Blogosphere soap opera


Check it out. Of all the people frequently accused of trolling, he’s the most worth reading. I’m glad Eliezer let him stay at O.B but I think the editing of his comments contributes little value.

A while back I asked him if he wanted to co-blog here, but he said he wasn’t interested in blogging. Now that his claim has been revealed as dastardly deceptive I retaliate by saying I don’t like the layout. So there!

UPDATE: Scroll to the bottom of this post for what Lauren Landsburg has to say.

I’ve been temporarily banned a number of times, but this one was the last straw. In this thread about James Hansen’s call for putting global warming denying oil executives on trial I assuaged Arnold Kling’s fears for his freedom by saying “The difference between oil executives and Kling is that Kling doesn’t matter. Also, he has less money.” This was ruled ad hominem, and since it was directed at the host and I had been repeatedly warned, I was banished forever.

I don’t see how noting that Kling has less money than an oil executive would merit that, as he has discussed high CEO pay and oil company profits on his blog. So the ad hominem part was that oil company executives matter and Kling does not. If carbon emissions cause warming, then the work oil executives do has a large impact on that warming. These executives have also been in the spotlight when Congress feels it ought to Do Something and they provide funding to people that spread their desired message. So we can say they matter. Does Arnold Kling matter on this issue? Is James Hansen aware of his existence? If he was, would it be worth his time to concern himself with Kling? My guess is no.

In some ways this reminds me of conversations I repeatedly have with Mencius Moldbug and Hopefully Anonymous. The former is talking about overthrowing the current system of government throughout the First World, a plan which now involves restoring the Stuarts. The latter wants to minimize existential risk and discover how to attain immortality, or something close to it. What I tell them is that you don’t matter, I don’t matter, and all the time we spend on the blogosphere will have no effect on the achievement of your goals. The latter at least will learn a few tips about common health and accident risks, but he’s not going to get a new Dr. Ishii cloning massive numbers of Aubrey de Grey and Nick Bostrum.

REPLY FROM LANDSBURG: I sent an e-mail when I found my comment was still up, here is the reply.

Hi, TGGP.

> When I checked it out I saw that the comment I was
> banned for was up.

Is that a question? a complaint? a reminder?

Yes, we left the comment up.  Usually it isn't necessary to remove a
comment altogether, even if it's the last straw or the final cause for
permanently banning someone who has been warned repeatedly for crossing
the line.  A comment has to be exceptionally crude or disruptive to be
removed.

It was possible to interpret your EconLog comment in various ways, so
taking it down didn't seem necessary.  In fact, someone pointed out
yesterday to me that you argue on your own blog that you intended it as
illustrative.  That argument seems perfectly reasonable.  I probably
picked the wrong comment of yours over which to ban you; but frankly,
you've been gunning for getting banned for a long time.  You've managed
to drive your benefit/cost ratio for EconLog well below 1.

Having to waste my time moderating someone does not exactly endear him
to me. After someone receives multiple warnings, bans, and
reinstatements, even a semblance of an infraction is enough to make it
no longer worth my time to sort it out.

Were you an iota as articulate and respectable on EconLog as you are on
your own blog, almost surely you'd never have gotten moderated, much
less banned.

However, that's all water under the bridge. In your case, banning you
doesn't mean I don't respect you as a thinker or as a writer.  Quite the
opposite, in fact.  However, it does mean that you've not cottoned to
EconLog's standards and style--not even after receiving two reprieves
more than we give most commenters who violate the rules here.

I look forward to continuing to enjoy reading your blog entries, as I
have in the past.

Best regards,

Lauren

UPDATE 05/10/2021: It has been more than a decade since I was banned, and EconLog not only has a different moderator, but also a different commenting system. Scott Sumner now blogs both there and at his own personal blog, The Money Illusion (where I comment sometimes), and I wanted to reply to an EconLog comment of his and didn’t think the most recent TMI post was a good place for it, so I decided to test if I could comment again. I could.

Pre-order it! It doesn’t really have any details other than the cover right now, those will be added when the Nine Banded Books site adds a page for it. The Hoover Hog has put up plenty of info on the book and the other stuff in it, like an updated version of Lucifer’s Lexicon (think something Ambrose Pierce would have passed around but not published). I don’t have any special info about the rest, but Chip Smith’s editing of my intro has been fantastic and as far as I’m concerned responsible for the bulk of its quality. It’s like a literary version of the philosopher’s stone, turning quickly hacked out page-filler into gold. I’ve only seen the original version of Rollins’ titular essay, but the writing there was good enough that it wouldn’t require much improvement. It’s a shame that someone of Rollins’ talents languishes in obscurity when Ayn Rand attained demigod status among libertarians, but not unprecedented considering that Crazy Frog topped the billboard charts in numerous European countries (which is not even to say that what it replaced was any good). In case some other publisher is reading this, Rollins and his pen are available with a wit as sharp as ever, though what he lacks is an e-mail address for you to contact him at. E-mail Chip from 9BB instead.

