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Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Mailvox: ideas for a new comment system

After fixing the template here - you can now link properly to individual comments by using the link on the comment's datestamp - Matt contemplates going where so many have gone before, and failed:
The CoCo circus and slow disaster, combined with your rejection of the alternatives, followed by all the infelicities of Blogger's commenting system has long tempted me to try to create a better way.  I'm now professionally situated in a place where trying to design [if not necessarily implement] a better commenting system is on topic.  I understand most of the challenges in designing and maintaining such a system on the back end, but I do not have a good grasp on the needs and failure modes for the front end.
For me, the single most important thing is to avoid any registration requirement on the part of the commenters.  This is where most of the comment systems fall down. They place all their emphasis on allowing logins through Facebook, Twitter, and 10 other systems, clutter up their interfaces with micrologos, and make no effort to let people comment as they obviously prefer to comment. Back when I had the system distinguish between logged-in commenter and not logged-in commenter via color, it was obvious that between 10 and 15 percent of the commenters were logged into something.  So, most comment systems are designed to cater to the vast minority of commenters.  This is a fundamental design mistake, as it is there to serve the needs of the comment system, not those who are intended to use it.

Anyhow, here is my list of the features of an optimal comment system:
  1. No registration necessary.  Custom registration only, no use of all the other systems.
  2. Option to block or auto-spam blank, Anonymous, and blacklisted names. Note that hese are two different things, as in some circumstances it may be better to accept and auto-spam than simply block.
  3. Ability to search comments by name, URL, or IP address.
  4. Good spam-trapping.  Blogger is actually pretty good in this regard, although vastly better on VP than on AG for some reason.
  5. Checkboxes, mass select and mass delete options for managing comments.  What Blogger really misses is the ability to view by Name, which would make managing them much easier.
  6. Editable comments. They should always be editable by the blog host, with editing capabilities made available to registered commenters at the blog host's option.
  7. Good, easy quoting system.
  8. Recognize HTML tags and buttons to provide the basics: B, I, U, strike, Link, and blockquote.  No need for spellchecks and so forth; no one ever uses them.
  9. Session recognition of commenter's Name/URL.  Even if you don't want to register, it is tedious to repeatedly type those in.
There are other things, to be sure, but that would be a desirable base.  I actually like the Blogger comment system as a base, but it's lacking in a few important particulars, such as the inability to separate the permission of unregistered comments from permitting Anonymous comments.  If anyone else has any ideas, feel free to share them here.

And while we're discussing your thoughts on the matter, I'm curious to know what sort of subjects people are finding to be of the most interest today.  I've been writing more about the business of fiction than I normally do, mostly because the world of publishing is changing so rapidly and I've been cranking out a considerable quantity of it lately, but there has also been an awful lot of excitement on the economic and current events front as well, so I don't have a good feel for what is of particular interest these days.  And then there is the Great Rabbit Hunt and the occasional soccer game. On the other hand, I've been writing less about some popular subjects to which I tended to pay inordinate attention in the past, such as history, evolution, and games.

I'm not promising that I'll pay any attention to what anyone thinks, of course, but I am curious nevertheless.  If you're so inclined, just list your favorite three subjects for blog discussion, in your personal order of preference.

Labels:

331 Comments:

1 – 200 of 331 Newer› Newest»
Blogger redlegben April 16, 2013 4:37 AM  

I imagine a response to previous comments having a listing of original comment, yet ordered later by real-time comment.

For example:

Comment 1 "writing" (Comment 43 link, comment 57 link,...)
Comment 2
Comment 3
...
Comment 43 (Comment 1 link) "writing"
...
Comment 57 (Comment 1 link) "writing"

Blogger Doom April 16, 2013 4:44 AM  

Well, if your people make such a system, and want people to try it, I would be up for that. I don't have as much need of it. I wouldn't be a great consumer. But the numbers are small enough, manageable enough, that I could implement it and keep track of things, with feedback to the author.

Oh, a few other things? Make it reasonable to install. I called my IT department. Turns out it is ME! That's an iffy thing. Don't hand me a forty page start-up sheet, written in geek-tech-fu. I'll jump through some hoops, I can figure some things out, but I won't rewrite my html code by hand, using three types of html and java script, to make it all fit. N'kay? And make it trustworthy. Something that shows up as 75% or less at WOT Reputation Scorecard, among others, is junk. Neither would I use it, nor would I expose my readers to it. Those things seem common sense, but then on some things I suppose they really aren't possible. But if shooting for the moon, don't aim low?

Hurry up already! :p

Anonymous Faust April 16, 2013 4:49 AM  

I'm a big fan of the McRapey punching, and your insight into the publishing and video game worlds. There are a lot of places to go on the net for gloomy economic commentary, but this is stuff I can only find here.

Anonymous Peter Garstig April 16, 2013 5:01 AM  

Reduce your list of 9. to 4. Then, get really extremely good at those 4.

You win.

Blogger Shimshon April 16, 2013 5:05 AM  

I agree that requiring registration for commenting is absurd.

Anonymous Roundtine April 16, 2013 5:07 AM  

Global cooling?

If we reran history over and over, which is more likely to happen first: Japanese land invasion during WWII or Japanese inflation after 1990?

Any thoughts on the right-wing government in Hungary, and the right-wing in general in Europe & Russia.

Anonymous Koanic April 16, 2013 5:13 AM  

Solution exists:
1. Wordpress
2. Disqus
3. Akismet

Blogger foxmarks April 16, 2013 5:13 AM  

Blockquoting is very useful.

As to the topics, I say give us your current interests. I would never have spent a second on SFWA, but it has wider implications than I imagined.

If you get boring, there is plenty else to read. And you don't write for our enjoyment anyway.

Anonymous VD April 16, 2013 5:14 AM  

I loathe Disqus and Wordpress won't let me precisely recreate this blog. I've tried and three different Wordpress experts have tried.

Blogger foxmarks April 16, 2013 5:15 AM  

Blockquoting is very useful.

As to the topics, I say give us your current interests. I would never have spent a second on SFWA, but it has wider implications than I imagined.

If you get boring, there is plenty else to read. And you don't write for our enjoyment anyway.

Anonymous ericcs April 16, 2013 5:16 AM  

God damn Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin (my god what a perverse mush-mouth attempt at a name), et al...

I am a refusenik, in that I will never NEVER sidle up to and/or willingly succumb to the likes of social media.

Whatever you do, for the love of God Almighty, please try to preempt the State's ability to gather information about whatever I post.

Anonymous Outlaw X April 16, 2013 5:18 AM  

If you're so inclined, just list your favorite three subjects for blog discussion, in your personal order of preference.

1) American Culture
2) European culture
3) Government/Media lies

Blogger Shimshon April 16, 2013 5:27 AM  

Vox, what specifically is the problem with WP? The comments?

Anonymous Supernaut April 16, 2013 5:30 AM  

Editable comments. They should always be editable by the blog host, with editing capabilities made available to registered commenters at the blog host's option.
Good, easy quoting system.


