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View Full Version : The decline and Fall of BHTV


popcorn_karate
08-19-2009, 03:14 PM
The site seems like it has really gone downhill over the last couple months.

I'm not finding very many good discussions lately. generally every thread becomes a flame war with Lyle/Whatfur/Pisc/Dsteve (and others) on one side and Bj/Aemjeff/Clay (and others) on the other side.

Does anybody else see this as toxic? It doesn't seem like discussions ever develop into anything - they just stay on the level of "i say the sky is blue" - "well i say the sky is red, and your a socialist" - "its blue and you are an onanist" etc.

Am i deluding myself into thinking i used to get more out of the discussions? maybe its just my own personal life changing and changing my perspective on the site...

*let me also say preemptively that it takes two to tango, i think one side clearly has more fun being instigators - but the other side plays along, so i see no angels here.

** and preemption number two, i've been sucked in plenty of times - i'm not trying to imply that i am above the fray. the fact of my getting sucked into this crap is actually what is making me think its toxic.

a good day to all, liberals, conservatives, loony lefties, wingnuts, atheists, and believers.

AemJeff
08-19-2009, 03:22 PM
I can only speak for myself, but I've been trying (and I thought pretty successfully, at that) to stay more or less above the fray. That's not to say I haven't commented in opposition to anybody, nor to say there's never a barb in what I've said. But I don't think I've been particularly guilty of engaging in namecalling or empty partisan triumphalism. (Not that I'm implying anyone else has.) I'm curious what it is I've done that gets me named explicitly in this context.

bjkeefe
08-19-2009, 03:27 PM
The site seems like it has really gone downhill over the last couple months.

Seems to me it was at least as vitriolic during most of the Dem primaries, and during the general election campaign season from at least the time Palin was nominated on through Election Day.

I recommend you either take a break, use your Ignore List, or both.

graz
08-19-2009, 03:31 PM
Maybe it can be chalked up to the summer doldrums.

The flaming has always been with us, though it waxes and wanes.

It seems that that the actuality of the election results forced a regrouping of a certain faction. Now characterized by your they just stay on the level of "i say the sky is blue" - "well i say the sky is red, and your a socialist".
Unfortunately, the sky really is blue... so the fight is on.
Your recent efforts to diffuse the degraded comments and offer context was interesting. You don't seem to be suggesting greater stewardship or vows?

So what to do , if anything? For my money and time this is still an interesting forum, which doesn't even credit the diavlogs.

claymisher
08-19-2009, 03:44 PM
I have those four guys on the ignore list, so I only see their posts if somebody quotes them. I think if you check my posts you'll find my substance to flamewar ratio is pretty good. Check for yourself (http://bloggingheads.tv/forum/search.php?do=finduser&u=4680).

Let's see ... if you compare the last 25 posts from AemJeff and popcorn_karate it looks like popcorn_karate's engaging with the trolls more than AemJeff. And except for one really terrific post (http://bloggingheads.tv/forum/showthread.php?p=124542#post124542), popcorn_karate's posts are all short quips and barbs.

PK, if you want more interesting and thoughtful posts, you know what to do. But yeah, I agree, it has gone downhill.

popcorn_karate
08-19-2009, 04:01 PM
thanks for the responses.

sounds like its my own issue.

Simon Willard
08-19-2009, 04:06 PM
Am i deluding myself into thinking i used to get more out of the discussions? maybe its just my own personal life changing and changing my perspective on the site...



Is it possible you are more perceptive than you were two months ago?

I dislike the back-and-forth flaming, too. But I think it was always there.

Or is your point that now they are traveling in packs?

Me&theboys
08-19-2009, 04:23 PM
The site seems like it has really gone downhill over the last couple months..

The problem is that there are too many people who are more interested in and swayed by opinion (especially their own) than fact. And too many people who are uninterested in or incapable of backing their opinions up with anything at all, much less data. And too many people who donít understand or donít value the difference between substantiated and unsubstantiated opinion. And too many people who have no interest in what those who do not agree with them think or why. And too many people who choose to only agree with the facts they like, and to get angry about (or remain ignorant of or deny) the facts they donít like. And too many people who donít take the time to actually understand what others are saying and instead jump to false and unflattering conclusions and/or make false and unflattering attributions. And too many people who have either no desire or no ability to engage in an actual rational thought process before responding. And too many people who value thinking they are right more than they value actually being right. And too many people who canít handle criticism, however gently administered. And too many people who are irrational. And too many people who cannot resist starting or participating in a pissing contest. Often, these are all the same people. And, frankly, too many people in the 18-30 year age bracket and/or of the male persuasion, for whom gaining status and being tribal and being dominant matters more than anything of actual importance. Welcome to the world.

