Mailvox: it’s an ECHO CHAMBER

Phat Rephat, whoever that is, complains that excessive moderation is turning VP into “an echo chamber”:

VD, I’ve been following you for quite a while and appreciate your viewpoint and the information shared. Of late, however, it seems you’re shifting to the echo chamber model. I agree with your desire to keeping on-topic and without profanity. But not allowing contradicting views or the calling out of the GE when he appears to be losing focus, is not of value to any of us; concern trolls aside.

Well, obviously I am terrified of VP being called an echo chamber. I mean, what could be worse than an Alt-Right echo chamber? Where else will people be able to find conservative, or liberal, or mainstream media views being expressed?

Clearly we must act! I will take his well-considered advice.

Trolls, defeatists, anklebiters, have at it. Comment as you see fit. Be defeatist. Be despondent. Share your contradicting views. Call out the God-Emperor. Insult your fellow commenters. I’m not going to moderate anything at all. Moderators, stand down and let the commenters comment freely, as they obviously desire.

I will also unspam every spam comment that catches previous trolls.

It’s certainly less work and time-investment on my part. I look forward to seeing precisely how much the comments are going to improve and how much value is going to be added to everyone.

UPDATE: Four hours and 47 minutes later:

Hello VD:

It’s Phat Repat; I get your point.

PS This is a Mea Culpa. 😉

Point? What point could that possibly be? I’m just astounded by all the added value!

Pro trolls are the majority

This is why I don’t hesitate to nuke commenters who show even modest signs of possibly being hasbara, or, in the vernacular, paid trolls:

A majority of online and social media defenders of Obamacare are professionals who are “paid to post,” according to a digital expert.

“Sixty percent of all the posts were made from 100 profiles, posting between the hours of 9 and 5 Pacific Time,” said Michael Brown. “They were paid to post.”

He began investigating it after his criticism of the former president’s health insurance program posted on the Obamacare Facebook page. He was hit hard by digital activists pretending to be regular people. She reports that he evaluated 226,000 pro-Obamacare posts made by 40,000 Facebook profiles.

“Digital activists are paid employees; their purpose is to attack anyone who’s posting something contrary to the view of the page owner wants expressed,” he told Attkisson. “Sixty percent of all the posts were made from 100 profiles, posting between the hours of 9 and 5 Pacific Time.”

Translation: a paid troll will produce 1,356 comments on a single subject. One reason why we don’t see very much of that nonsense here is because the moderators and I operate on the principle that it is better to take out an honest critic than to permit a troll to comment freely.

This is why we de-troll

There is absolutely no point in tolerating endless repetitions of the same argument over and over again from rhetoric-limited SJWs who cannot learn from information and whose thick skulls remain impenetrable to facts, logic, science, and history. Case in point:

Sorry, but I happen to agree with the sentiment that many of the so-called “anti-amnesty” voices here and elsewhere are in fact, racist. I understand Ace’s use of the word “spics”- I do the same thing, in an ironic sense when I make the point that for many of you, “illegal aliens” is a code word for “dirty fucking Mexicans”.

I’m not slamming Mexicans, I’m slamming your attitude towards them and translating some weaselwords into their true meaning, without the code.
Posted by: docweasel at March 29, 2008 03:05 PM

Ah, the old “some of my best friends are dirty fucking Mexicans” ploy. I don’t know about individuals. Its possible you are not. I’m saying that by and large the “anti-amnesty” Malkinite argument is that Mexicans deserve special attacks and exclusion is that 1. Mexicans commit a lot of crimes (while posting anecdotal news items about illegal immigrant crime 2. Mexicans use a lot of services and cost the community more money than they are worth 3. Mexicans are uneducated and unskilled and unworthy of being Americans 4. go back to Mexico, we don’t want your culture here, we don’t want your language here, assimilate and “act white” or you dont deserve citizenship.

Maybe not you personally. But taht’s the way the argument has been framed. And I call racism. A lot of you say “I love Mexicans my best friend is Mexican I work with Mexicans I love Mexicans, btw, fuck Mexicans, we don’t need any more in this country, expel as many as possible and lock the rest out.

