Friday, September 10, 2004
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Blog quote of the day
For someone who's never been particularly spare in his prose, Den Beste comes up with a very pithy closing line about blogging:
posted by Dan on 09.10.04 at 02:51 PM
In related news - Emmanuelle Richard had to disable comments in her blog after it was repeatedly sullied by francophobes who described in the crudest terms the punishement they wished would be meted out to her French journalist friends held in Irak. Matt Welch has the ugly details.posted by: Benjamin on 09.10.04 at 02:51 PM [permalink]
... and others will complain that you aren't also giving away syrup and whipped cream and nuts.
I've noticed that this seems to be a widespread human failing. Witness people on government handout programs, who complain bitterly every time something is cut back.
This post sucks!posted by: praktike on 09.10.04 at 02:51 PM [permalink]
praktike: That's it, no more chocolate or strawberry for you!!posted by: Dan Drezner on 09.10.04 at 02:51 PM [permalink]
posted by: Jon H on 09.10.04 at 02:51 PM [permalink]
I will truly miss DenBeste as few put such effort into their research and analysis.
I wish him well and thank him for his outstanding service.
Hopefully he will show up from time to time.posted by: tallan on 09.10.04 at 02:51 PM [permalink]
From what I can read of Matthew, it's self-defense . . . don't want no dissenting viewpoints showing up the Blogpriotor.posted by: BradDad on 09.10.04 at 02:51 PM [permalink]
Then obviously you can't read much; the shift from intelligent disagreement to comments of the "Kerry sucks and so do you!" variety were (obviously and explicitly) the motivation.posted by: EH on 09.10.04 at 02:51 PM [permalink]
shoulda been "shifts". or i guess "was". dammit...posted by: EH on 09.10.04 at 02:51 PM [permalink]
Yes, shame about Den Beste. I always found his articles useful for explaining concepts to people, anything from evolutionary biology (The Human Eye - A design review is useful to show Intelligent Designers) through to motivations for the war in Iraq.
But as to his quitting? Don't be so sure. Do a google groups author search - he's been giving his opinion away for free on usenet since 1983. For the whole time, pretty much. I mean, come on, like he didn't encounter his share of bozos there. Old habits die hard, and I would lay money on the fact that sooner or later he just won't be able to help himself.
Maybe he's getting to the age (51) where some testosterone therapy would come in handy and get him posting again. I do appreciate that the well may have run dry - look at how Stephen King's most popular book was written in the 70s - the Stand. That's gotta depress a guy.
But perhaps after reading a lot of different books/blogs in different fields his own fertile mind will connect the dots - writers often have their best work after stints as editors, and look how Einstein did his best work right after working in a patent office - seeing literally hundreds of other people's ideas.
Unfortunately, there aren't many good substitutes. Wretchard is pretty good, but no Den Beste. I get the feeling that he tries too hard sometimes.
By the way, it's been a while since you've posted your probability for re-electing Bush, Drezner. What does DuKerry get now?posted by: taspundit on 09.10.04 at 02:51 PM [permalink]
Actually, Matt closed his comments section after a running discussion amongst many of his longtime commenters, such as myself. It wasn't his idea, but we saw him getting upset and the general discussion becoming as useless as a Kevin Drum thread.
The immediate precipitating event was a deluge of trolls that reached its apex after instapundit took one of Matt's remarks somewhat out of context and beat him over the head with it. Extremely unpleasant swarming trollery was the result. Daniel should know what this is like, remembering what his email box looked like in the wake of his "Bush the Bumbler" column in Slate.
His commenters suggested he either turn them off for a while, revert to his more measured posting style, or impose registration. So he decided to shut 'em down for a cooling period, and open 'em up periodically.posted by: praktike on 09.10.04 at 02:51 PM [permalink]
Instapundit did NOT take Yglesia's comments out of context - "somewhat" or in any other manner. He quoted directly from Yglesias' post and then provided the link to the entire post for reader's to view.
Yglesias made a sloppy (and ill-thought) comment the day of the school massacre about how Russia needed to negotiate with the Chechen's. It was dumb.
But instead of acknowledging either his poor wording or poor thinking, Yglesias childishly told Glen to "f** himself and petulantly shut down the comments section.