I recommend you weigh total posts against substantive, thoughtful posts against useless, obnoxious posts and choose whose comments to read and whose not based on that calculation. Not everyone is perfectly interesting and considerate and knowledgeable all the time, of course. But some people never have and never will post anything thought-provoking or interesting or value-added, and others never have and never will post anything even in the vicinity of nice. It's not hard to figure out whom to ignore.

TwinSwords
08-19-2009, 04:24 PM
thanks for the responses.

sounds like its my own issue.

I don't think so. I think you're basically right, with some quibbles I really don't want to elaborate on here. I understand why you wanted to divide blame equally along partisan lines, but I also think you realize that the blame is not so divided in reality.

I can say with utter certainty that of the people who read the forum, somewhere between 90% and 95% are sick of the tedious back and forth that occurs every day. There are those of us who, perhap misguidedly, try to engage in some constructive dialogue with others who have proven themselves incapable of it. Inevitably, these exchanges swirl downward into utter childishness. We need to learn the lesson: some are here for different reasons than others. Most are here for friendship, conversation, and the exchange of ideas. One is here as an outlet for his hostility and hatred. And another is here because he likes yanking people's chains. If we don't arrest the problem, we could ruin the board. You called out seven names in your initial post, but the problem is really two -- and those who feed them.

nikkibong
08-19-2009, 06:39 PM
I agree with you, PK, although you must admit you yourself have always been rather, ahem, aggressive in your posting style.

Alas, I attribute the recent decline to the unwelcome return of whatfur. He's just so incredibly aggressive and always spoiling for a fight. Most of the threads he participates in turn into crap.

I also lament the exodus of thoughtful right wingers like Bobby G and garbage cowboy, from back in my lurking days...

P.S. The threads that whatfur doesnt have the chops to participate in - i.e. Science Saturday - are still OK, usually.

P.P.S. The diavlogs are holding up generally, though.

popcorn_karate
08-19-2009, 07:06 PM
I understand why you wanted to divide blame equally along partisan lines,

not at all. I was dividing the participation and should have included myself. The blame part is in absolutely no way anything close to being equal.

Whatfur
08-19-2009, 09:36 PM
I agree with you, PK, although you must admit you yourself have always been rather, ahem, aggressive in your posting style.

Alas, I attribute the recent decline to the unwelcome return of whatfur. He's just so incredibly aggressive and always spoiling for a fight. Most of the threads he participates in turn into crap.

I also lament the exodus of thoughtful right wingers like Bobby G and garbage cowboy, from back in my lurking days...

P.S. The threads that whatfur doesnt have the chops to participate in - i.e. Science Saturday - are still OK, usually.

P.P.S. The diavlogs are holding up generally, though.

I just only have so much time to listen currently so I pick those topics where right wing voices are needed and are most important right now.

Who was the first here asking for detailed healthcare debate??

graz
08-19-2009, 10:05 PM
I just only have so much time to listen currently so I pick those topics where right wing voices are needed and are most important right now.

Who was the first here asking for detailed healthcare debate??

Touching, pathetic and unbelievable... all at the same time.

cragger
08-19-2009, 10:17 PM
As noted upthread, this isn't a new problem, and hardly unique to these forums nor is this really even a new thread. See:

http://bloggingheads.tv/forum/showthread.php?t=1770

But yeah, there are folks who can't be engaged unless you are seeking tribalism, dishonesty, and childish nastiness in return. Sort of limits the amount of time and effort many care to invest trying to discuss things when the noise level is so high.

I'm SO awesome!
08-19-2009, 10:29 PM
yeah, not that anyone cares but i think i'm about done with commenting. i've come to realize that our country is ruled by the most retarded con oligarchs on earth and they have 50% of the retard public going along with them. conversing with the zombies does no good.

"yay! cheers for Goldman sachs. thanks so much for stealing our money and goving it to yourselves in the form of bonuses!!"