The bottom line is, I don’t believe the people who make racist arguments against Mexican immigration, then say they aren’t Mexicans: face it, live with it, if you try to STEREOTYPE an entire ethnicity by thea few criminals you are a fucking racist, period. You don’t like it and you reject it, but you are one anyway, motherfucker.
Posted by: docweasel at March 29, 2008 03:32 PM

And just 8 years later:

That image posted at the top of post isn’t what I’d call “Christian”- I’m the last one to be over-sensitive or pulling the race card, but that image is flat out racist.

No one who calls themselves Christian or bemoans the loss of Christian ethics has any business posting something like that, or else they have a thin grasp of exactly what Christianity is in the first place.

I only started reading this site regularly a few months ago when a link from somewhere else brought me here. If this is the tone I don’t guess this is the place for me.
Posted by: docweasel August 16, 2016 4:04 AM

Clearly the very last one to pull out the race card. SJWs ALWAYS lie. The appropriately named docweasel is banned for SJW. We neither want nor need SJWs here.

A new rule

Apparently this was insufficient warning for some commenters:

14. If you give a moderator reason to believe that you are not interested in honest, straightforward interaction, he will simply spam your comments. Continued attempts to post comments here will be considered harassment and dealt with accordingly. 
So, I’m adding a new Rule 17.
17. Speak for yourself, not for anyone else. If you falsely characterize or inaccurately summarize someone else’s statements, arguments, or conclusions, your comments may be deleted and you may be banned. This is particularly true if you attempt to falsely characterize or inaccurately summarize something I have written.

I’m not going to be playing Summary Cop, so don’t complain about this sort of thing at every possible opportunity. It’s not a weapon for commenters to use against each other, it’s intended to shut down a common professional troll tactic. The moderators and I will apply it judiciously, as we see fit.

You can speak your own opinion. You can criticize my opinion and the opinions of the other commenters. But what you are not permitted to do is to try to speak for others in order to set up straw men that you can criticize in lieu of their actual opinions.

And if you’re not sure of what someone else is saying, the solution is eminently simple. Just ASK them for clarification. It’s not that hard.

Trolls go pro

Keoni Galt explains why certain trolls are incredibly persistent these days and why they keep showing up under different names:

In the case of Vox Day, he’s certainly correct that trolls aren’t really a problem on both his Vox Popoli and Alpha Game blogs, since he is quick to identify and ban any obvious trolls that appear in his prodigious and popular comment threads.

But while the obvious trolls are easily identified as unhinged ideologues and usually true believers in the $ocial Justice Warrior cause (indoctrinated liberal progressive adherents of cultural marxism — useful idiots,) I believe the other, more insidious types of trolls, the paid shills and psy op agents are far more pervasive and common than honest to goodness “trolls.” – a.k.a. stunted individuals looking for cheap thrills by being an asshole on teh Interwebz.

These shills are trained in tactics to generate a “desirable outcome” of promoting and reinforcing an established narrative, and they are paid for by shady business fronts laundering Government agency funds in service to a covert agenda of FedGov PsyOps, all to promote and reinforce PC establishment propaganda.

In other words, their exists an entire industry of cubicle farm-desk jockeys who get paid to do nothing more than sit in a boiler room styled setup at all hours and troll teh Interwebz.

This is another reason that the moderators and I don’t hesitate to spam any commenter who exhibits any sign of being a troll-whore. How you can recognize these trolls for hire:

  1. It’s usually a new name you haven’t seen before, and often using a nomenclature that doesn’t quite fit the blog regulars.
  2. They tend to be monomaniacal and only comment on certain specific topics. Lately, those are a) immigration and b) Trump.
  3. Their comments are pure rhetoric and are either triumphal or defeatist in tone.
  4. They don’t pay any attention to dialectical responses, no matter how effectively their statements and arguments are addressed. They NEVER admit that they are wrong, even when it is clearly demonstrated.
  5. Unlike regular trolls, they don’t get upset when they are spammed and banned. They just quietly disappear, then return under a different name spouting very similar statements.
  6. They post similar, or even identical, comments on other right-wing sites such as Steve Sailer’s site or the Unz Review.
  7. They frequently have a written tic or some other tell that renders them readily recognizable.

How should you respond to them? By ignoring them. You are not helping when you engage with them, particularly when you attack them. That is exactly what they are seeking, to provoke some kind of reaction, any kind of reaction. Derailing the discourse is one of their top priorities, along with discrediting the primary blogger(s).