Some of the most hilarious, literal LOL moments in teh Blogosphere are on the wordpress blogs in which the blog host is able to edit and interjects other's comments. Roissy is especially adept at deriving maximum effect with this.

Blogger Bogey April 16, 2013 5:49 AM  

1. The state of the art "The Cancer in SF/F"
2. Rabbit Hunting
3. Science

I like these three because in my opinion you have shown more original thought in these areas than most bloggers. A lot of the economic and Orwellian Government stuff I can find on other sites such as The Keiser Report and infowars.

Anonymous TGR White April 16, 2013 6:03 AM  

Vox I am looking at publishing my first two books soon so I find the SFWA posts to be a good, if disturbing, insight into the publishing world in general. In general I would rather read whatever you feel is interesting enough to post. Limiting the blog to the same repetitive topics will make it as boring as every other blog. The uncertainty of what you will post next is a major draw card.

Blogger LP 999/Eliza April 16, 2013 6:16 AM  

I think writing epic fantasy is cool enough.

Something of interest to the mainstream and sometimes to me is either the futuristic or dramatic dystopia.

The gamma rabbit/Rabbit hunting is funny so was the use of mommyfuhrer.

I always avoid any comment systems have anything to do with facebook and twitter. I added wordpress to that list as well after trying wordpress, its ok, but has its quirks.

Anonymous jack April 16, 2013 6:24 AM  

It may be impossible or it may be that what I will suggest is already there under another term and/or I don't know enough of how to use the blogger comment system.
OK. I would love to see a system where, as in the Amazon Kindle world where they sync your reading to the last page read, you could read comments in a thread and come back to last comment read. I usually have to bounce in and out of the threads not being able to read a whole threads comments at one sitting. No, I'm not doing this at work [retired] its a longest story.
Thanks.

Anonymous Orville April 16, 2013 6:25 AM  

This Option to block or auto-spam blank, Anonymous, and blacklisted names. Note that hese are two different things, as in some circumstances it may be better to accept and auto-spam than simply block.

I get so damn tired of swimming through the garbage of people like Ass Man to get the nuggets. Otherwise content and direction is good. This is one of the few blogs where I actually get something from the commenters unlike the Zerohedge "bitchez".

Blogger Bogey April 16, 2013 6:25 AM  

By the way part 2 of the Cancer of SF/F would be nice to read someday.

Anonymous Stilicho April 16, 2013 6:52 AM  

Keep writing about the things that interest you. That keeps the quality high and the rest follows.

Anonymous kh123 April 16, 2013 7:00 AM  

-Economics
-Evolution
-Rabbit Hunt (I'd lump in recent observations about the SFWA and SF/F writing)

A close 4th would be feminism and all that entails, but that's pretty much the Alpha Game blog.

Most everything here is an interesting read; almost always something that gets delved into at a reasonable length, more than just a quote from Salon and "Well there goes the neighborhood".

Anonymous James May April 16, 2013 7:07 AM  

1. Since I am a big fan of SF&F, anything that discusses that legacy's ability to cut through fogs of perception and talk about specific tools of self-criticism to expose bias and hypocrisy as opposed to "I know and you don't" is fun. Racism by anti-racists is rampant in SF and the SFWA, thus the interest in the subject and my open letter calling for Scalzi's removal. Comparisons of the old and new by way of proper grammar, as opposed to the eccentric creativity of a William Hope Hodgson, Clark Ashton Smith, "New Riders of the Purple Wage", "The Moon Is A Harsh Mistress." In other words, how does SF's art suffer when constrained by the conformity of form? What is creativity? Was E.M. Forster right? Is pedantry and grammar dangerous?

http://www.jamesmaystock.com/essays/Pages/Resignation.html

2. I enjoy history. It is far more complex than the blithe stereotypes currently in play. I have recently read William Darymple's "White Mughals" and "The Last Mughal," the last about the 1857 Indian Uprising. They give stunning insights in history's nuance that is all but lost today. So, history in the context of how it is often purposefully misread is fun.

3. Considering the one zillion blogs out there, I generally enjoy conversations about the value of experience as opposed to a keyboard, hubris, sheer arrogance and intellect passed off as wisdom and insight. What people don't know about subjects is often only surpassed by their passion to discuss them. 20 yr. old girls discuss the world as if they are a weary Bernal Diaz after the Conquest. Everyone has great insights - fine. But what fuels such things? In going over the archives of the RaceFail dust up a few years ago, I was surprised by how many entire pages by many different people were completely empty of an actual thought. What fuels a failure of intellect and how do you separate that out from arrogance and look at it? How do we check ourselves?

Anonymous robh April 16, 2013 7:08 AM  

Not sure what "auto spam" encompasses. But I participated in a decent forum years ago where blocked users were never told; others simply did not see their comments. They could troll all day and wonder why no one would take the bait.

Anonymous VD April 16, 2013 7:10 AM  

Keep writing about the things that interest you. That keeps the quality high and the rest follows.

Just to be clear, I'm not looking for advice here. I will always write about the things that interest me. That's what I do. I'm simply curious about which of those various things happen to most interest YOU. I don't pretend to have a good read on what people like and what they don't like.

For example, it seems like there are a lot of readers who don't give a damn about fiction. They certainly have zero interest in my fantasy novels. And yet, posts about writing fiction seem to attract an amount of interest among the commenters. There are numerous possible explanations for this, I'm just curious.

I have no intention of changing anything, as whatever it is appears to be working fine. But I would like to better understand why it works.

Anonymous ericcs April 16, 2013 7:13 AM  

apropros of nothing in particular...

VD wants to set up an optimal feedback mechanism... but in these latter days, we cast pearls before swine, and the swine are feral tyrants usurping the barnyard.

No wonder our side is losing; the left declared a cultural and secular religious war decades ago, while all along we've meekly proffered nothing but a measured response.

What fools we are. Time to recognize that we're in an existential fight, and ACT (not just talk) accordingly.

Anonymous ODG April 16, 2013 7:18 AM  

The top three topics that bring me here are:

1) Economics
2) The realities of "vibrancy"
3) Churchianity dissection

Really, they all boil down to the decline of western civ.

Anonymous Rantor April 16, 2013 7:26 AM  

Things of interest...
Politics of SF/F
Churchianity
Libertarian Politics
Economics
Decline of Western civilization
Police

Anonymous philip April 16, 2013 7:27 AM  

1) atheism/christianity
2) history
3) science

And keep hunting rabbits!

Anonymous farmer Tom April 16, 2013 7:36 AM  

If it is possible, I would appreciate numbering the comments.

Especially when I'm looking at them from my mobile, I often read a few, then come back later and read a few more. Being able to go directly to where I left off, without having to browse through the whole comment section would be very useful.

Please, number the comments.