Whatfur
08-19-2009, 10:56 PM
As noted upthread, this isn't a new problem, and hardly unique to these forums nor is this really even a new thread. See:

http://bloggingheads.tv/forum/showthread.php?t=1770

But yeah, there are folks who can't be engaged unless you are seeking tribalism, dishonesty, and childish nastiness in return. Sort of limits the amount of time and effort many care to invest trying to discuss things when the noise level is so high.

Ha! Go find me a Fur post in April.

Whatfur
08-19-2009, 10:57 PM
Touching, pathetic and unbelievable... all at the same time.

Actually graz you really are one of the biggest instigators here. Bopping in with insult and little else.

TwinSwords
08-19-2009, 10:58 PM
yeah, not that anyone cares but i think i'm about done with commenting. i've come to realize that our country is ruled by the most retarded con oligarchs on earth and they have 50% of the retard public going along with them. conversing with the zombies does no good.

"yay! cheers for Goldman sachs. thanks so much for stealing our money and goving it to yourselves in the form of bonuses!!"

We beat them before, and we will beat them again. They seem ascendent now, but that's why you need to stay in the fight. Change happens slowly. African Americans endured 14 generations of slavery, but slavery was defeated because we never gave up the fight against it. Susan B. Anthoy fought for women's suffrage her entire life, and died at the age of 86 without realizing her dream. But the 19th Amendment was finally ratified just 14 years later, thanks to her efforts.

There may be setbacks, but life is kind of like those Star Wars movies: The good guys always win in the end. ;-)

graz
08-19-2009, 11:15 PM
kiss kiss, scourge.
Only you have the power to clean up your act.

bjkeefe
08-20-2009, 12:34 AM
I just only have so much time to listen currently so I pick those topics where right wing voices are needed and are most important right now.

Who was the first here asking for detailed healthcare debate??

You aren't looking for debate. Your only objective concerning health care reform is to type out the talking points you've picked up from Hugh Hewitt and other FUD-mongerers on rightwing talk radio. You never respect anyone who dissents with you (NB: I'm not including myself here) -- any time someone raises a legitimate point that you don't have a sound bite on tap to respond with, you just spew a bunch of insults.

bjkeefe
08-20-2009, 12:35 AM
Ha! Go find me a Fur post in April.

Because you weren't there that month means you're excused for all the bile you've spewed during the times you have been here? I don't think so.

claymisher
08-20-2009, 01:42 AM
You aren't looking for debate. Your only objective concerning health care reform is to type out the talking points you've picked up from Hugh Hewitt and other FUD-mongerers on rightwing talk radio. You never respect anyone who dissents with you (NB: I'm not including myself here) -- any time someone raises a legitimate point that you don't have a sound bite on tap to respond with, you just spew a bunch of insults.

It's worse than that -- every discussion the troll participates in becomes about the troll. It's pure narcissism.

I'm SO awesome!
08-20-2009, 01:50 AM
alright, you convinced me. i still ain't gonna talk to the contard zombies but i will continue to think evil thoughts towards goldman sachs;)

Whatfur
08-20-2009, 06:00 AM
kiss kiss, scourge.
Only you have the power to clean up your act.

Ok...you convinced me. Could you pass the baby wipes?

Starwatcher162536
08-20-2009, 02:51 PM
So thats why you never respond to me!

...


/sniff

....and I thought you loved me...

/sniff


On a (only slighlty!) more serious note, it would be nice if people changed the titles on their comments alot more, so it would be easier to just glance through the forum and see if anything interests me.

bjkeefe
08-20-2009, 03:02 PM
On a (only slighlty!) more serious note, it would be nice if people changed the titles on their comments alot more, so it would be easier to just glance through the forum and see if anything interests me.

That's a good suggestion.

Francoamerican
08-20-2009, 04:32 PM
I have no idea if the quality of commentary has declined on bhtv since I am a relative newcomer here. I do find that many of the comments on politics are trivial if not worse... but then no doubt some of you would say the same of my intemperate outbursts.

As much as I enjoy the dialogues on science, foreign affairs and philosophy, I detest most of the dialogues and comments on current American politics, which inevitably generate more heat than light among the commenters. There is too little independent analysis and too much partisan bickering, amplified by whatever is being said in the mass media. I would much rather read a good newspaper or journal article than listen to Ann Althouse (to name only the most egregious ťgťrie of BHTV (sorry no English equivalent: perhaps "drama queen").