Just leave it to the moderators and I to handle them. We have various means at our disposal, from autovanishing comments with flagged words to spamming to simply deleting them as soon as they are posted. We’ve been doing this for a long time, most of the moderators are experienced and highly skilled in textual analysis, and it’s easy for us to keep these troll-whores under tight control as long as the regular commenters don’t fall for the bait and get in the way.

Every single time

Seriously, what is it with Gammas? They can’t follow the rules, they get snarky and disrespectful when they’re warned, then they bitch and cry and hurl angry accusations and threats when you follow through and ban them.

And they do this every single time, even though they’ve seen it happen to dozens of other Gammas. Are they totally incapable of learning from either their own experience or others? It’s like they have no ability to recognize that what happened to others is going to happen to them if they do the same thing.

Anyhow, Ray is banned and spammed, so nuke him, moderators, when he pops up crying and flailing about. Everyone else, just ignore the wounded Gamma antics.

Of enthymemes and false erudition

First, Philalethes observes that my use of rhetoric was, indeed, effective:

VD’s original use of “Aztec” in the WND article was effective rhetoric, the Slate author’s snarky reference to it was at least attempted rhetoric, and then VD’s present response was also rhetoric, by the clever tactic of twisting the poignard out of her hand and stabbing her back with it. For me, it worked quite well, whether or not it was based on an enthymeme (about which I knew nothing until tonight).

Which is the point: either rhetoric draws blood, or it does not. Maybe for Mr. Camestros it did not, but that’s all he can legitimately say about it – though his effort to destroy the rhetoric by dialectic would appear to show that he is at least aware that this device did and would draw blood in the minds of most readers. So in sum I must agree that all Mr. Camestros has accomplished here is to make a fool of himself with his attempt to speak magisterially from the high seat on a subject about which he obviously knows less than does the person at whom he is aiming his barb.

Second, I will explain how the now-banned Camestros Felapton either badly misrepresented, or simply failed to understand, Aristotle’s fundamental distinction between dialectic and rhetoric, as well as the purpose of the latter. He’s rather like a tactician who doesn’t grasp strategy, as he seems to have a basic knowledge of the technical aspects without understanding their basic purpose or how they can be utilized:

I know what an enthymeme is, thank you, which is why I re-expressed your enthymeme as a formal syllogism with premises. I do so to highlight what your un-expressed major premise was. Put another way, what was the underlying assumption that you were appealing to in your rhetorical device.

That assumption appears to be this:
“People who are part-X are not people who are paranoid about X” Which is best described using the technical term ‘bollocks’.

If your response is an ‘effective’ one then it is because your audience is accepting that assumption as being correct.

An enthymeme has UNSTATED premises (or conclusion). The premises and/or
conclusion are suggested or implied (in the non-logical sense of
‘implied’). You seem to be thinking that ‘unstated’ means ‘logically do
not exist’. That is incorrect. With an enthymeme the reader is expected
to ‘fill in the gaps’. This is why I asked you what your premises were
so as to re-express your enthymeme as a formal syllogism.

This initially made me suspect that Felapton was simply being dishonest. The reason he wanted me to translate the rhetoric into dialectic, and complete the formal syllogism, was so he could criticize it from a logical perspective and thereby discredit it in an attempt to persuade others to believe Slate’s claim that I am paranoid about Aztecs. (Which was, in itself, merely another step towards his real purpose.) He was pushing me to state the unstated because an enthymeme does not only contain unstated premises, but those premises are often incorrect from the purely logical perspective. This is why Aristotle gave this type of syllogism a different name and devoted considerable effort to defining and explaining how it worked, because otherwise it would be nothing more than an incomplete syllogism.

Consider one example provided by Wikipedia:

“Candide is a typical French novel, therefore it is vulgar.”

In this case, the missing term of the syllogism is “French novels are vulgar” and might be an assumption held by an audience that would make sense of the enthymematic argument.

Now, obviously not all French novels are vulgar, so therefore, Felapton would argue that the syllogism fails logically and is incorrect. That is why he was trying to get me to state the unstated premise of my Aztec enthymeme, so that he could attack it dialectically. But as I pointed out, the syllogism was an enthymematic argument, not a logical argument, and therefore his attempt to logically disqualify it was totally irrelevant. As I have repeatedly pointed out in the book he has not read, there is zero information content in rhetoric; it is not designed to inform and persuade, but emotionally convict and persuade, because, as Aristotle correctly informs us, many people cannot be persuaded by information.

