is agreeing to conduct politics such that you can never win.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-30-19 5:26 AM
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Also, people are rarely convinced to change their minds, but opinions very obviously change over time. Something must be doing that even if it isn't obvious that any one given debate did anything.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-30-19 5:37 AM
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people are rarely convinced to change their minds, but opinions very obviously change over time. Something must be doing that even if it isn't obvious that any one given debate did anything.

Isn't this Max Born's remark about "funeral by funeral, Science advances"?


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 08-30-19 5:45 AM
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OR REGRESSES.


Posted by: OPINIONATED SOVIET MENDELIANS | Link to this comment | 08-30-19 5:47 AM
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Plus, Trump supporters and Trump are making the case that my sociodemographic group is at the same time persecuted, superior to other groups, and being helped by Trump. I feel the need to reject that explicitly even if it is identity politics. I like me. I'm unwilling to be identified with a bunch of fuckheads.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-30-19 5:54 AM
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Exactly. That's why we use pseuds.


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 08-30-19 6:03 AM
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129 see 35 and 65.

Like Donald Trump, I am a skeptic of intellectualized futility. If you can dream it, you can do it.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 08-30-19 6:04 AM
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128. "Antebellum reasoning" is what Scott Alexander calls a "motte and bailey" argument. (The term was coined.)

There is an argument you put forth that is extreme or repugnant or whatever ("slavery is good"), and you know that every reasonable person disagrees with it. That's the "bailey." You can't really defend that argument though, it's too unpopular. So, instead you wrap your repugnant belief in another argument that is more reasonable and widely agreed to be true ("free speech is good"). That's the "motte." You can win the argument at that level (or at least infuriate your opponents by using it) and thereby limit the damage to your repugnant belief.

Obviously one can go the other way, as Ms. Fairbanks does, accusing the right of employing a "motte" ("free speech is under attack") to protect a "bailey" (a basket of -isms), and suggesting that using the same "motte" implies that they are protecting the same "bailey" ("racism," at minimum).

That's the problem with such arguments. One can always say, "You claim to be supporting good thing, but really you are supporting bad thing."


Posted by: DaveLMA | Link to this comment | 08-30-19 6:20 AM
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138.1: Surely free speech has to be the bailey, not the motte?


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 08-30-19 6:23 AM
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Motte being cognate with mound, not moat.


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 08-30-19 6:24 AM
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140: Actually, confusingly, motte, mound, and moat are all cognate with one another. Presumably the moat being associated with the mound of excavated fill. Or vice versa.


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 08-30-19 6:30 AM
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Oops on my 138.1. "Motte and bailey" was coined by Nicholas Shackel, a British philosopher.

131. I can quite civilly tell people who "believe white people are better" that they are wrong. I'm not sure what you are suggesting there.

132. Also, people are rarely convinced to change their minds, but opinions very obviously change over time. They usually change when they see other members of their group changing, or they change individually due to introspection (and carefully forgetting that PF was right).


Posted by: DaveLMA | Link to this comment | 08-30-19 6:30 AM
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Bailey, anyway, is cognate with palisade.


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 08-30-19 6:32 AM
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You can't change people's minds. You can't teach people. Really, you can't help people at all.

I don't buy it.

Sure, helping people requires patience, effort and cooperation. Some people really are beyond help. But more often than we'd care to acknowledge, we're just not willing to expend the effort. Which is entirely reasonable! But it's uncomfortable to admit that we just don't care enough to do something, so we say that nothing can be done.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 08-30-19 6:37 AM
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139. I got hung up on that too. The idea is "a highly-protected stone-fortified keep (the motte) is accompanied by an enclosed courtyard protected by sharpened wooden palisades (the bailey)." (from RationalWiki)

Analogize the level of protection provided by the structures with the level of acceptability and difficulty in attacking/defeating the arguments and it kind of makes sense.


Posted by: DaveLMA | Link to this comment | 08-30-19 6:39 AM
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144.1. It's not impossible. It's just hard.