BHTV seems to me to appeal to two very different audiences: the scientific and nerdish on the one hand and political wonks on the other. I belong to neither group. So perhaps I should take a holiday.

JonIrenicus
08-21-2009, 02:18 AM
I am just glad my posts are Always so civil and genteel !!!















...




Incidentally I remember Hitchens making a comment about how he was incapable of a low blow, right after he had made a comment to his brother in a debate about who sold more books.


But my statement has no relationship to that.

(let's just all agree)

JonIrenicus
08-21-2009, 02:31 AM
...
I'm not finding very many good discussions lately. generally every thread becomes a flame war with Lyle/Whatfur/Pisc/Dsteve (and others) on one side and Bj/Aemjeff/Clay (and others) on the other side.
...

Are you suggesting you would not miss the diagonal staircase response patterns that occur without fault between Lyle/Bj?

Where is the sense of tradition?

popcorn_karate
08-21-2009, 02:04 PM
I agree with you, PK, although you must admit you yourself have always been rather, ahem, aggressive in your posting style.

i agree with the caveat that "always" should be "often" or "usually"

do you feel morally superior enough to drop it now?

nikkibong
08-21-2009, 02:17 PM
Way to prove my point!

popcorn_karate
08-21-2009, 02:38 PM
i guess thats a "no"

and for anybody looking on - Nikki felt the need to go needle me a bit in the frum/megan thread since he didn't get his hoped for response the first time he posted about my "aggression" in this thread. which seems to be behavior that drifts into the "kettle, meet pot" territory, don't you think nikki?

I also noticed you didn't answer the question of whether Kidney's verbiage called for a less aggressive response than he got, or not. He said "eugenics loving liberals" and i called him a wingnut, while also giving him some praise for his worthwhile comment up to that point - which you ignored.

Starwatcher162536
08-21-2009, 02:39 PM
[...]

Sort of limits the amount of time and effort many care to invest trying to discuss things when the noise level is so high.

A=Highest possible rate one can become informed using solely Bloggingheads as your resource.

A=(Diavlogs/day)*log_2(1+Messwithtexas/Whatfur)

claymisher
08-21-2009, 02:43 PM
A=Highest possible rate one can become informed using solely Bloggingheads as your resource.

A=(Diavlogs/day)*log_2(1+Messwithtexas/Whatfur)

What happens if the fur don't post? :)

bjkeefe
08-21-2009, 02:46 PM
What happens if the fur don't post? :)

The site gets infinitely better, of course. Do the math.

claymisher
08-21-2009, 03:12 PM
The site gets infinitely better, of course. Do the math.

But you've got zero in the denominator (oh snap!). And if mwt posts twice as much as fur is that really worth twice as many DVs?

bjkeefe
08-21-2009, 03:35 PM
But you've got zero in the denominator (oh snap!).

I treated that as a limit problem, not a straight substitution; i.e., "as the number of 'fur posts approaches zero ..." Note also that this is a one-sided limit problem, since one cannot have N posts where N < 0. (Although it is arguable that people can put up negative posts.)

Also, you have to treat the number of posts already posted as part of the problem -- there is no way for everyone to forget what has already been posted. Nor is there any way that a prolonged period of 0 posts, starting from any future time T, will completely ease others into believing there will never be another 'fur post, no matter how long this period lasts. I believe the model captures this in spirit, although I concede there are probably some simplifying assumptions underlying.

And if mwt posts twice as much as fur is that really worth twice as many DVs?

No, which is, I think, why Star took the log of the ratio.

claymisher
08-21-2009, 03:39 PM
I treated that as a limit problem, not a straight substitution; i.e., "as the number of 'fur posts approaches zero ..." Note also that this is a one-sided limit problem, since one cannot have N posts where N < 0. (Although it is arguable that people can put up negative posts.)

Also, you have to treat the number of posts already posted as part of the problem -- there is no way for everyone to forget what has already been posted. Nor is there any way that a prolonged period of 0 posts, starting from any future time T, will completely ease others into believing there will never be another 'fur post, no matter how long this period lasts. I believe the model captures this in spirit, although I concede there are probably some simplifying assumptions underlying.