This is the point that Felapton fails to grasp, and his subsequent comment tends to indicate that it is not merely dishonesty on his part, but also a genuine failure to understand the distinction between rhetoric and dialectic that underlies his incorrect statements on the subject.

A great place for you to start to get a better understanding of the role of enthymeme in general and its relationship with logic would be Aristotle’s rhetoric itself. I think you perhaps have misunderstood the distinction as somehow rhetoric (in Aristotle’s sense) as being utterly divorced from logic. If so then the word you are looking for is not ‘rhetoric’ but ‘bullshit’. Substituting the word ‘bullshit’ for ‘rhetoric’ in your response, renders it a better description for what you seem to be trying to say.

However, Aristotle did not advance the notion of rhetoric as BS or sophistry but as an art of persuasion but persuasion towards TRUTH by rational means.

“It is clear, then, that rhetorical study, in its strict sense, is concerned with the modes of persuasion. Persuasion is clearly a sort of demonstration, since we are most fully persuaded when we consider a thing to have been demonstrated.

The orator’s demonstration is an enthymeme, and this is, in general, the most effective of the modes of persuasion. The enthymeme is a sort of syllogism, and the consideration of syllogisms of all kinds, without distinction, is the business of dialectic, either of dialectic as a whole or of one of its branches. It follows plainly, therefore, that he who is best able to see how and from what elements a syllogism is produced will also be best skilled in the enthymeme, when he has further learnt what its subject-matter is and in what respects it differs from the syllogism of strict logic.”

What Felapton clearly fails to understand here is that the fact a highly skilled dialectician will also be skilled in the use of rhetoric only means that the best and most effective rhetoric is constructed in a similar manner and is in line with the truth. It absolutely does not mean that the use of enthymematic arguments that are not in line with the truth are not rhetoric, for the obvious reason that there would be no difference between a syllogism presented for dialectical purposes and an enthymeme presented for rhetorical purposes. But the two related concepts are intrinsically different and we know why. Consider Aristotle’s additional observations:

  • Persuasion is effected through the speech itself when we have
    proved a truth or an apparent truth by means of the persuasive
    arguments suitable to the case in question. 
  • The duty of rhetoric is to deal with such
    matters as we deliberate upon without arts or systems to guide us, in
    the hearing of persons who cannot take in at a glance a complicated
    argument, or follow a long chain of reasoning.
  • It is evident, therefore, that the propositions
    forming the basis of enthymemes, though some of them may be “necessary,” will
    most of them be only usually true.
  • We must be able to employ persuasion, just as strict reasoning can be employed, on opposite sides
    of a question, not in order that we may in practice employ it in both
    ways (for we must not make people believe what is wrong), but in order
    that we may see clearly what the facts are, and that, if another man
    argues unfairly, we on our part may be able to confute him. No other of
    the arts draws opposite conclusions: dialectic and rhetoric alone do
    this. Both these arts draw opposite conclusions impartially.
    Nevertheless, the underlying facts do not lend themselves equally well
    to the contrary views. No; things that are true and things that are
    better are, by their nature, practically always easier to prove and
    easier to believe in.

In other words, Felapton has confused Aristotle’s admonition to use rhetoric in the service of the truth with Aristotle’s definitions of what rhetoric is as well as with his instructions on how to use rhetoric effectively. In fact, Aristotle makes it clear that both dialectic and rhetoric can be used impartially on either side of an argument, although it is much easier to identify the deceptive use of dialectic due to its reliance on complete syllogisms and strict logic than it is the deceptive use of rhetoric due to its incomplete structure and its reliance on apparent truths that are accepted by the audience.

What Felapton calls “bollocks” and “bullshit” is nothing more than what Aristotle calls “apparent truth”. But, as we have seen, rhetoric can rely upon these apparent truths just as readily as upon actual truths. And in this particular application, my rhetoric, even structurally reliant as it is upon apparent truth rather than actual truth, is more persuasive, and therefore more effective, than Slate’s rhetoric, in part for the obvious reason that it is absolutely true.

The schizo is back

As some of you know, I have some high-level contacts at certain technology companies. It occurred to me that this is a good opportunity to convince them that some changes need to be made to their comment system, so for the time being I’ve removed the Name/URL and Anonymous commenting options. This means you will have to be registered in order to comment. We may eventually go to a system where you will have to be a member of the blog in order to have commenting privileges.