Anonymous Tom B April 16, 2013 7:47 AM  

I enjoy the fiction talk, the forays into history as it relates to current events, and the atheism/Christianity debate. I learn more from rather than so much "enjoy" the economic talk.

I'm not a soccer fan - I don't hate the sport and have seen the old Jacksonville Teamen play, but I wouldn't rush out to buy World Cup tickets. But when it concerns the kids its ok - its the dad in me, I guess.

The Wabbit hunt is fun - Scazi is clueless.

Meh. Everything is fine as is.

Anonymous JohnS April 16, 2013 7:50 AM  

I second farmer Tom's suggestions. Describes me too, bouncing in and out all day from my phone.

Anonymous jack April 16, 2013 7:51 AM  

farmer Tom April 16, 2013 7:36 AM

If it is possible, I would appreciate numbering the comments.

Thanks farmer. I had not thought of numbering the comments. That would mostly solve one of my problems listed in above comment.

Anonymous jack April 16, 2013 7:52 AM  

Oh, and a search to the number of a comment would be most helpful.

Blogger tz April 16, 2013 7:54 AM  

Topic? Theology. "Who do you say that I am?" was and is the only really important question. You seem to be siding with Tertullian, so I'm curious.

Anonymous James May April 16, 2013 7:57 AM  

Ericcs, I have offered a scathing counter-attack that ripped the victim/racists of SF fandom and the SFWA to shreds. It was long, wordy, and I enjoyed every minute of it. Trials and the presentation of evidence can go long, especially when there is so much material to work with. Predictably, they weren't happy, and I didn't intend they should be.

Their intellectual rebuttal to my attacking their entire racist and bigoted culture was that I don't use proper form and syntax, my photography is racist, and that I wish I were an SF writer and am disgruntled and angry about rejections slips, though I have never received one.

If 100 voices within the SF community did the same as I did, John Scalzi would be removed as President and the Nebula nominees would have just a slightly different configuration. No matter what happens with those awards, the SFWA and the community that supports their blithe bigotry has been shamed, embarrassed and exposed as a mirror image of Stormfront.

Some of the blogs that discuss the racial shortcomings of G. R. R. Martin and the Harry Potter books could've come straight off a white supremacist web site.

Anonymous CMC April 16, 2013 7:58 AM  

Just off the top of my head today, I'd be interested in:

1. History, and specifically historical parallels; how now here or there compares with some other time period here or elsewhere. I think it's a strong suit of yours.
2. That would great as far as I'm concerned, but I guess to be more specific, I'd add American culture, and European culture, and, why not?, asian culture.
3. Econ. Thanks for the debate.

Anonymous Pat Hannagan April 16, 2013 7:59 AM  

1) National Libertarianism

2) Judeo-America

3) Fascism

Anonymous wooderson April 16, 2013 8:01 AM  

1. Christianity
2. Economics
3. Refuting R-types, in general

Anonymous James May April 16, 2013 8:03 AM  

Actually I am a huge soccer fan but the company is slim to none in America. I have been a fan of Flamengo since forever and have been to many games around the world. Once when I was attacked with a knife in Rio. My main thought after getting my camera back and seeing the crying man safely in the back of a squad car was to get back to my apt. and watch a Champion's league doubleheader and that's what I did. It was a Wed., and Champion's League fans knew what that meant in 2000. The slight cut on my neck meant nothing compared to that. A hospital visit would've meant no games.

Anonymous Sigyn April 16, 2013 8:04 AM  

Wordpress is the work of the devil. I'm a member of a WP-based forum, for which I had to register with my primary e-mail account, and now I can't comment to any blogs that use WP, not even just to fill in my e-mail address.

WP is too limiting, is what I'm saying. Glad you're not considering it.

Anonymous VD April 16, 2013 8:04 AM  

Their intellectual rebuttal to my attacking their entire racist and bigoted culture was that I don't use proper form and syntax, my photography is racist, and that I wish I were an SF writer and am disgruntled and angry about rejections slips, though I have never received one.

In fairness, James, you really do have to up your game a bit if you're going to take on professional writers. By not bothering to present your form and syntax at an acceptable level, you give them an easy means of dismissing you. That doesn't make their dismissals any less illegitimate or transparent, but it does provide them with the necessary intellectual cover they need to get away with it.

Why make it easy for them? Take the time to do the second draft, or if you're one of those who needs a second pair of eyes, enlist one. Criticism is all the more effective when the critic is observably better than the one being criticized.

Anonymous Pat Hannagan April 16, 2013 8:12 AM  

Some of the most hilarious, literal LOL moments in teh Blogosphere are on the wordpress blogs in which the blog host is able to edit and interjects other's comments. Roissy is especially adept at deriving maximum effect with this.

That's something that Jews, women and Judeo-Americans love to do. Absolutely fucking annoying. It's the blog equivalent of someone not letting you finish your sentence, interspersing their own misunderstanding and misattribution of what you are attempting to argue throughout, then getting hysterical about you didn't say, but they reckon you did. As I say, women and Jews are adept at this.

Bloggers who do it: Roissy, Firepower and Auster.

Just let the comment stand, and reply with your own point by point rebuttal. It's the right thing to do, it's the White thing to do.

Anonymous James May April 16, 2013 8:41 AM  

I don't disagree with what you're saying in the main; how could I - I'm not a writer?

However I don't believe that amounts to even the slightest competition when it comes to escaping a perceptual trap. You either can, or you can't. It's a matter of employing tools of self-criticism that are not semantic in their fundamental form. We're talking about ideas. Yes they're conveyed in words but that's not how they're parsed. Dumb is dumb and knowing proper grammar won't solve that nor bestow artful creativity on someone.

What I mean by a perceptual trap is simply this: go to Stormfront and read their obnoxious rhetoric. Now read this:

"I’m reading J.K. Rowling to my daughter right now, and your post expresses why I cringe every time Lavender Brown and Parvati Patil show up (and Cho Chang too for that matter). Throwing characters of color into an English school for wizards, only to have them run around in robes waving wands and shouting joke Latin or whatever like everyone else, is a perfect example of 'we are all the same.' This kind of move accomplishes several things at once, and none of them are good. It dresses an expression of a dominant culture in 'multicultural' trappings; it freezes out interest in a wider range of cultures (what might Indian magic look like?) by rendering those cultures invisible; and by erasing culture while preserving color, it reduces culture TO color. Color becomes what makes us different–what makes Cho different from Harry–not experience, or language, or anything with meaning."

If I changed a few words around and presented it back to these very people, they themselves would denounce it as racist. In fact that paragraph could've come off of Stormfront itself. What the hell does that lack of perception have to do with writing? All the writing skills in the world won't heal that. Also, my essays weren't exactly written in Mayan codex. Anyone who's not a moron will understand them perfectly fine. The ultimate failure is not in myself or my writing, but in their own perceptions where they cannot for the life of them escape the perceptual trap, no matter how it's presented to them.

They're too invested in this psychologically to ever give it up, because they're a small fringe of anti-socail people with mental health issue, not sheep lead astray. However, like the Ada Initiative, they have very loud voices beyond their actual numbers.