No, which is, I think, why Star took the log of the ratio.

I was thinking posts per day. My mistake.

Let's see if mwt has the same number of posts as fur, that's
log_2(1+1)=log_2(2)=1

If mwt has three times as many posts, that's
log_2(1+3)=log_2(4)=2

Given how much fur posts, and how much mwt would have to post to treble that, it seems reasonable.

Whatfur
08-24-2009, 03:32 PM
<insert audio of crying baby>

Could you also stop using "bitch in heat" and "BIH" and the like? And it's completely verboten to fabricate quotes and attribute them falsely to other forum members. (If anyone else is doing this, please let me know, and provide a link.)

Thanks.

Brenda

I certainly will stop as soon as the BIH stops responding to every thread I go into with some insult. Have you written to the BIH and suggested that he not respond to any of my posts? And yes the BIH often times has done the same thing you accuse me of here and NO I am not going to come running to you about them. And if I have changed the quoted name to BIH and the quoted material to something fabricated then the only person who should be affected would be the person who has chosen to respond to that fabricated moniker?

Hard to believe you would monitor THAT and let the present character assassination of Ann Althouse go on. You have your priorities a bit askew.

popcorn_karate
08-24-2009, 04:50 PM
I was comment nannied for calling ann stupid.

just an fyi to let you know that you are not picked out for special persecution and that the nanny will defend even althouse.

Whatfur
08-24-2009, 06:00 PM
I was comment nannied for calling ann stupid.

just an fyi to let you know that you are not picked out for special persecution and that the nanny will defend even althouse.

Brenda is not out looking unless asked to and even then you would need to point her to a specific link. So, I never thought I was picked on by her for special persecution...obviously some candy ass here went crying to her. Like, Claymisher did a couple weeks ago. She is now asking me to provide a link to her...

Whatfur
08-28-2009, 11:28 PM
[QUOTE=bjkeefe;127293]I'm sure the voices in your head would be proud of your parroting

bjkeefe
08-28-2009, 11:57 PM
Since 'fur is apparently unable to paste a quote properly (or maybe messed it up on purpose, to make it harder to see the context, hmmmm?), here's the link (http://bloggingheads.tv/forum/showthread.php?p=127293#post127293) to the original post.

In any case, love your new run-to-mommy act, 'fur. It's so you.

Whatfur
08-29-2009, 08:24 AM
apparently unable.
Public Option!

pampl
08-30-2009, 01:11 AM
I'm having trouble composing my thoughts on this so I'll just try to summarize: debates aren't just about facts but are also about presenting (and reading) particular subjective view points. Instead of calling me "pam" Whatfur could write "I think your position evinces the weakness and over-empathy I associate with femininity, and therefore isn't appropriate for a man" but it wouldn't convey his position any better. The danger with insults isn't that they reduce the value of the message but that they can give the reader an easy excuse for not engaging with the perspective being offered. I don't think anyone would consciously choose intellectual laziness over rigor, if the decision were clearly presented as such, but rudeness lets us tell ourselves we're rolling our eyes and hitting ignore for high minded reasons. The temptation is too great and shouldn't be offered in every post, a dozen times a page, in every partisan thread.

Whatfur
08-30-2009, 07:02 AM
I'm having trouble composing my thoughts on this so I'll just try to summarize: debates aren't just about facts but are also about presenting (and reading) particular subjective view points. Instead of calling me "pam" Whatfur could write "I think your position evinces the weakness and over-empathy I associate with femininity, and therefore isn't appropriate for a man" but it wouldn't convey his position any better. The danger with insults isn't that they reduce the value of the message but that they can give the reader an easy excuse for not engaging with the perspective being offered. I don't think anyone would consciously choose intellectual laziness over rigor, if the decision were clearly presented as such, but rudeness lets us tell ourselves we're rolling our eyes and hitting ignore for high minded reasons. The temptation is too great and shouldn't be offered in every post, a dozen times a page, in every partisan thread.

...or I could have thought your name was Pam.

[added] I utilized pimple, not Pam, when things got hot. Did I not actually ask you once for your gender? ...wait....aww yes:

"...Hmmm and it did not hit me until now because I have always figured "pampl" was one word and that you were male, but are you really "Pam"? If so, you have absolutely nothing to be embarrassed about...You see, being both a lefty and a female makes logic almost an impossibility. It not even your fault."

