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An archetypal nanodrama of blog post and comments

Blogger: A’s proposition p about B’s sentence s is false.

Reader 1: Oh my god, I can’t believe you are defending everything B ever wrote!

Reader 2: But my completely different proposition q is true, so even if p is false, A is still right to say it!

Reader 3: Yes! Even though p is wrong, A is, er, morally right, because of yet another different proposition r !

Reader 4: Why won’t you also condemn the notorious E? Oh my god, you must be a crypto-e-ist!

Blogger: Sigh.

  1. 1  john b  May 16, 2008, 3:24 pm 

    Hypothetically speaking, could “Blogger” be a Bristolian academic, “A” a pompous Decentist, and “B” a dead Marxist philosopher?

  2. 2  john b  May 16, 2008, 3:26 pm 

    [sorry, I missed your previous thread – that’d be a ‘yes, but it was hardly fucking cryptic, was it?’ then]

  3. 3  Steven  May 16, 2008, 3:29 pm 

    I am confident that it works for many possible identities of “Blogger”, “A”, and “B”! (Although I suppose I’m limiting its scope somewhat with Reader 4’s comment: perhaps we can consider that one optional.)

  4. 4  john b  May 16, 2008, 3:43 pm 

    I think you can safely genericise Reader 4:

    “Reader 4: Why won’t you condemn [political hate figure C] and all his works, and condemn B while you’re at it? Oh my god, you’re a crypto-[extremist ideology D]-ist!”

  5. 5  Steven  May 16, 2008, 4:01 pm 

    Done — thanks!

  6. 6  sw  May 16, 2008, 4:13 pm 

    Actually, it’s more like this (which I have transcribed from crookedlumber):

    Blogger: Dickhead X scrawled on the bathroom wall that Figure Y said “Z”, without bothering to understand the full context of “Z”.

    Reader 1: Ha! That’s right! Ha! Ha! X is a Dickhead. And he does write on the bathroom wall.

    Reader 2: I . . . I mean, he is not a Dickhead! He’s not! You are the willyheads.

    Reader 3: Dickheads, all of you! The full context of “Z” includes the following passage, which Figure Y wrote in the margins of a porn mag recently discovered stuffed between his mattresses: “Now this is a real sweetie.” That changes everything.

    Blogger: Did you say “margins”??? There are no “margins” in a porn mag. Everybody knows that the “margins” in a porn mag are called the “frills”, as in “I spilled on the frills”, or “I jotted my stuff in the frills.”

    Reader 3: I stand corrected on the margins, but Figure Y still would have called you all dickheads.

  7. 7  Roger  May 16, 2008, 5:17 pm 

    May I be Reader 5 and say that A is a pompous, fart who impresses himself to onanistic extremes and is not to be believed, even if he tells the truth, simply because he is so awful and ought not be given the satisfaction. No propositions pn at all have any credibility and are incredible because he is a huge wanker. OK?

  8. 8  abb1  May 16, 2008, 5:46 pm 

    Here’s my version:

    A: B is to be despised for writing about n in a way that isn’t a categorical and unequivocal condemnation. Clearly B is an apologist for n, which means that he is either evil or insane.

    Blogger: fallacy of the excluded middle (sort of). B is making a point that doesn’t require either apologetics or condemnations.

    Reader: Obviously you are either evil or insane.

  9. 9  Steven  May 17, 2008, 11:10 am 

    sw, thank you for spilling so voluminously on the frills of

    abb1 — your version has an attractive economy. And Roger/Reader 5’s rule has a lot going for it in terms of the most constructive use of one’s time.

  10. 10  Jenny, Bloggess  May 21, 2008, 3:26 pm 

    So you’re saying that you’re okay with everything that the notorious “e” has ever done and that you want “a” to come down with cholera.


  11. 11  Steven  May 22, 2008, 1:07 am 


  12. 12  Jenny, Bloggess  May 27, 2008, 3:32 pm 

    Love it. Featured:

  13. 13  graham  May 30, 2008, 8:53 am 

    This week an Australian muslim group lost its bid for approval to build an Islamic school at Camden, an idyllic redneck outpost near Sydney. Xenophobia is alive and well among the peasantry. I personally object to faith-based schools of any religion because I don’t favour the wholesale propagation of any brand of bullshit, but that’s another story.

    After the council meeting which knocked the school on the head on the grounds of…ahem…”numerous inadequacies in relation to planning instruments” nudge nudge wink wink, and during which the town hall was packed to overflowing with flag-brandishing locals, an ABC-TV (that’s like the BBC) reporter asked one lady, “Why are you wearing an Australian flag?” The lady replied, “Why shouldn’t I be? Why is Channel 2 against Australia?”

    You can see the video here.

  14. 14  leinad  May 31, 2008, 8:18 am 

    That was depressing. Rudd said he opposed the school on “planning grounds” when he visited.

  15. 15  Ken  June 2, 2008, 2:59 pm 

    Not just a blogging but a book review thing. As we all know giving a good review to a book by X implies total agreement with everything X has ever said, including views ascribed to X that X does not actually hold. There are hot button people, just as there are hot button topics.

  16. 16  Steven  June 2, 2008, 7:04 pm 

    Just so. I for one agree not only with everything Slavoj Zizek has ever written, but also with things he has not written, such as that Stalin was not such a bad guy after all.

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