On the subject of books, my order for On Power was cancelled because it was out of stock. I should have knwon the $12 price was too good to be true. I bought a gift card with the exact amount ($16.72 due to taxes and shipping) specifically for that purpose, which means Borders still has my money and perhaps due to loss-aversion I feel I ought to get something out of it. I just have a sneaking feeling that if I shell out a little more to order one of the vast majority of worthwhile books priced higher than $12 it will get canceled again and I’ll have gotten sucked out of yet a little more. I guess I could have avoided that possibility if I used credit cards, but whenever I get offers in the mail I throw it out as soon as they mention an annual fee. I know retailers send kickbacks to the credit card companies, who are also standing ready to suck my blood should I miss a payment. I don’t feel like sending them yearly tribute for the privilege.

Do you like the Overcoming Bias blog but are sometimes frustrated by comment restrictions? Lucky for you, acting on Hopefully Anonymous’ suggestion Nick Tarleton has set up a forum.

Well, after three years I’m finally done and back home. Perhaps this will mean more blog time, perhaps not. I have absolutely no plans for the future.

Aschwin de Wolf has asked me to remove my mirror site of Against Politics, as all that material will be at the new site I have mentioned before and we don’t have the two to compete through Google. I am happy to do so, as I needed to clear up space to host Bertrand de Jouvenel’s On Power (I still haven’t bought it, but I plan on doing so). It will not be a doc or pdf like the Sowell transcription I did before, but an html with clickable table of contents and footnotes like the Stirner and Oppenheimer books also at the tripod site.
UPDATE: I have removed the Against Politics section of my site.

Way back when a website I had just discovered and took great interest in went down. I copied all the files I could and created a tripod site to host them, which you can still find at teageegeepea.tripod.com/AgainstPolitics
Now Aschwin de Wolf informs me the new transhumanist site, Depressed Metabolism, will begin hosting the most important pages from AP here. Not all of the Anthony de Jasay material will be there, as he has his own website now.

The founder of the Pica Studies blog alerted me a while back that Pica told him to shut it down. I didn’t bother to inform you because I figured, “Who cares?”. Well, now I have a way to tie it in to something else, as I’ve found a pretty good substitute. (more…)

I mentioned earlier that I had been banned from A Stitch in Haste for unknown reasons. I also said my last comment had not been deleted. That is no longer the case. All my comments there appear to be gone. I’d reproduce what I can here, for the benefit of posterity, but Google does not appear to have cached any of those posts (though they do still show up in search results). For evidence that I didn’t just imagine posting there, here’s a comment that mentions me and responds to something I said. Here’s another.

Shortly after I got re-instated at EconLog, I tried to make a post at A Stitch in Haste and found my IP address had been banned. Judging by his responses, Kip did find me annoying, but I’m not really sure what did it. My last comment was here and received no response, nor was it removed.

Don’t believe me? See for yourself. Or just going sane in a crazy world? No. Most definitely not. He wasn’t exactly normal to begin with, but you could dig where he was coming from. There were also a lot fewer Capital Letters. Now even Robert Lindsay’s continued support for Mugabe seems sane in comparison. His more personal posts are still pretty goofballs, but Prozium has him outgunned in the crazy department.

UPDATE: J. Slavyanski now blogs at Red Banner.

Robert Lindsay was initially fine with me referring to him as a Stalinist, but later stated he is really a “grocery shop leftist”. He points out the real deal here. Not merely a Bolshevik or Leninist or Stalinist or Maoist but a follower of Enver Hoxha! When Albania stands alone, he stands with Albania. He apparently used to be a Nazi (odd for someone named “Slavyanski”, aren’t his people supposed to be subhuman?) but has flopped in the manner Eric Hoffer described. He seems to be in good company with Greg Cochran on Operation Barbarossa revisionism. Speaking of which, Barborassa revisionist American Goy gets plugged and Greg Cochran dispute with Mencius Moldbug gets extended at this post from The Daily Burkeman1. Small world, eh?

Are you disappointed that I’ve linked to fundamentalist Christians, retro-commies, anarcho-mutualists, authoritarian racialists, neo-colonialists and paleo-conservatives but as of yet no black nationalists? Well too bad, because this site pointed out in the Attack the System yahoogroup seems to be shutting down.
See what happens when you go up against The Man? Elsewhere C.R Hamilton talks of the need to “thwart infiltration, too much public attention and the risk of revealing too much of their ideology to the enemy”, and so it for the good of The Cause that I will insist readers not seek him out.