You never answered.

bjkeefe
08-30-2009, 09:12 AM
...or I could have thought your name was Pam.

Who wants to buy a bridge? I got one down in Brooklyn I can let you have, cheap.

[Added] Also, what's your story for this (http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&safe=off&client=firefox-a&channel=s&rls=org.mozilla%3Aen-US%3Aofficial&hs=cfQ&q=site%3Abloggingheads.tv+pimple&aq=f&oq=&aqi=) "confusion?"

pampl
08-30-2009, 01:29 PM
...or I could have thought your name was Pam.

[added] I utilized pimple, not Pam, when things got hot. Did I not actually ask you once for your gender? ...wait....aww yes:

"...Hmmm and it did not hit me until now because I have always figured "pampl" was one word and that you were male, but are you really "Pam"? If so, you have absolutely nothing to be embarrassed about...You see, being both a lefty and a female makes logic almost an impossibility. It not even your fault."

You never answered.

I guess I remembered wrong. You were characterizing me as irrational like a woman, not as weak like a woman. I think you can see my basic point, though. You were communicating your perspective that conservatism is the rational, masculine position, and liberalism is the irrational and feminine position. You could have tried to mince words and phrase it in a nicer way but I wouldn't react with much less hostility because my problem is with your attitude towards politics and gender roles, not with your tone.

Whatfur
08-30-2009, 02:12 PM
I guess I remembered wrong. You were characterizing me as irrational like a woman, not as weak like a woman. I think you can see my basic point, though. You were communicating your perspective that conservatism is the rational, masculine position, and liberalism is the irrational and feminine position. You could have tried to mince words and phrase it in a nicer way but I wouldn't react with much less hostility because my problem is with your attitude towards politics and gender roles, not with your tone.

For quite some time I actually did think you were female. Sorry, but true.

I provided you the exact quote...yet here you decide to change lack of "logic" to me characterizing you as "irrational". A bit of a downgrade, eh?. But I guess I cannot tell you how I made you feel. As far as "logic" goes, well, you might want to talk to Lawrence Summers...where is he now again?

As far as the rest...You have the characterizations of conservatism and liberalism just about right, although that actually was not my rationale for my individual comparisons.

handle
08-30-2009, 05:06 PM
BOO!!

Ocean
08-30-2009, 06:16 PM
Welcome back!

bjkeefe
08-30-2009, 06:30 PM
Welcome back!

Same from me, handle.

Whatfur
08-30-2009, 07:44 PM
BOO!!

Hey handle...welcome to the whatfur thread. Please be on your best behavior.

trond
08-31-2009, 08:38 PM
Sorry bjkeefe is a moderator/admin and you are not allowed to ignore him or her.

bjkeefe
08-31-2009, 08:46 PM
Sorry bjkeefe is a moderator/admin and you are not allowed to ignore him or her.

I wasn't aware of that. Thanks for letting me know that my powers are even closer to limitless than I imagined.

claymisher
08-31-2009, 08:51 PM
I wasn't aware of that. Thanks for letting me know that my powers are even closer to limitless than I imagined.

Given the amount of whining this generates I say you let bhtv delete its own spam.

bjkeefe
08-31-2009, 08:54 PM
Given the amount of whining this generates I say you let bhtv delete its own spam.

The spam problem was bad enough for me to ask that something be done about it, way back when. Since then, believe it or not, it's gotten worse (although we do delete the spam a lot faster now).

Besides, letting whiners dictate policy is no way to run anything.

AemJeff
08-31-2009, 09:07 PM
The spam problem was bad enough for me to ask that something be done about it, way back when. Since then, believe it or not, it's gotten worse (although we do delete the spam a lot faster now).

Besides, letting whiners dictate policy is no way to run anything.

Over eight hundred banned users with an average of about two spam posts for each one, since we started late last year.

claymisher
08-31-2009, 09:17 PM
Over eight hundred banned users with an average of about two spam posts for each one, since we started late last year.

If it weren't for you meddling moderators I'd know where to buy software to convert DVDs into AVI/MPEG for Mac/PC!!!

bjkeefe
08-31-2009, 09:18 PM
If it weren't for you meddling moderators I'd know where to buy software to convert DVDs into AVI/MPEG for Mac/PC!!!

AIEEE!!!!