At Boing! Boing!, You’ll Do What You’re Told, Understand?

This exchange at Boing! Boing! — in an item over companies lobbying against the stupid card check union bill that will almost certainly become law — left me giggling,

Libertarian fapping in 3… 2… 1…

Oh, wait.

They’ve already begun.

@5 Chris Tucker
“Libertarian fapping in 3… 2… 1…”
whats wrong with libertarians?

whats wrong with libertarians?

If anyone decides to answer that, the discussion needs to remain polite.

whts wrng wth lbrtrns?

f y wnt scty dtrmnd by blgcl mprtv ln, thn nthng.

Is that civil enough Antinous?

Dreaptha @16, Man on Pink Corner @17, OhhhSnap @67 if you have substantive complaints about the EFCA, fine. If you’re just here to dump lazy insults on labor unions, not fine.

MDH @83, I don’t know if it’s civil enough for Antinous, but it wasn’t civil enough for me. If you’re told a topic is off-limits, then the topic is off-limits.

Watching BB’s moderators is like witnessing some school yard insult contest.

Boing! Boing! Dumb-And-Resentful?

Jason Kottke decides to start a meme and Cory Doctorow can’t help but jump on the bandwagon about the WhiteHouse.gov robots.txt file which went from 2,400 lines to 2. Of course there must be some nefarious purpose there or lesson about the closed nature of the Bush administration vs. the new open Obama administration.

Kottke tells us the difference represents “a small and nerdy measure of the huge change in the executive branch of the US government today” and Doctorow tags his post with CIVLIB just to let us know this is not just some technical issue.

Which, of course, it is. You can view the entire robots.txt file here. For every /directory/ on the Whitehouse.gov site, the Bush administration created a text-only /directory/text/ subdirectory. The robots.txt file tells Google not to index the text-only version so that the complete page remains canonical for Google. In fact, this is exactly what Google suggests doing for sites that have large amounts of duplicated content (on this site, for example, most pages have a print-only option and the robots.txt file instructs Google not to index any URLs that contain /print/).

I wonder if this sort of nonsense is what Teresa Nielsen Hayden meant by “dumb-and-resentful” political commentators.

Mark Fraunfelder’s Logical Fallacies On Nut Allergies — And the Helpful Censors at Boing! Boing!

The British Medical Journal recently published a piece arguing that the concern over nut allergies in Western society has gotten to the point where it more closely resembles a mass hysteria rather than a legitimate health concern. The claim is not that there are not people with extremely severe allergies to nuts, but rather that from that point there is a wide ranging exagerration of the risk of such allergies and a corresponding overreaction in efforts to protect people with those allergies.

Joel Stein wrote an op-ed for the LA Times referencing the BMJ article which has the very unhelpful title, Nut allergies — a Yuppie invention (however, at most newspapers, op-ed columnists do not write headlines, so the headline is probably due to some smart ass editor rather than Stein). The article itself is very clear — echoing the BMJ article, Stein says there are a small number of people who have severe nut allergies but that the absurd overreaction at publich schools and elsewhere is really due to a mass hysteria-like condition.

Mark Fraunfelder at Boing! Boing! then chimes in with what is little more than a non-sequitur,

I wonder if he would have written this piece had he witnessed a child go into anaphylactic shock, as my daughter did when she ate a cookie with hidden nuts in it. It was very scary.

If Stein had said there was no such thing as people with severe allergies to nuts, that might be a valid complaint, but that wasn’t Stein’s point at all. This is a bit like someone chiming in everytime Boing! Boing! posts about the latest failings of the TSA with “I wonder if they would have written that piece if they’d had a friend who almost died on 9/11. That was very scary.”

And, of course, because this is Boing! Boing!, Mark is free to introduce his daughter as a trump card over science, but commenters on the blog are not free to call him on it.

A poster who claims he is a biologist points out that while he’s sorry to hear about Fraunfelder’s daughters problem, that the issue Stein is raising is a scientific question that you can’t simply dismiss by invoking a single anecdote (and goes on to say the post sounds a little like Jenny McCarthy’s explanation of her anti-vaccination/autism nonsense).

Of course this is what it looks like after the Teresa Nielsen Hayden brigade gets done with it,

Whl ‘m srry bt yr dghtr’s llrgy, Mrk, yr s f hr spcfc cs t nswr Jl’s cs tht sm ppl s thngs tht rn’t thr — wll, t mks y snd lttl lk Jnny McCrthy nd hr ntvccntn/tsm wrrrs. Thr’s scntfc qstn hr tht sn’t ddrssd by th xstnc f spcfc ncdtl css, nd yr drvby n-lnr t th nd f yr pst msss th pnt. Cngrtltn n sng th pwr f lrg nmbrs t mk nc gy’s lf dffclt fr fw wks.

It’s not enough that Mark invoking his daughter in that context is simply a cheap emotional trick to try to shut down debate, but TNH and her minions have to go the rest of the way and censor anyone who calls him out on it.

Well, that’s Boing! Boing! these days.