You and I both know Scalzi's peons would've rejected my words no matter how they were presented, so to me it was and is a non-issue. Let them hide behind pedantry and grammar all they wish - it affects me not in the slightest. Those people were schooled - they know it and I know it. People who don't know it don't concern me.

We all speak conversational English. The idea my ideas couldn't be conveyed in a casual conversation is absurd. I am not a fan of pedantry and never will be. Larger views and issues of thought far supersede mere grammar and syntax.

Take my novel, "Britetown Races." For all it's failings as a novel, I'll stack its innovation and originality of plot and narrative against anything Scalzi has written any day, and that's exactly why I wrote it, to make that point. Art is art, creativity is creativity and grammar is something else entirely.

Anonymous Z-d April 16, 2013 8:49 AM  

1. National Libertarianism
2. Judeo-Christian America (and history in general)
3. Theology
4. Soccer

Also, don't know if anyone has said this, but I would like the option to be sent an e-mail when someone posts on the thread after I do.

Anonymous Cryan Ryan April 16, 2013 8:50 AM  

Topics for discussion:

1) Men trying to deal with stepkids, including 40 year old stepkids who aren't quite making it on their own. (yet who don't miss a fast food meal)

2) Hatred of baby boomers by children who have never read a book and are electing the exact same kind of assholes their parents elected.

3) Happy stories about kids who are accomplishing things.

Anonymous VD April 16, 2013 8:52 AM  

Anyone who's not a moron will understand them perfectly fine. The ultimate failure is not in myself or my writing, but in their own perceptions where they cannot for the life of them escape the perceptual trap, no matter how it's presented to them.

You're avoiding the point and your attempt to defend your subpar prose is misplaced. Your writing is a failure, by definition, because you are handicapping your ability to persuade the persuadable.

Why do you think my Mensa membership drives lefties crazy? It is because it robs them of their easy line of attack on me. They have to come up with something else than "you stupid" and many of them simply can't.

You and I both know Scalzi's peons would've rejected my words no matter how they were presented, so to me it was and is a non-issue. Let them hide behind pedantry and grammar all they wish - it affects me not in the slightest.

Of course. That's not the point. The point is that for every commenter here there are 50 readers. For every commenter at Whatever, there are probably at least 35. Do you not understand that those are the people who can be reached, who are not so emotionally invested in their preconceptions that they can be persuaded?

If you don't wish to up your game, that's fine. Your basic points were correct; I wouldn't have linked to the piece if they were not. But what I am telling you is that many people who can be convinced, many people who are already convinced, won't pay any attention to what you have to say if you can't bother to put the effort to reach a basic level of professionalism.

The goal is not to convince those who cannot be convinced, but rather, to put a solid and presentable case in front of those who can.

Larger views and issues of thought far supersede mere grammar and syntax.

That which goes unread necessarily remains irrelevant.

Anonymous dudemanhey April 16, 2013 8:52 AM  

I comment regularly on a Carolina Panthers blog called Cat Scratch Reader which is part of SB Nation. I am not sure of the exact comment system that is used there, but one function in the comment section that i really like is the ability to reply directly to, or recommend, specific comments. The replies appear indented directly under the comment as opposed to all comments appearing in chronological order. This makes the comment threads easier to wade through and one can more easliy ignore portions of the thread that they aren't as interested in.

Also, for logged in members on CSR, comments that you have previously read are normal but unread comments to you are highligted in yellow - makes it easier to revisit older posts and find new comments. If at least 3 people recommend a comment, then that comment turns green.

As for content here at VP, i am most interested in economics, free trade, Game theory, vibrancy, religion, etc. While the SF/F is the least interesting to me personally.

Anonymous MendoScot April 16, 2013 9:04 AM  

1) Economics
2) History
3) Gamma-baiting, 'cos AWAC is what brought me here in the first place.

I read most everything except the NFL posts and the comments by the usual trolls.

Anonymous Athor Pel April 16, 2013 9:06 AM  


I use the spell check. I compose my comments in Notepad and it doesn't have spell check.

Once comment threads reach a certain size I read them in reverse if I go back into them a second or third time. I start at the newest comment at the bottom and read up until I reach a comment I had previously read. I have no idea whether there is a solution to this or even whether there should be a solution.

I will ask for one thing. If a commenter quotes someone else's comment please oh please make it automatic that the quote text actually has quotation marks around it, not just differently formatted, not just another font, but real quotation marks. Most of the time I copy a post plus the whole visible comment thread and paste it into Notepad in order to read it while doing other things, don't ask. The different formatting and font don't make the transition. Besides, using quotation marks will make your English teachers happy.

I gotta tell ya, I've gotten better at identifying a writer's voice since, you know, not too many folks use QUOTATION MARKS. Spotting the quoted text among the actual new comment has become something of a game for me. Not that I particularly enjoy the game but... game, yeah.

One warning, nested/indented replies in comment threads is a recipe for squeezed comments. It gets tall and unreasonable very quickly. The comments already take up at most a third of the width of the window, using indented/nested replies just makes them narrower. It's just stupid.

As for preferred subjects,
gaming
destruction of main stream false assumptions
history

Your writing about your writing has helped motivate me to write some fiction. I have at least one or two novels in me. Rip off an idea here, an idea there, add some personal creative spin, and I just might write that book I've wanted to read for the last twenty years.

Anonymous Athor Pel April 16, 2013 9:14 AM  

"Pat Hannagan April 16, 2013 8:12 AM

Some of the most hilarious, literal LOL moments in teh Blogosphere are on the wordpress blogs in which the blog host is able to edit and interjects other's comments. Roissy is especially adept at deriving maximum effect with this.

That's something that Jews, women and Judeo-Americans love to do. Absolutely fucking annoying. It's the blog equivalent of someone not letting you finish your sentence, interspersing their own misunderstanding and misattribution of what you are attempting to argue throughout, then getting hysterical about you didn't say, but they reckon you did. As I say, women and Jews are adept at this.

Bloggers who do it: Roissy, Firepower and Auster.

Just let the comment stand, and reply with your own point by point rebuttal. It's the right thing to do, it's the White thing to do."





No, what the bitchy people do is edit the offending comment into something insulting to the commenter in an effort to be funny but comes off as weak since they didn't deal with the comment at all and thereby denies the readers the opportunity to judge the "offending" comment for themselves. All they did was turn the commenter into an obvious sock puppet.

Roissy doesn't touch the commenter's text, he just adds his own obviously attributed comment interlinear to theirs. He is dealing with the comment on a point by point basis. The only difference you're proposing is moving location of where this takes place.

I personally prefer it this way since it is in context within the other comments which it occurred.

Anonymous Josh April 16, 2013 9:17 AM  

My list:

Economic theory
Theology
Political theory

History probably coming in at fourth

Anonymous James May April 16, 2013 9:18 AM  

"That which goes unread necessarily remains irrelevant."