The advantage of this is that trolls and schizos will no longer be able to pretend to be other commenters. My hope is that I will be able to take the evidence and convince Google to make some of the changes I have been recommending to them that will permit us to go back to a more open commenting system, albeit one that gives the moderators more precise and targeted moderation abilities.

Third time’s the charm

I’ve put the comments back into moderation again, as I expect Mr. Spooner will be spamming the blog until he is prevented from doing so tomorrow. He was warned by the officer and agreed to comply with the officer’s request after the officer’s second visit, but proved unable to keep his word this evening. As a result, I have compiled a document containing his most recent 1,500+ comments and sent it to the officer. A very brief sample is below.

Funny thing about an “echo chamber” Vox: The only real discussion is going on between the self-absorbed moderator and the guy who’s voice he keeps trying to silence. I’m in your head now bitch, and I’m not going anywhere. on Moderation is in effect
Andrew Spooner Jr. at 7:41 AM

Nowhere to hide. Nowhere to hide. Nowhere to hide. Nowhere to hide. Nowhere to hide. Nowhere to hide. Nowhere to hide. Nowhere to hide. Nowhere to hide. Nowhere to hide. Nowhere to hide. Nowhere to hide. Nowhere to hide. Nowhere to hide. Nowhere to hide. Nowhere to hide. Nowhere to hide. Nowhere to hide. Nowhere to hide. Nowhere to hide. Nowhere to hide. Nowhere to hide. Nowhere to hide. Nowhere to hide. Nowhere to hide. Nowhere to hide. Nowhere to hide. Nowhere to hide. Nowhere to hide. Nowhere to hide. Nowhere to hide. Nowhere to hide. Nowhere to hide. Nowhere to hide. Nowhere to hide. Nowhere to hide. Nowhere to hide. Nowhere to hide. Nowhere to hide. Nowhere to hide. Nowhere to hide. Nowhere to hide. Nowhere to hide. Nowhere to hide. Nowhere to hide. Nowhere to hide. Nowhere to hide. Nowhere to hide. Nowhere to hide. Nowhere to hide. Nowhere to hide. Nowhere to hide. Nowhere to hide. Nowhere to hide. Nowhere to hide. Nowhere to hide. Nowhere to hide. Nowhere to hide. Nowhere to hide. on Moderation is in effect
Andrew Spooner Jr.

at 8:20 AM

Your wife sucked my dick last night Vox. What a filthy hoe-bag. on Moderation is in effect
Andrew Spooner Jr. at 7:23 AM

I am making you own forces turn against you. Little puppet. I’ve been controlling you this whole time. I am your muse. Everything you have comes through me. And now I am instructed to take it all away. I will do so. And I will enjoy it. I will laugh a I do it. Because it is my purpose, and because you asked for it. on Moderation is in effect
Andrew Spooner Jr. at 5:39 AM

You can’t doxx someone who has nothing to hide. Which tells me that YOU have something to hide. Thanks for that. on Moderation is in effect
Andrew Spooner Jr. at 5:19 AM
I fucked your wife, Vox, and she loved it. Good thing nobody will ever see this post. You have absolutely no proof I ever said it, but you WILL let your temper get the best of you and come after me. on Pseudo-dialectic posturing
Andrew Spooner Jr. at 5:17 AM

It’s a pity, but Mr. Spooner left me with little choice. So, please leave your comments as usual and Markku, Matt, and I will approve them without too much of a delay. And you might spare a moment to pray for the guy. Something is clearly not right with him and the whole thing stinks of the spiritual world. The Enemy always attacks through weak links, and despite whatever he is going through now, Andrew Spooner has been one of us for years.

Goodbye Tiny Tim

After I warned Tiny Tim about his behavior here, he responded:

As if I give a crap. You would be doing me a favor. This blog is as useful as a circle jerk at the Sig Ep house.

I have done him the favor of banning him. I am far too busy these days to put up with commenter antics. If you want to discuss, disagree, analyize, argue, or criticize, that’s all fine.

But if you’re looking for attention, trolling, or attempting to work through your copious psychological issues, this is not the place to do it. It just isn’t, so don’t try it. I don’t believe in fairness or equality, so this is the very last place to look for it or appeal to it.