Posted by: DaveLMA | Link to this comment | 08-30-19 6:42 AM
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145: It's weird. You can say I guess that the defenders have been obliged to abandon racism (bailey) and have therefore retreated to civility (motte). But in fact they are still racist. So in terms of dialogue with outsiders, they have abandoned racism and retreated to civility; but in terms of internal dialogue, what they actually believe, they haven't abandoned racism (motte) but in fact built another layer of defense around it in the form of civility (bailey). Putting aside the literal bailey-made-of-wood, we can say that the old castle keep (motte, racism) has been overtaken by new developments in siegecraft (society-level morality) and therefore requires a new, more advanced, curtain wall (bailey, civility).


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 08-30-19 7:02 AM
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Arguments in public, or, in the case of the other place, semi-public, are not just or even primarily about changing the mind of the counter-party. There's a whole audience of people with convictions on spectrums between strong and weak, on the one axis, and right and wrong on the other. Also, the counter-party -- and this is especially true under the reign of our Insult Comic in Chief -- may well be performatively staking out a position that is out beyond his/her actual convictions. With people you know, or a gallery you know, it's maybe not as hopeless as it would be in the Beagle comment section to toss in a little truth.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 08-30-19 7:04 AM
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148: True. In terms of swaying the audience I doubt that truth will be effective unless accompanied by rhetorical point-scoring (assuming the other party has already dropped to that level).


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 08-30-19 7:11 AM
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I would say that taking down the post may more or less be an admission that the counter-party thinks that swaying the audience is possible. Or is embarrassed to have been shown before the audience to be an asshole. Remember, we're not talking about the Beagle here, but a forum that is more like this one, or even less anonymous/distant.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 08-30-19 7:20 AM
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It may surprise some, but not every Republican vote is motivated purely by racism.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 08-30-19 7:22 AM
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OT: "It's not true that we launched an insane nuclear powered cruise missile a few weeks ago and it blew up. We launched an insane nuclear powered cruise missile last year and it broke and fell into the sea, and we spent the last 11 months trying to find it, and then we found it it just a few weeks ago and when we tried to salvage it it blew up. BIG DIFFERENCE."


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 08-30-19 7:33 AM
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Y'all know of Daryl Davis, right?


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 08-30-19 7:36 AM
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151: As stated, that's an extraordinarily weak claim: Not every Republican vote is motivated purely by racism. Not every Ku Klux Klan membership is motivated purely by racism either, but it's impossible to understand either phenomenon without taking into account the prominent role of racism.

I mean, I recognize your sarcasm here, but what's the actual underlying claim? That Republican racism is over-emphasized in public discourse or among liberals? Personally, I think the reverse: That the media and a lot of liberals have deliberately understated the racism of Republicans.

The dust-up over the NYT's Tea Party story is instructive in this respect.

(I didn't know about Daryl Davis. Interesting!)


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 08-30-19 8:14 AM
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Among liberals there's is a need to define Republicans as a monolithic other and this is a barrier to understanding. Liberals don't want to understand Republicans, at least not with any nuance. They are scared of them (rightly so, of course).
I'd agree that the racism of Republicans has, in general, been understated, but I don't know of a productive way to change that.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 08-30-19 8:30 AM
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It may surprise some, but not every Republican vote is motivated purely by racism.

True. But every presidential Republican vote indicates that the voter discounts extreme racism as a disqualifying quality. (Including via lack of curiosity about it or other defense mechanisms.)


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08-30-19 8:34 AM
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Personally, I think there is a significant number of not-too-much-more-racist-than-average voters motivated by cultural affinity (everyone they know votes Republican) and a more politically engaged group that know at some level that voting Republican is not working but soothe themselves with conspiracies.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 08-30-19 8:35 AM
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Liberals don't want to understand Republicans, at least not with any nuance. They are scared of them (rightly so, of course).