Again, I don't disagree in the main with what you're saying. But how do you put that in the context of something like W.H. Hodgson's "The Nightland" or Eddison's "The Worm Ouroboros?" They are brilliant visions. At some point here there is an issue of a short attention span. Not all ideas are conveyed in perfect prose.

Let me say this: in the best of all worlds, yes, it is best to both have clear creative visions and sound fundamental writing. The problem is, I'm not a writer. But I will express myself. Expression isn't for the few, but for all, regardless of their skills. The amusing thing, and getting back to the perceptual trap, is that Scalzi's herd, if this fact were slightly turned on its ear, would condemn the idea of my not having a voice because of my lack of writing skill as elitist. We all know they would never condemn my writing if I were a gay, female, Muslim.

Take Heinlein, Bradbury and Vance as examples. They all 3 had sound fundamental writing skills. But so do others. What truly sets them apart is their wild and eccentric creativity. No one writes the stories Heinlein did in '40-'41 unless he's a brilliant eccentric. But Heinlein was also a pedant when it came to writing. But can we say that his artistic creativity dropped off as his skills as a writer increased? I don't have the answer to that. It may be he simply ran out of ideas, or that so many others copied his example to the point he no longer stood out as much. But there's no doubt in my mind Heinlein almost single-handed changed the face of SF in those two years. That's why I'm so amused when people compare Bujold to Heinlein as writers. Really, it has nothing to do with that, but of one's creative impact within one's era. Looking at it like that, Bujold is light years behind Heinlein, yet many in the SF community don't see it like that. That's tells us the problem right there.

Have you read Scalzi's "The Human Division?" I have. I give him points for terse and clean writing. But beyond that, they are as empty of bright and eccentric creativity as they can be. This also tells us something. Form and pedantry are trumping art. Those who try and step outside form into poetry, like Mieville, do so so consciously they can be, at least to me, nothing but failures. Creativity cannot be bottled - it is where it is. A conformist cannot change their spots by being trendy.

Creativity in terms of bright originality is a very mysterious thing. Look at GRRM's first 3 Song of Ice and Fire novels. We mostly agree they are brilliant. But after such a long yeoman-like career, I think we can further say they weren't the result of eccentric creativity so much as a few insights and some really well structured writing. Once those few insights deserted him, Martin's work was revealed for what it was - workman-like prose of little interest once his transient muse had deserted him. This tells us something about art.

In my opinion, Heinlein, in 1941, was the brighter man in terms of sheer creativity, although he was at the opposite end of his career from Martin. I think that tells us a lot.

Anonymous Josh April 16, 2013 9:21 AM  

That's something that Jews, women and Judeo-Americans love to do. Absolutely fucking annoying. It's the blog equivalent of someone not letting you finish your sentence, interspersing their own misunderstanding and misattribution of what you are attempting to argue throughout, then getting hysterical about you didn't say, but they reckon you did. As I say, women and Jews are adept at this.

Wtf is a "Judeo-American"?

Anonymous dh April 16, 2013 9:22 AM  

1. I have learned a lot more from the economics posts than I would have imagined. The Nate vs. VD threads on money have been excellent and helpful.

2. I have also enjoyed your posts on topics that are sort of ongoing - abortion, immigration, guns, etc. They sort of invite low-quality comments, which I am certainly guilty of, but they are really about the best on the internet in terms of the breadth and scope of permissible discussion.

3. Seeing how the sausage is made on the author side things is very interesting. It's sort of inside baseball, but still really interesting to read. Plus, anytime I get to see people slamming Martin, I am happy.

Anonymous Skinny Dan April 16, 2013 9:23 AM  

I've really enjoyed your posts on fiction, self-publishing, and the collapse of the gates.

Your posts on decline-and-fall are always a barrel of fun too.

Though I don't always follow them as well as I should, your economics posts are tough to beat.

Anonymous Stilicho April 16, 2013 9:25 AM  

1) Economics
2) History
3) Gamma-baiting, 'cos AWAC is what brought me here in the first place.


That's pretty much my list as well although I also enjoy some of the religious discussions that crop up as independent posts or in the threads. History also includes the decline and fall of the West, so it encompasses everything from politics to NWA was right.

Anonymous bob k. mando April 16, 2013 9:26 AM  

James May April 16, 2013 8:41 AM
What the hell does that lack of perception have to do with writing?



MPAI?




James May April 16, 2013 8:41 AM
Also, my essays weren't exactly written in Mayan codex. Anyone who's not a moron will understand them perfectly fine.



here's the thing though; there have been studies done which indicate that it starts becoming difficult to communicate for people with an IQ delta of ~20 points.

and that's in BOTH directions. the lower IQ party is incapable of even recognizing the concepts that the higher IQ party is talking about exist ( the, 'whoosh, over your head' phenomenon ). the higher IQ party has difficulty 'gearing down' and understanding what the lower IQ party is NOT grasping.

also, for given topics there is a certain minimum level of complexity required even to discuss it. whether or not the higher IQ party recognizes what the lower IQ party is having difficulty with almost becomes irrelevant once the the threshold point has been surpassed and the lower IQ party can't reach the minimum complexity requirement.

functionally, this means that a 100 IQ person will begin having communication difficulties with people of 80 and 120 IQs. how then is our 'average' person supposed to communicate with a 140 or 160 IQ?

YOU may not consider your prose and ideas to be complex. this does not mean that the concepts are not going to be beyond much of the population though.

also, there is the 'willful refusal to see' problem. this is a problem of principles rather than intelligence though.

Anonymous Tractor Dan April 16, 2013 9:27 AM  

Vox:
The reason I enjoy reading your posts about fiction: You and a few other's are slowly chipping away at the foundation, which is to say, the progressive mortar that is majority of SF writer's today.
The 'if you're not with us, you're against us' mentality in the genre today, has nearly killed it.

You need to keep up the jackhammering.
Thanks for what you have done!

Anonymous jm April 16, 2013 9:29 AM  

1. Historical treatises and essays are always a treat.

2. Theology/Christianity - the dissection of Churchianity is particularly edifying.

3. Book reviews, your review of Embassytown being a fine example. I like them for the same reason I like Steve Sailer's movie reviews. I have zero interest in film, yet will always read his movie reviews just because his take on them is unique and it's hard to find such perspective elsewhere.

Anonymous Pat Hannagan April 16, 2013 9:31 AM  

Athor, I agree with your first point, re a blog owner interjecting his editorilaising.

With regard your second point, I regard the practice as insolent. One wouldn't interrupt a person face to face at each point being made, but allow the other person to finish their argument.

Arguments generally have a logical flow of a series of points. Bloggers who interject are disrupting the flow of the argument, and inserting their own dominance of the procedure.

Not being an avid reader of Roissy, only noting from a comment above that he does engage in the practice, I assume it must be yet further example of his Alpha awesomness. Should people accept the practice then one can also assume they have a low opinion of themselves. But, that is a matter of opinion.