Everyone at one time says or writes something dumb. Just admit it, correct the error and move on.
It's called acting like an adult.
SMGposted by: SteveMG on 09.10.04 at 02:51 PM [permalink]
As it happens, SteveMG, the Russians are, in fact, negotiating with the Chechens.
So why don't you direct your ire at Vladimir Putin, or these guys, few of whom would be considered liberal terrorist-appeasers?
And yeah, it was somewhat out of context.posted by: praktike on 09.10.04 at 02:51 PM [permalink]
Should we be concerned or, even more, alarmed that Bush's worshipful followers are becoming a domestic authoritarian movement? I hate to use the word "fascism," but I have been quite shocked by some of the responses I have encountered after commenting politely on some of the right blog threads?posted by: g-lex on 09.10.04 at 02:51 PM [permalink]
I don't blog, but I comment on a few.
Maybe someone who does blog could explain the fear and loathing of bad commenters?
Especially in an election, poli bloggers have to expect things to get heated. Most poli blogs are trying to out shrill each other anyway, so why is it bad to have commenters doing the same? Can't you just ignore them?
Speaking for myself as a consumer of blogs, there is certainly value in the comment-less blog. These blogs I go to for the same reason I engage in certain online shopping sites and don't go to Walmart for everything. I know for a fact that if I visit Marginal Revolution, I will see something concise and interesting to me 99% of the time.
That said, it seems to me there are two types of blog posts. Some are informational or technical and can be presented blogger to reader without too much loss, but others are essentially interactive. These latter types become interesting only really as a synthesis of what the blogger presented and the reaction of a public comments section. These blogs have an organic quality in addition to being participatory. Additionally, the interactive nature of comment sections gives the consumer a sense of ownership.
I know, I know, we are all to be reminded that the blog is a tool for the blogger only, but I can't help but think that the decision to remove comments from some blogs is the decision to call the cops so your mall doesn't become a 'hang-out'. There is nothing wrong with this choice formally, but it strikes me as antithetical to what makes the evolved social internet interesting.
Certainly there are trolls, but is it just me or does the term get way over used? I am a small government type who comments on occasion at Brad Delong's site, and I am constantly being accused of trolling for posting disagreements. I point out what I believe are inconsistencies in the good profs. treatment of Bush and Kerry, and I get twenty responses telling me to take my troll butt elsewhere. I am on occasion snarky or sarcastic (as in "GWB's failing is that he spends too much, so you are supporting John Kerry?"), but I am not rude or vulgar.
I would hate to think that bloggers would shut down comments because of 'trolling' like that.posted by: Jason Ligon on 09.10.04 at 02:51 PM [permalink]
"I've learned something interesting: if you give away ice cream, eventually a lot of people will complain about the flavors, and others will complain that you aren't also giving away syrup and whipped cream and nuts."
The amount of wisdom found in just that quote reminds me of why I'll miss his posts.posted by: Sebastian Holsclaw on 09.10.04 at 02:51 PM [permalink]
"Do a google groups author search - he's been giving his opinion away for free on usenet since 1983. For the whole time, pretty much. I mean, come on, like he didn't encounter his share of bozos there."
Usenet has the happy invention of the kill-file, though.
"Old habits die hard, and I would lay money on the fact that sooner or later he just won't be able to help himself."
Personally, I found DenBeste annoying: annoying 'cos his material could have been 1/6th the length, and also he often posted way outside his fields of competence, and got stuff spectacularly incorrect (a post on mitigation of climate change was horrendously wrong); stuff he posts on the history and strands of thinking within the left is usually useless (mind you, there's not many writers on the conservative side who really know much about the history of the social-democratic left; David Frum is the only one who springs to mind).
It's annoying because he's a smart person, and it's just a shame to see him waste a talent. If he saw the nit-picking not only as an expression of the tendency of the internet bring out the asshole in everyone, but also a bunch of people trying to satisfy the unmet need for his posts to be seriously edited.
He's a talent who'd be better channeled into writing a book or a magazine column, where an editor could put his creativity under some discipline and clean his material up; he'd be great as a columnist for, say, Asimov's or the Magazine of Science Fiction & Fantasy, Reason Magazine or the Weekly Standard.posted by: Tom on 09.10.04 at 02:51 PM [permalink]
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