This seems unfair, given the endless infinite appetite for head-scratching articles about how hard life is for rural yokels, in the most empathetic of manners. For example, that "he isn't hurting the people he's supposed to be hurting!" article.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08-30-19 8:35 AM
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The media and liberals have understated the racism of swing voters, not of Republicans. The media and liberals have extreme cognitive dissonance with the idea that Democratic politicians should try to get people who would consider voting for a Republican, and therefore don't care enough about racism and are bad, to vote for them.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 08-30-19 8:36 AM
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156: Every Republican voter is somewhere in the politically stupid vs politically evil quadrant.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 08-30-19 8:39 AM
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there is a significant number of not-too-much-more-racist-than-average voters motivated by cultural affinity (everyone they know votes Republican)

Well yes, I know a ton of them. But it is okay to hold them accountable for the monstrous consequences of their laziness to think about issues. No matter how ruby red the area is, there are teachers and nurses and social workers witnessing the devastating effects of poverty every day. No person is that far away from someone who could tell them all about it. (I suppose that's not true in the business wealthy Republican circles - they're far more isolated. But I'm guessing you're not cautioning us on being too hard on the wealthy dears.)


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08-30-19 8:39 AM
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160: comity!


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08-30-19 8:40 AM
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Comity was criticized by the Justice Department but not indicted.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-30-19 8:42 AM
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158: Fair point, and I'll admit I didn't think much of that genre at the time and don't know of any real insights gained. The reaction of online communities I followed was more or less lol no it's racism.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 08-30-19 8:47 AM
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But it is okay to hold them accountable for the monstrous consequences of their laziness to think about issues.
Absolute comity. In a way, I'm looking to prompt them to face those consequences.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 08-30-19 8:49 AM
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True. But every presidential Republican vote indicates that the voter discounts extreme racism as a disqualifying quality. (Including via lack of curiosity about it or other defense mechanisms.)

The Cinemax Theory Of Racism (which most people have probably already read, but is worth mentioning again).


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 08-30-19 8:58 AM
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I hadn't read 166. Thanks.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08-30-19 9:03 AM
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Obama-to-Trump switchers are often cited by folks who want to downplay the racism of Trump voters. The smart version of this argument acknowledges that while racism is a driving force behind Trumpism, on the margins you can find Trump voters who aren't blinded by racism and are persuadable.

Ultimately, the data seems to suggest that the persuadable Obama voters are a minority of the switchers.

Trump's favorability among the 215 Obama-Trump swing district voters who were surveyed is 71 percent -- 35 points ahead of Biden's. And of all respondents, 45 percent view Trump very favorably, compared with only 4 percent who say the same for Biden. Only 19 percent of the Obama-Trump voters have soured on Trump to the point of saying they have a somewhat or very unfavorable view of him, with 9 percent saying they view him neutrally.

The conventional American understanding of racism doesn't allow for the idea that some racists voted for Obama, but some did.

So I suffer from the cognitive dissonance that C. ned identifies in 159. I don't know what is to be done. Should Democrats work to win over the milder racists? How?

I think I agree with the Slate that it really can't be done by pandering to them.

Working against Biden, though, is that previous surveys have found that Obama-Trump voters were predominately won over by Trump's reactionary positions on immigration and cultural diversity -- positions that no Democrat, even a relatively moderate one, is going to try to co-opt in 2020 because they would alienate the Democratic base.

Even the most "pragmatic" or "centrist" Democrats are lashed to the mast of anti-racism. I think we just have to hope that there are more of us than them -- enough more to win elections.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 08-30-19 9:23 AM
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159: the idea that Democratic politicians should try to get people who would consider voting for a Republican, and therefore don't care enough about racism and are bad, to vote for them.

I'm curious: is this a view you hold? Can you elaborate on where you think the fault lines are? In my experience this is also an extremely widely held belief that is reflected in the media, and the number of exceptions would fit in a single well-curated, manageably small Twitter feed.


Posted by: lurid keyaki | Link to this comment | 08-30-19 9:36 AM
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You don't have to get very many Obama-Trump voters to swing back to make the difference, if you get the right ones to swing back. Obviously time spent on Obama-Trump voters in NY, California, Mississippi, or North Dakota is basically wasted. Reaching them in Iowa, though, is different. Or Pennsylvania.