Auster, on the other hand, was a Grade-A narcissist and Jew, so the practice was wholly understandable.



Anonymous Josh April 16, 2013 9:33 AM  

James May,

You use too many words to get to your point. That won't keep your reader around long enough to persuade them.

Let's say you're on a date with a smoking hot babe. She's everything you ever wanted in a woman (insert your desired physical attributes here).

There's's only one problem: she has both halitosis and bad body odor.

How long are you going to sit there before the noxious fumes emanating from her mouth and armpits win out over her beauty?

Anonymous VD April 16, 2013 9:34 AM  

Plus, anytime I get to see people slamming Martin, I am happy.

Why? I'm not saying I'm not disappointed with the last two books, but why do you feel he merits slamming? Especially given your Token Liberal status.

Blogger Nate April 16, 2013 9:34 AM  

***Warning! On Topic Comment Below***

The comment system should have a hyperlink feature build in. Bare minimum if I cut and past a link... it should recognize it as a link and make one. Ideally it would have a link button that has two boxes... one to input the text you want displayed and one for the hyperlink.

being able to cut and paste pictures into the comments would be astonishingly amusing... as I could actually post pictures of picard with his face in his palm instead of typing /facepalm.

And spell check. it needs spellcheck. dammit.

Anonymous James May April 16, 2013 9:34 AM  

As for Mensa, you wrote this about SF: "...many serious topics can be examined more dispassionately when taken outside the settings and characteristics which immediately trigger the sensitivity flags of those limited to the rhetorical."

I wrote this in my Scalzi piece about SF's legacy of helping us escape perceptual traps: "Science fiction can do this because it can ironically tear away identity by taking today's issues to a different place so that, rather than identity, we are left only with principle, and a thing can be more easily seen for what it is. Once bias is torn aside, and we have no dog in the hunt so to speak, eyes can see better. A science fiction writer can easily make us more readily identify with a bug-eyed alien with tentacles than with a human being. In such situations as these an SF writer can produce, right, wrong and principle are more starkly illuminated than in the muddle of our own trends, fads and cultural conceits."

I don't know what my I.Q. is but it sure as hell ain't Mensa and yet we came to the same insight and mine's not Mayan codex.

I may be a bad lawyer, but there is not a single doubt in my mind I'd clean up Scalzi either in a courtroom or a debate stage. "Subpar" is not Greek. I am not defending my subpar prose, I am simply using those weapons I have available to me, not bragging my spear is actually better than a machine gun like in the Fox and the Grapes. That was a machine gun, wasn't it? My memory is also subpar. Why wasn't it called the Fox and the Machine Gun? The world is full of mystery.

Blogger JartStar April 16, 2013 9:35 AM  

1. I originally came years ago for the politics and economics, but since those two subjects contain nothing but bad news for the foreseeable future I'm less interested in them.

2. I enjoy your commentary on fantasy and sci-fi.

3. I wish you'd write more about PC gaming and games in general.

4. Philosophy and Christianity.

Anonymous CS April 16, 2013 9:36 AM  

Favorite topics...

1. Christianity/Western Culture
2. Economics
3. Politics

These are "broad brush" topics and include the many corollaries which may extend from them.

Anonymous Lulabelle April 16, 2013 9:38 AM  

I second Josh's list:
Economic theory
Theology
Political theory

History probably coming in at fourth

Anonymous Josh April 16, 2013 9:38 AM  

Auster, on the other hand, was a Grade-A narcissist and Jew, so the practice was wholly understandable.

Well at least you're open to the possibility that not all Jews are narcissists and not all narcissists are Jews.

Anonymous VD April 16, 2013 9:39 AM  

I may be a bad lawyer, but there is not a single doubt in my mind I'd clean up Scalzi either in a courtroom or a debate stage. "Subpar" is not Greek. I am not defending my subpar prose, I am simply using those weapons I have available to me, not bragging my spear is actually better than a machine gun like in the Fox and the Grapes. That was a machine gun, wasn't it? My memory is also subpar. Why wasn't it called the Fox and the Machine Gun? The world is full of mystery.

My point is that with the energy you have put into defending why your subpar prose is acceptable and convincing, you could have done a second pass, cleaned it up, and defanged the larger part of the criticism against it.

To compete, to convince, we have to be better than the mainstream. So be better. This isn't criticism, it is exhortation.

Anonymous Josh April 16, 2013 9:40 AM  

Bring back haloscan!

Anonymous Pat Hannagan April 16, 2013 9:44 AM  

"Wtf is a "Judeo-American"?"

One cannot simply be Christian anymore without publicly describing their values as "Judeo-Christian". Even our Archbishop describes Oz as a nation with "Judaeo-Christian" values. All that "our elder brothers" claptrap thrown in. Surely you have noticed the phenomena?

So, given that the term (I believe) began in the U.S.A. and, given that the U.S.A. is demonstrably run according to Jewish interests with a sizeable disproportion of Jews in positions of power in politics, media and the judiciary, as well as the culture of the U.S.A. being overtly Jewish premised, Judeo-American is the correct term for a citizen of the U.S.A.

Actually, given the way the world is today, it would be correct to say, on behalf of all of us, "Ich bin ein Judeo-American!"

Anonymous James May April 16, 2013 9:45 AM  

"You use too many words to get to your point."

So what? That's how I choose to express myself. Do you think everyone should be the same? And too many words compared to who? My novel is the exact opposite. It is harshly streamline prose of less than 60,000 words that most "professional" authors would've padded out to double that and we all know they sure as hell do. It is nothing like my essays. There is hardly a sentence that doesn't serve some larger purpose while keeping in mind having some fun too.

Consider this, if there weren't morons like me around, who could enjoy being smart?

Smart people owe me a debt of gratitude in the same sense an angel is obligated to a devil. Without shadow there is no light. What's an angel without a devil?

Blogger Nate April 16, 2013 9:47 AM  

"Anyone who's not a moron will understand them perfectly fine. The ultimate failure is not in myself or my writing, but in their own perceptions where they cannot for the life of them escape the perceptual trap, no matter how it's presented to them. "

James

Do you note that my writing in the debate with Vox is extremely different than it is in my commenting here or even in my other blog posts?

Its because sometimes how you say something is important. My fetish with ellipses is distracting for some. Generally speaking... I blow them off and figure they'll either get used to it... or they wont.

But you'll not the elipses are way toned down in the debate (and in a few other posts in the archive)... because in those posts I am trying to reach as many people as possible.

Also... as Vox says... When Scalzi blows you off about your composition... and at first glance or after a paragraph or two the writing is below average... many readers will just think "yep... Scalzi was right." and walk away.

You've said, "I am going to hit you with this axe." and then handed him a shield to hide behind.

Anonymous Myrddin April 16, 2013 9:48 AM  

I come here mostly for the insights into human behavior (rabbitology/game, mostly on AG now). The discovery of human social norms as a manipulable tool was quite useful to me.