Apple C&D’s Wired — But People Who Talk About Radical Transparency . . .

John Brownlee over at Gadgets.BoingBoing.net (about the only BB property worth reading these days) has a basic overview of Apple sending a cease-and-desist to Wired Gadget Lab over a piece there showing how to install OS X on an MSI Wind. Yeah, newsflash — Apple sucks. They’re just Microsoft with a much smaller market share.

However, this part of Brownlee’s post had me snorting diet Coke through my nose,

Ars Technica’s Clint Ecker then asks if Chen (and other Conde Nast writers) are allowed to discuss it publicly, or cover it as news.

Chen’s Twitter response (since deleted):

Probably. We’re supposed to favor radical transparency here, right?

It certainly doesn’t look like it. The video to the guide in question has already been pulled and replaced with a random stream of CES 2009 videos. The YouTube mirror has been pulled as well.

Okay, if I were writing about Boing! Boing! the last thing I’d want to bring up is other sites’ lack of transparency given the whole Violet Blue episode and the more recent efforts by the ongoing efforts of Boing! Boing! comment moderators like Teresa Nielsen Hayden to insult and disemvowel anyone who dares show up with a different point of view.

The Circle Is Now Complete — Antinous Is the Master

Antinous, one of the moderators of the comment threads over at Boing! Boing! has finally surpassed Teresa Nielsen Hayden in his moderation skills. I am in awe after running across an exchange between Antinous and a user going by the handle “Harveyboing.”

Good old Harvey made the mistake of posting a comment critical of a CNN piece claiming George W. Bush had been snubbed at the G20 summitt. Harvey made the mistake of opening his post by saying, “Hey, give me a break” which Antinous righteously transformed to “h, gv m brk” before disemvoweling other parts of the post.

Harvey found this a bit hypocritical and the following exchange ensued,

Let’s see:

“i hate bush”

“Dumber than YouTube”

“Bush is the weird pale kid who lives with his grandmother, eats liverwurst sandwiches for lunch every day, and that no one pays any attention to at all”

“an alcoholic, middle aged man desperately looking for approval one last time”

“bush is one of the shittiest leaders we ever had”

But, asking for a break, and making a factual statement about the pro-left bias in this particular CNN report, and I get disemvoweled?

Hey, Antinous…inconsistent much?

Take a look at this

Harvey,

If you haven’t figured it out yet, I doubt that you ever will.

Antinous is right, some of us will never get it. And, frankly, I hope I never become the sort of person who does.

Xeni Jardin Is Bat Shit Crazy (I Mean Insufficiently Polite)

I know I should stop reading the Boing! Boing! comments, especially since technically they’ve IP banned me from commenting (because, as the Chinese government has proven, there’s no way to get around that), but I just can’t stop reading them. Part of the fun is the blatant hypocrisy that governs the moderation of the forums and the actions of the authors of the site. The moderation rules could be rewritten as “This is our blog. We will insult you if we want to. If you complain, we will ridicule you and then disemvowel you.”
For example, take this post at Boing! Boing! about the accusation that someone yells the “n-word” (Xeni’s description) during speech by Sarah Palin when she mentions Barack Obama. There’s some debate over whether or not the individual really yelled the offensive racial slur, but one person who is clearly very opposed to the Republican ticket argues that it doesn’t really matter,

Does it matter whether she and her supporters actually use the word “nigger”? Palin’s speeches are blatantly intended to arouse hatred and paranoia toward Obama, and that’s an incredibly reckless and immoral thing to do.

She’s whipping up rage toward Obama and by extension all the people she claims are just waitin’ in the wings, poised to overrun us like the rats in those Nazi movies about Jews.

She’s warning her supporters in code about darkies, terrorists, communists (coyly referred to as “socialists”), atheists, and anyone else her blinkered worldview deems other and therefore threatening. It’s the most cynical and desperate kind of mob baiting, and the possibly tragic results should be laid squarely at her door if they occur.

BTW: can we stop saying “the N-word” and “n*****” and just use the word “nigger” like grownups, please?

Xeni decides to respond to the last question with a whole lot of drama and a gratuitous insult (emphasis added),

@Nick, that is not a word I choose to write or speak, unless doing so were absolutely necessary for some informational purpose. It’s a personal decision, and I don’t owe the world an explanation for it. It’s what I feel is responsible conduct for me personally, and that decision doesn’t get in the way of my telling a story, reporting news, or relating something that matters to me on my blog as I did here. We don’t have a site-wide policy about whether the word can appear in comments, but I’m saddened that so many people jump into threads like this, as you seem to have done, with the apparent gleeful intent of “speaking” that word. It’s like — sometimes, white people get a charge out of saying or writing it, and they’re just waiting for an opportunity to do so in a forum where they’ll be forgiven. I don’t know what our policy should be, but I find that behavior shameful and sad.

That’s the Boing! Boing! way . . . lob outrageous insults at folks and then when they respond, disemvowel them (and you seriously don’t need me to tell you, between Xeni and Nick D, which one has one of his responses to Xeni disemvoweled do you?)