People who went for Trump because he acted like he was going to be able to make a positive economic difference in their communities -- and there are going to be some such people -- might be brought back even without pandering on issues of immigration and diversity. I mean, the guy said he had a plan to bring high wage manufacturing to the upper Midwest. He didn't, and hasn't. I'm not saying we sweep those folks, but we only need to get a few more of them to either vote for our candidate, or stay home because they are disgusted with Trump. Trump should be particularly vulnerable on healthcare. In the 2016 primary race, one of his principle advantages was his promise not to cut Medicare/Medicaid. In the general he promised better coverage for everyone. Obviously, not only did he not have a plan, but was on board with killing what people have, with no back-up. His party got beaten senseless over this in 2018. There are voters who are going to be a lot less willing to give the business man who knows how to get shit done, and is promising to get specific stuff done, the benefit of the doubt.

The principle alternative theory is that by going much further left than ever before, we pick up way more non-voters on the left side than we'd lose in the middle. People who act like they think this is true in Montana are, imho, certifiable. What about Pennsylvania? Maybe it works there. Or maybe the key to getting people of color in Pennsylvania to vote like it's 2012, rather than like it's 2016, isn't primarily about the economic package on offer.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 08-30-19 10:20 AM
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I mean, of all the reasons for the 2016 result, there are at least 4 widely held propositions from that time that are just not going to be repeated in 2020:

1. She;s really bad -- not just because she's not doing enough to help people: she's hiring assassins to kill people who disagree with her.

2. She's going to win anyway, why bother/taint yourself.

3. He's a business guy; maybe he can get shit done on infrastructure, healthcare, manufacturing.

4. All that crazy shit he says is just for the rubes, and, anyway, adults in the Republican party will prevent anything really bad from happening.

This week, I'm thinking Warren/Castro is the winning ticket.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 08-30-19 10:27 AM
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Raul Castro.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-30-19 10:30 AM
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I think 4 was a delusion anyway.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-30-19 10:35 AM
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173: Pretty sure all 4 of those were delusions - the question is how many people believed them. Or is the delusion that anyone truly believed 4?


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 08-30-19 10:39 AM
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That, yes.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-30-19 10:41 AM
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It's a big country, and there are people who pretty much believe any fool thing you can think of. That said, I don't think you could throw a rock at the 2016 WH correspondent's dinner without hitting someone who believed 171.4. Ok, bad metaphor, but really, our elite media is totally bought into the 'adults in the room' delusion.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 08-30-19 10:59 AM
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That's why they're always so breathless when they think they've found an adult.

Hey, remember when Ivanka was the adult?


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 08-30-19 11:00 AM
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I don't think the people who voted for Trump or who deliberately didn't vote for Clinton believed it.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-30-19 11:03 AM
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178: I could see thinking that Trump would be happy to be a figurehead leader, and let other people make the real decisions. If you were a life-long Republican who hated Hillary and/or liberals in general, that could make it seem ok to vote for Trump even though you could tell he was an idiot.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 08-30-19 11:17 AM
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||

Opening The Design Of Everyday Things (1988) to a random page I see this:

Would you like a pocket device that reminded you of each appointment and daily event? I would. I am waiting for the day when portable computers become small enough that I can keep one with me at all times. I will definitely put all my reminding burdens upon it. It has to be small. It has to be convenient to use. And it has to be relatively powerful, at least by today's standards. I has to have a full, standard typewriter keyboard and a reasonably large display. It needs good graphics, because that makes a tremendous difference in usability, and a lot of memory -- a huge amount, actually. And it should be easy to hook up to the telephone; I need to connect it to my home and laboratory computers. Of course, it should be relatively inexpensive

What I ask for is not unreasonable. The technology I need is available today. It's just that the full package has never been put together, partly because the cost in today's world would be prohibitive. But it will exist in imperfect form in five years, possibly in perfect form in ten.

Not a bad prediction.

|>


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 08-30-19 11:18 AM
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You could say the stripper really finds your jokes hilarious.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-30-19 11:19 AM
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180: The Palm Pilot.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-30-19 11:20 AM
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Oh, sure, when you say, "somebody in 1988 predicted the palm pilot" it doesn't _sound_ that impressive . . .