Blogger Nate April 16, 2013 9:49 AM  

"Smart people owe me a debt of gratitude in the same sense an angel is obligated to a devil. Without shadow there is no light. What's an angel without a devil?"

Whatever moron said, "Without a shadow there is no light" doesn't understand physics or the nature of good and evil.

Evil is like darkness and or cold. It isn't a thing. It is the absence of a thing.

Anonymous A. Man April 16, 2013 9:53 AM  

"given that the U.S.A. is demonstrably run according to Jewish interests with a sizeable disproportion of Jews in positions of power in politics, media and the judiciary, as well as the culture of the U.S.A. being overtly Jewish premised, Judeo-American is the correct term for a citizen of the U.S.A."

The tone of your comment suggests this, if true, is a bad thing.

Anonymous Josh April 16, 2013 9:54 AM  

So, given that the term (I believe) began in the U.S.A. and, given that the U.S.A. is demonstrably run according to Jewish interests with a sizeable disproportion of Jews in positions of power in politics, media and the judiciary, as well as the culture of the U.S.A. being overtly Jewish premised, Judeo-American is the correct term for a citizen of the U.S.A.

A google search reveals that its use is limited to a selection of crackpot white nationalists on the internet.

Anonymous Lulabelle April 16, 2013 9:54 AM  

"Bring back haloscan!"

A pox on your house.

Anonymous Josh April 16, 2013 9:58 AM  

Consider this, if there weren't morons like me around, who could enjoy being smart?

Smart people owe me a debt of gratitude in the same sense an angel is obligated to a devil. Without shadow there is no light. What's an angel without a devil?


You're not seriously going to use the "Sarah Palin holds up a big gulp as a symbol of conservatism" argument, are you?

Anonymous dh April 16, 2013 9:58 AM  

Why? I'm not saying I'm not disappointed with the last two books, but why do you feel he merits slamming? Especially given your Token Liberal status.

1. He's vastly overrated. His fans really annoy me.

2. At some point, you are either an author, or a dabler. There's a good chance he'll die of old age or an accident before he finishes his story.

3. At some point, it certainly felt to me that he started picking random ways to screw with characters arc. Actually, that point was early on. Like as early as the Red Wedding, it just seemed pointless. Yes, we get it, Westeros is cruel. Same thing with the Theon/Reek debacle. I know you can't complain about "realism", but in what world would someone so badly broken not just give up? There is nothing in his character to support it.

4. I vastly prefer the show to the books. Sure sign of failure.

5. The religiosity in the books is just not that good. This should be a key motivation, but it seems pasted on.

6. The Lannisters, who should be powerful, aren't. Why are we supposed to believe that these people ever achieved anything?

Anonymous James May April 16, 2013 9:58 AM  

I think we've pretty much established I don't actually know how to clean it up. It's true the essays are almost 100% first drafts.

My novel is completely different. I had to slave over that with repeated revisions. But I didn't cut prose, I made it make more sense. If anything "Britetown Races" grew. The two sequels are also the same length. It's weird. It just seemed natural as I was doing it. I didn't plan their similar word length - not at all.

It seemed easy and natural. For some reason, I write essays differently and don't have the easy insights into how to make them better like I did my novel.

Perhaps part of the reason is my novel was built from the ground up at least partially as a response to overwritten novels where sword fights last 3 pages while I read inner dialogue or a guy's escaping from a corridor for 10 pages. Many scenes I read in novels should be cut entirely. I think Herbert in "Dune" for all its length, was very canny about what NOT to include in the novel.

I think the bottom line is that the more I try and make sense as a non-fiction writer, the less I do. Nevertheless the wordiness is fun. Maybe I enjoy punishing people with repeated blows long after they're unconscious.

Creatively, I make more sense because I'm tapping into a different part of me that has different and much more specific ideas. I've liked SF a long time - I have opinions about it. I have no such opinions about essays. They're catch-as-catch-can.

If by some chance I wrote "Britetown Races" as an essay, it'd be about 2 million words long. My synopsis or explanation of why I wrote it would probably be longer than the novel itself.

Anonymous Josh April 16, 2013 9:59 AM  

A pox on your house.

There's no need for curses this early in the morning, my dear.

Anonymous Aeoli April 16, 2013 10:00 AM  

1. Economics
2. Theology
3. More debates (with commentary, like you do already)

I originally came here from WND because I was learning a lot and these are some weak areas of mine.

I can read about Game, feminism, current events, politics, history, etc on a thousand other blogs.

Anonymous Josh April 16, 2013 10:04 AM  

Nevertheless the wordiness is fun.

Not for the reader, especially the reader you're trying to persuade.

People who already agree with you will give you much more leeway on grammar, syntax, prose, etc. People who don't, won't. They're just looking for the first reason to stop reading. So don't give them an easy out.

Anonymous Lulabelle April 16, 2013 10:05 AM  

"There's no need for curses this early in the morning, my dear."

Anytime is a good time for a curse.

Anonymous Pat Hannagan April 16, 2013 10:05 AM  

"A google search reveals that its use is limited to a selection of crackpot white nationalists on the internet."

Possibly.

Perhaps the term Judeo-Christian is only used by crackpots as well? But, unfortunately, they seem to be all running the various Judeo-Christian churches, and/or are politicians making appeals to their Judeo-Christian electorates. It obviously must have some great essence of truth to it, otherwise so many people in positions of power wouldn't keep using the term.

Someone else above selected Judeo-Christianity as a blog topic. I'll second that. It aggravates me no end. I even wrote to the Cardinal about it but all he did was direct me to all 2,000 pages plus of the Catechism. I'm starting to think he's a crackpot, as well as a heretic.

Anonymous bob k. mando April 16, 2013 10:06 AM  

James May April 16, 2013 9:45 AM
Without shadow there is no light.




i despise this bullshit trope.

evil may or may not require good.

good is in no way dependent on evil. without an occluding solid ALL would be light. it is the shadow which is dependent on the occluding solid. the light simply IS.



Vox
is the registration requirement why you refuse to consider bulletin board software?

Anonymous Josh April 16, 2013 10:09 AM  

One request regarding comment systems would be that they are mobile compatible.

Anonymous dh April 16, 2013 10:10 AM  

Vox
is the registration requirement why you refuse to consider bulletin board software?


This is about the only site that I can tolerate. Most BB software is really, really bad.

Anonymous Josh April 16, 2013 10:11 AM  

Someone else above selected Judeo-Christianity as a blog topic. I'll second that. It aggravates me no end.

You are aware that Jesus was Jewish, His disciples were Jewish, and the great majority of the Bible was authored by Jews, are you not?

Anonymous Josh April 16, 2013 10:13 AM  

is the registration requirement why you refuse to consider bulletin board software?

Turning the blog into a bb forum would cut the comments and commenters by 90%

Blogger Markku April 16, 2013 10:15 AM  

A pox on your house.