I still invite pointers to any readable radical Muslim blog, which would seem to be more relevant these days than Hoxha.

A site that has proved its worth by putting me on its blogroll (if I’ve slighted blogs in the past by not mentioning them when they link to me, it’s probably because it’s usually only the top-X pages by clicks and then alphabetical order that get displayed in my dashboard unless I go more in depth) is Puzzle. If you like the link roundups at the Fourth Checkraise but can’t stand the one-paragraph posts of original content, this is the site for you. Two links in particular that struck me concern William S. Lind, who I do not mean to demean when I call him an interesting character. The first is a blog post on armored cavalry, which was interesting to me if only because DNI had switched from its old clunky form to a nifty wordpress-type blog format. The second is a video detailing the history of political correctness, focusing on the Frankfurt School. Besides Lind the only person that seems to share a similar obsession with those folks is Kevin MacDonald, though they view them from quite a different angle.

On an unrelated note (other than perhaps a connection to MacDonald’s anti-semitism) Jack Ross critiques Walter Block’s latest on those crazy Jews and their infatuation with anti-capitalism. Arnold Kling discusses the issue here, as does James Q. Wilson here. I also couldn’t resist this attack on Spengler from Daniel Larison at Taki’s where commenter James Cantrell seems to have independently discovered the Mencius Moldbug take on the Jews.

On a final unrelated note, I still haven’t gotten around to reading Vox Day’s “The Irrational Atheist” (I have finished the Blank Slate, but still haven’t reviewed it or In Defense of Hypocrisy), but via Uncertain Principles I see that Evangelical Realism has a category devoted to debunking (in a more serious manner than the UP commenters) his book.

Oh, and I lied about that final note thing. Gene Healy is back, and his book The Cult of the Presidency: America’s Dangerous Devotion to Executive Power sounds neato.

In the latest EconTalk, Russ Roberts interviews Chris Coyne about his book After War: The Political Economy of Exporting Democracy. Along with the few relative successes like post-WW2 Germany and Japan, it goes over numerous failures and explains why best laid plans went awry (a paper of his taking a public-choice perspective on the bureaucracies of reconstruction can be found here). Chris is a contributor to the Austrian Economists blog and Russ manages Cafe Hayek with Don Boudreaux. A list of foreign interventions by the United States starting with Wounded Knee and ending in 2001 from ZMag is here.

Steve Sailer points out Stanley Kurtz’s “I and My Brother against My Cousin” in NRO on the importance of tribalism in the Middle East, as opposed to Islam. It has plenty of bashing of post-modernist/post-colonialist and Marxist academics as well. Steve previously highlighted Stanley’s anthropological perspective on the Middle East here and here. I’m sure this will lead to another complaint from Lawrence Auster on “non-Islamic theories of islamic extremism”, a complaint I don’t think much of for reasons explained here. The classic article on the distinction between old tribal codes and the orthodox tenets of Islam is Pushtunwali: Honor Among Them.

I just learned from this post at The Daily Burkeman1 that the cause of the recent trouble at TakiMag was Prozium (UPDATE: Prozium states that he had already left Taki’s before the trouble started and Alex Linder from VNN was responsible). I’ve come to have a low opinion of the average commenter on the internet (at least for relatively large/popular sites like TakiMag) and so registration seems like a reasonable solution to the problem. I haven’t had any problems here with my few readers and for the moment intend to let people post whatever they want as long as it isn’t spam. Savrola at TDB1 has plenty of mockery for the Zmiraks of the world (and Kevin Carson) that seems to blend into a cynical take on the paleo movement more generally (although displaying anything but pessimism about the prospects of conservatism might be grounds for expulsion from paleoland). Prozium is strangely optimistic, as he believes that paleos will ultimately achieve their goals despite their utter failure to accomplish anything themselves. Plenty of other reactions elsewhere. On a somewhat related note, James Poulos claims that deconstructionism is more a threat to postmodern bourgeois liberalism than postmodern conservatism in a post that reminds why I generally don’t bother reading postmodernism of any sort.

If you haven’t heard of them before, they’re sort of like Cato, only better. They take the Robert Higgs angle on foreign intervention but are more professional than the Mises Institute or LRC. The blog is here, found via the Lew Rockwell blog. Alex Tabarrok is affiliated with the institute and I hope he starts posting stuff there that MR’s readers would freak out over.

UPDATE: Not only can I not post comments, I can no longer even read any of their pages unless I mask my IP.
Oh, what will I do with myself now? If I’m not welcome in a place where freedom of speech is claimed to be respected despite how offensive comments might be, I guess there’s just no place for me.

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