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 08-30-19 11:23 AM
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||
I was wrong about Season 2 of The Wire. It's terrible. I would have loved to see a season of television about port unions, but it's not even about unions, it's just about unhinged individuals doing nonsensical things.
|>


Posted by: jms | Link to this comment | 08-30-19 11:31 AM
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I believed 4. I figured if he did anything to destroy our relationships with foreign allies, or alternately if he actually tried to work with Chuck Schumer to do an infrastructure, the Republicans in congress would just impeach him and put Pence in and say things were getting back to normal. What would they lose by doing that? I still don't know.

I knew people who believed 3. I tried to convince them it would be a normal Republican administration just with a lot more corruption. He's going to do things no Republican ever does? Who's he going to hire who will do any of this infrastructure stuff? Who's this guy going to hire, this guy who mocks and despises everybody he would have to work with to get anything bipartisan done? This guy who is an expert on nothing except corporate finance structures, and doesn't want to be in the same room as anyone who is an expert, because they might make him insecure? How is this going to happen exactly?


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 08-30-19 11:32 AM
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147. "Motte and bailey" is about defending a position. The retreat to the motte is tactical. Strategically you still believe whatever it is the bailey is defending. The defenders don't change their minds, they change the weapons they are using, hoping to counter-attack using a fire-breathing dragon different arguments once they've gotten you to agree with the motte position.


Posted by: DaveLMA | Link to this comment | 08-30-19 11:34 AM
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166. John Scalzi is shocked, shocked to find that politics is ethically and morally problematic. Every Democrat can equally be said to tolerate anti-semitism using the same argument, and for decades Democrats tolerated outright racism and segregationist ideology in the interest of retaining power. Lincoln had to pretend he didn't care about slavery to assemble a coalition to save the Union. Etc.


Posted by: DaveLMA | Link to this comment | 08-30-19 11:46 AM
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For decades Democrats tolerated things they shouldn't have and then quit. That's a good thing. The anti-Semitism point is just Republican chaff.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-30-19 11:52 AM
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The Republican Party is responsible for ending slavery in the United States. Which is a very important thing to remember if you ever cast a vote in 1864.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-30-19 11:54 AM
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I mean, of all the reasons for the 2016 result, there are at least 4 widely held propositions from that time that are just not going to be repeated in 2020:

1. She;s really bad -- not just because she's not doing enough to help people: she's hiring assassins to kill people who disagree with her.

I disagree - this shit was instrumental, ginned up practically in public view for 2016, and just as easy for the feverswamp to do so a second time; now, it might have less traction, but something like it will probably out there.

(Viz. the "Biden's son in Ukraine" stuff.)


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 08-30-19 12:23 PM
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Italics fixed:

I mean, of all the reasons for the 2016 result, there are at least 4 widely held propositions from that time that are just not going to be repeated in 2020:

1. She;s really bad -- not just because she's not doing enough to help people: she's hiring assassins to kill people who disagree with her.

I disagree - this shit was instrumental, ginned up practically in public view for 2016, and just as easy for the feverswamp to do so a second time; now, it might have less traction, but something like it will probably out there.

(Viz. the "Biden's son in Ukraine" stuff.)


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 08-30-19 12:24 PM
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190-1: Are there any surveys showing how many people believed in Clinton conspiracies over time? A series from IDK 1993-2017 would be really interesting.


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 08-30-19 12:29 PM
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I could see thinking that Trump would be happy to be a figurehead leader, and let other people make the real decisions.

To be fair, I would vote for a figurehead Democrat in order to have grownups making more left-leaning decisions. I'm not sure what a Democrat could do that would make me stay home or vote Republican, in the absence of a magical hypothetical Republican functional adult candidate.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08-30-19 12:38 PM
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192: No idea, but it seems highly plausible it provided cover for a lot of people to change their attitudes about her during 2015-16 in the sharp, punctuated way we saw. (And they didn't have to say "I believe this!" for it to affect them.)


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 08-30-19 1:00 PM
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Walking into a pizza shop with a gun to stop alleged pedophiles may be more criminal than whatever Lindsey Graham calls what he did, but it also has more dignity.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-30-19 1:04 PM
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It's like Buford Pusser if "Walking Tall" ended five minutes into the movie with a muttered, "Shit. My bad."


