BLACK. Things can change.

WHITE. No they cant.

BLACK. You could be wrong.

WHITE. I dont think so.

BLACK. But that aint somethin you have a lot of in your life.

WHITE. What isnt?

BLACK. Bein wrong.

WHITE. I admit it when I’m wrong.

BLACK. I dont think so.

WHITE. Well, you’re entitled to your opinion.

     —Cormac McCarthy, The Sunset Limited (p. 113 in ISBN 978-0307278364)

New Blog Comment Policy

All comments must now be approved by me before they appear. Though I do not require that comments express my position or otherwise agree with me — I do in fact welcome discussion and debate, even with people who disagree with me — I do require that comments meet these two criteria before I approve them:

  1. They must be tied to an established online identity. This could be a Tumblr account with an established posting history or a longstanding Twitter, Facebook, or Google account with an actual publicly accesible posting history — anything that the Disqus comment system allows when logging in, if I can tie it to an online identity in which someone has an actual stake. Note that it is not necessary to reveal your real name — just to tie your comment to an account in which you have an identity-building stake. No throwaway Twitter accounts that you registered for ten minutes ago. No Facebook accounts that don’t Follow Facebook’s own guidelines about name usage. Leverage a legitimate online identity that you’ve spent time and care developing in order to log in before you comment.
    • The issue involved here is ruling out anonymous trolling. If you won’t stand behind what you say, then I’m not going to give you a platform to say it.
  2. It must be a high-quality comment. You don’t have to agree with me, but you do have to be intellectually honest. This means that you can’t intentionally overlook relevant information, distort someone else’s meaning, elect to reply to tone while ignoring content, assign motives to anyone without evidence, insist that everyone must be smarmy, whine about how factual evidence that other people brings up hurts your feelings, or otherwise be an asshole. I will write a blog post early next week on what I mean, specifically, by “be an asshole,” but for now, here's a starting point.

Because, when it comes down to it, this is my blog, and I’m not obligated to host low-quality content by anonymous trolls who feel entitled to spout their ignorant bullshit all over it. If you’re thinking about yelling “Censorship!,” then I would like to remind you of what Randall Munroe said on the topic:


If you want to post low-quality, dishonest, anonymous content, even content about my content, you’re welcome to do so. You’ll just have to find somewhere else to host it.

Keep it polite. Keep it honest. Tie it to a real identity that you’re actually invested in. Or your comment won’t appear.

Yes, this will delay the actual posting of comments. Sometimes I’m offline for long periods of time, even days. This (in the context of this, as explained here) is (an example of) why we can’t have nice things, like moderation-free commenting.


Glenn Greenwald:

The intent and effect of such abuse is that it renders those guaranteed freedoms meaningless. If a population becomes bullied or intimidated out of exercising rights offered on paper, those rights effectively cease to exist. Every time the citizenry watches peaceful protesters getting pepper-sprayed — or hears that an Occupy protester suffered brain damage and almost died after being shot in the skull with a rubber bullet — many become increasingly fearful of participating in this citizen movement, and also become fearful in general of exercising their rights in a way that is bothersome or threatening to those in power. That’s a natural response, and it’s exactly what the climate of fear imposed by all abusive police state actions is intended to achieve: to coerce citizens to “decide” on their own to be passive and compliant — to refrain from exercising their rights — out of fear of what will happen if they don’t.

The genius of this approach is how insidious its effects are: because the rights continue to be offered on paper, the citizenry continues to believe it is free. They believe that they are free to do everything they choose to do, because they have been “persuaded” — through fear and intimidation — to passively accept the status quo. As Rosa Luxemburg so perfectly put it: “Those who do not move, do not notice their chains.” Someone who sits at home and never protests or effectively challenges power factions will not realize that their rights of speech and assembly have been effectively eroded because they never seek to exercise those rights; it’s only when we see steadfast, courageous resistance from the likes of these UC-Davis students is this erosion of rights manifest.

(via slicingtheginger)


(Photo) According to the AP, Obama was handed this note today in NH: “Mr. President, over 4,000 peaceful protesters have been arrested…Your silence sends a message that police brutality is acceptable.”

(via slicingtheginger)

“They pulled me out by the stethoscope, white coat and all as I was telling them I have a patient in there. One girl has a heart condition and wasn’t feeling well. They manhandled her and threw her on the ground.”

Occupy Wall Street medic PAUL KOSTORA, on being forced to leave Zuccotti Park by the NYPD.

The police don’t care about you and your God-damned healthcare.

(via the NY Daily News)

OK I’m going to reblog this again when there’s more people on, but I want to make this very clear:



(via accordingtosami)

(via slicingtheginger)