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-30-19 1:15 PM
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I'm not sure what a Democrat could do that would make me stay home or vote Republican

Keep thinking! You're not having enough fun with it.


Posted by: lurid keyaki | Link to this comment | 08-30-19 1:39 PM
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I mean, keep thinking specifically along the "incompetence" axis. (The "corruption" axis is also promising, although you have to fight pragmatism for a while.)


Posted by: lurid keyaki | Link to this comment | 08-30-19 1:44 PM
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Jane Fonda days knocking on doors in Pennsylvania helps, but I've known too many Pennsylvanians to be willing to try.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-30-19 2:10 PM
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Days s/b says.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-30-19 2:30 PM
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Right now I'm more worried about Anita Hill than about Ukraine. And the point of the busing thing is that Biden straddles 'the Democrats used to do bad things and then stopped' line, and he defends himself in a particularly unhelpful way. Not that Trump can take advantage of any of this, but it will all be fodder for Russian bots next year.

I really don't think we'll be hearing about a Warren body count. I do suppose we'll learn the names of every innocent person Harris sent to jail, and every scary person she didn't send to jail.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 08-30-19 2:37 PM
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I mean, keep thinking specifically along the "incompetence" axis.

But the more incompetent they are, the more I assume there'd be grown-ups running the show. It has to be a really destructive incompetence. Maybe if they really liked snuggling up close with the nuclear button?

The one that's harder for me to honestly answer is where they're unethical on a personal level, but will make the right policy choices. If my candidate grabbed 'em by the pussy, would I still vote for them? I probably have, already, and they just weren't so dumb to say it into the mike.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08-30-19 2:39 PM
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Why isn't 'busing' spelled with two esses?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08-30-19 2:40 PM
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I don't understand why Biden's vote for the Iraq war isn't a bigger issue in the primary.


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 08-30-19 2:44 PM
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When it is, it means "kissing".


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-30-19 2:44 PM
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Biden's vote for the Iraq war means kissing.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08-30-19 2:57 PM
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As a Warren fan, I was a little shaken yesterday by a NowThis video where Warren was talking to decarceration advocates and appeared to talk about generic housing and education investments when pressed specifically on investments in people coming out of prison. It seemed conceivable to me that that could have been the result of sloppy editing; I didn't see any actual notes from those involved in the meeting; but if it pans out it will reduce my confidence in her ability to think about systemic problems, as opposed to her career forte of identifying where and how the written rules are unfair. (I would still see her as the best candidate, but be less personally enthusiastic.)


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 08-30-19 3:03 PM
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204 What does it mean to say that something is or isn't a big issue in the primary? That cable news talking heads are talking about it? NYT reporters? People in diners? That Sanders' twitter talking heads are talking about it? That Gabbard talked about it in the debate? It's really hard to say what is and what isn't a big or small issue here, because there are no objective measures of anything.

He's said it was a mistake. And I guess we more or less have decided it's not disqualifying in 2004, 2008, 2012, and 2016. Obviously, there are people who are going to vote against him on this: to what extent are they already in the boat with Sanders or Gabbard anyway. Biden doesn't have to win people already pledged to Sanders to win the nomination. He just has to avoid losing people he already has, and pick up people as they tune in in proportion to current polling. Are many of them (a) unfamiliar with his record but (b) care enough to drop him over it?


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 08-30-19 3:13 PM
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Speaking for myself, my votes in the 2008 and 2016 primaries were almost entirely based on not voting for someone who backed the Iraq war. There's plenty of reasons why Biden is one of my least favorite candidates (I guess Gabbard, Steyer, and Williamson are even worse), but his Iraq war vote is a sufficient reason for me not to vote for him in the primary. I'm surprised given that it was the main reason Obama won in 2008 that it just doesn't seem to be a big deal anymore to anyone but me.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 08-30-19 7:43 PM
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(204 was me.)


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 08-30-19 7:46 PM
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I don't think it's the main reason Obama won. Part of the package, sure, but I think being the guy in the Yes We Can video was a much bigger deal.

Biden fails that test too, so we'll see what happens.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 08-30-19 9:34 PM
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A part not the whole, sure, but I remember it being noted as a big part at the time.

And once Obama had the nomination it didn't have nearly the same valence for the VP pick to have the same baggage, so I don't think it can be said not to have mattered in 08/12.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 08-30-19 9:51 PM
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Obama wasn't afraid of losing any votes in 2008 because Biden had gone the wrong way on this. Sure, that's mostly because he's the guy who was in the Yes We Can video, and knew people weren't going to reject him over any VP pick. But it wasn't disqualifying for Biden then, and it's hardly surprising that a whole lot of people don't seem to consider it disqualifying now. I would guess that even now it's only disqualifying among people who are already unreachable by Biden for a host of other reasons.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 08-31-19 6:53 AM
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I really miss Obama. Can we have him again?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-31-19 8:05 AM
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213: It was never disqualifying for anyone (Hillary could easily have one in 2008), but it was a significant disadvantage then, and it may continue to be so now.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 08-31-19 8:38 AM
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won.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 08-31-19 10:22 AM
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so won


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 08-31-19 10:33 AM
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It's nice to see that I don't have to do everything around here.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-31-19 11:14 AM
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sew on


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08-31-19 12:32 PM
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I am at an urban outlet mall and I just saw the Trump Unity Bridge Trump Mobile. I have a picture that I can send to heebie, but I think you can google it.

When I first saw it, I thought it was an elaborate joke. Then Tim thought it might be someone from the South Shore. Then I saw the guy talk and the sedan with two American flags on it, and I realized it was for real.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 08-31-19 12:52 PM
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I like this. It captures an important piece of what I'm thinking when I talk about conversing in good faith with Trumpists. The practical result of this is theoretically more Trumpist voices in the mainstream media -- which I'm okay with -- but I don't think that's how it actually works out in practice, if it's done according to the program outlined in the linked article.


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 08-31-19 6:48 PM
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221 is me, of course.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 08-31-19 6:52 PM
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I agree that serious media outlets should only publish fact-based good faith arguments. That certainly means skipping the intentional trollery the article is talking about. If 221 is more or less saying that it's not possible for media outlets to publish good faith fact based defenses of Trumpism, we;; I agree completely.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 08-31-19 10:38 PM
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||

I'm currently in the slopes of the Acropolis climbing towards the top and I really hope they sell water up there lest I die of heatstroke. Also, I should have brought my hat.

|>


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 09- 1-19 6:02 AM
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In s/b on


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 09- 1-19 6:03 AM
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224 Considering I came here from the deserts of Arabia that would be pretty Ionic


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 09- 1-19 6:20 AM
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I made it!


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 09- 1-19 6:20 AM
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You are walking in the steps of Socrates, who was in a movie with Keanu Reeves. It's got to be inspiring.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09- 1-19 6:28 AM
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226: I see what you did there.


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 09- 1-19 6:37 AM
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And admire it. But it would have been better if you'd left it as a straight line for Moby.


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 09- 1-19 6:38 AM
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I don't want to be a columnist.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09- 1-19 6:39 AM
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See? Much more natural.


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 09- 1-19 6:40 AM
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Oh man is that good beer


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 09- 1-19 7:06 AM
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234

I found a grotto


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 09- 1-19 7:12 AM
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233: Speaking of beer, it seems that people have finally figured out how to make pumpkin ales that aren't sickly sweet atrocities.

I suppose this is the beer equivalent of admitting that one has finally come around to liking pumpkin spice lattes.


Posted by: AcademicLurker | Link to this comment | 09- 1-19 7:47 AM
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236

Just because we have the science doesn't mean we should.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09- 1-19 7:49 AM
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223: Yeah, that's what I meant.

A better approach would be to hire Trump loyalists willing to defend the president and his actions (as well as those of Senate Leader McConnell and the Roberts Court), while strictly adhering to standards of fact-checking and anti-racism.

Hard to imagine a Trump supporter being able to accept those terms. And of course, columnists in general should be required to adhere to standards of fact-checking and anti-racism.


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 09- 1-19 7:51 AM
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I think the end result of that is Bret Stephens.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09- 1-19 11:10 AM
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