But just a small pox.

Blogger IM2L844 April 16, 2013 10:15 AM  

Evil is like darkness and or cold. It isn't a thing. It is the absence of a thing.

Precisely! And this reminds me. I tend to like the more generalized "big picture" topics the best. I'm not very good at tactical thinking.

Anonymous James May April 16, 2013 10:16 AM  

I'm not writing for a blog, I'm entertaining myself. Truth to tell, that page of mine is so obscure, I don't really consciously think of anyone ever reading my stuff. There's no SEO attached to it. It's like a parking space to organize my stuff in one place. If you think the Scalzi essay is bad, you should try some of the others; they're much worse. I have no audience and so no word length. The essay was like a private beating, and I enjoyed it. I don't particularly care if anyone else did.

Now if someone came to me and said write this about Scalzi, I'd do it completely differently, maybe a couple of thousand words. I'd just have to sit down and figure out how to do it effectively. Maybe I could, and maybe I couldn't; I don't know.

I have an anti-authoritarian streak a mile long. I don't fight it. It's led me to some of the biggest, wildest and crazy fun one can imagine. More than any of those Morlocks at Scalzi's numb-drome. I have no intention of taming it. I consider it a gift that goes far beyond merely being contrary. Or else I'd be like the guy in the Monty Python argument sketch. "No it t'isn't. Yes it is." That was funny. The bottom line is that character was paying for a real argument. No one's paying me so they can read a million words, or not.

As for Scalzi and his sheep, the idea each and every one of them is in some way superior to me is laughable. I can tell just by reading their comments they've never been outside in the true sense of the term. They have nothing to preach to me about. Bradbury said the worst thing a writer can do is take a writing class. That comment is something to think about. Even if every commenter at Whatever was a better writer than me, they're still almost unbelievable morons. That's not going to change by me taking a writing course.

They seem intent on murdering SF, this country and pretty much everything they get their hands on. I consider them very much a suicide cult. There's no doubt in my mind that if they lived in the old days they'd all be slaves. They have no spines or brains.

Anonymous Pat Hannagan April 16, 2013 10:17 AM  

"You are aware that Jesus was Jewish, His disciples were Jewish, and the great majority of the Bible was authored by Jews, are you not?"

Now there's another excellent topic for a blog post. I'm ready and willing to give it a shot in comments if it comes up.

I take it you're a Judeo-Christian, Josh. What denomination of Judeo-Christianity are you?

Anonymous VD April 16, 2013 10:18 AM  

I think the bottom line is that the more I try and make sense as a non-fiction writer, the less I do. Nevertheless the wordiness is fun. Maybe I enjoy punishing people with repeated blows long after they're unconscious.

They're not unconscious, James. You haven't touched them. They walked away because you were swinging too wildly. Look, it should concern you that your extensive defenses of your own work are beginning to sound like Luscinia's. One thing you need to understand is that the writer's opinion of his own work is irrelevant with regards to how others perceive it.

I'm not interested in your opinion. I'm not interested in your reasoning. I'm not interested in why you made the choices you did. I am simply telling you something that you can either take or leave, as you see fit. It's up to you.

is the registration requirement why you refuse to consider bulletin board software?

I've had numerous forums in other contexts. They never seem to work out as well as the comments do. And they're sitting targets for spam, whereas the comments are always dynamic.

Anonymous jack April 16, 2013 10:22 AM  

@Nate: And spell check. it needs spell check. dammit.

Some confusion on my part. In these comment streams I can spell check by right clicking on the word when it goes red. Maybe that's a function of using Firefox as my browser. Or, are you saying any new comment system should have a spell check system of some sort? And my OS is vista. [the shame!]

Anonymous James May April 16, 2013 10:22 AM  

Stand in a sunny field. Construct a building. Stand in its shadow. That's a shadow. Save the dictionary definitions of evil. It could be almost anything. I doubt if one of those is physics.

Life is not a hypothetical. Nothing exists in a vacuum. Everything exists as compared to something else. There is nothing in my neighborhood that is all light, except the whorehouse.

Anonymous Josh April 16, 2013 10:23 AM  

I take it you're a Judeo-Christian, Josh. What denomination of Judeo-Christianity are you?

I'm a Christian. My church is non-denominational. We're somewhat charismatic.

Blogger Markku April 16, 2013 10:23 AM  

That's a shadow

No, that's light. Only less of it.

Blogger Markku April 16, 2013 10:25 AM  

"Shadow" is a description of the topography of light in a specific area. It's not a thing in itself.

Anonymous the bandit April 16, 2013 10:27 AM  

1) Economics, but particularly the explanatory pieces (like the Nate debate or the discussions on free trade) rather than the Zerohedge-type observations of number signals
2) Christianity/Theology
3) Cruelty Art

The only topics I tend to skip over are sports/gaming and stories about EU goings-ons (where I do not know any of the players or the situation; Cyprus was an exception).

Anonymous Josh April 16, 2013 10:28 AM  

Nothing exists in a vacuum. Everything exists as compared to something else.

Well, except for that God person.

Anonymous the bandit April 16, 2013 10:29 AM  

> I'm entertaining myself

This is more true than you may realize.

I'm less averse to a wall of text that most people, and I probably largely agree with your thoughts, but even I have gained a habit of skipping your comments.

Anonymous the bandit April 16, 2013 10:30 AM  

*than most people

Anonymous zen0 April 16, 2013 10:33 AM  

If you are flying on a clear and another airplane is visible above and to the side, depending on the position of the sun, its shadow will extend in an unbroken column from the underside of the plane all the way to the ground.

Anonymous Pat Hannagan April 16, 2013 10:34 AM  

Thanks, Josh. A non-denominational Christian sounds like a bizarre concept to me, with or without the charisma.

You must have some dogma in your non-denomination, mustn't you? Or do you just make it up as you go along?

Anonymous Jeromus April 16, 2013 10:36 AM  

games
fiction
history

Anonymous zen0 April 16, 2013 10:37 AM  

dudemanhey April 16, 2013 8:52 AM

... but one function in the comment section that i really like is the ability to reply directly to, or recommend, specific comments. The replies appear indented directly under the comment as opposed to all comments appearing in chronological order.


Zerohedge has that. Sometimes when the replies get numerous enough, the indentation results in columns that are 2 letters wide.

Anonymous Edjamacator April 16, 2013 10:42 AM  

I'm simply curious about which of those various things happen to most interest YOU.

1)Slaying the sacred cows of current society and WHY they are fit to be slayed. (Feminism, etc.)
2) Current events. (I only have time to check here and one or two other places to see what's going on, and not having the spin of major media is great.)
3) Christian topics. Even if I don't agree all the time, I like seeing various views, and having things like Calvinism debated is good for seeing what others think and why.

I've learned from this blog in quite a bit and had things I already knew were true validated in ways other than I previously thought, so that's why I keep coming back.

Anonymous dh April 16, 2013 10:44 AM  


Zerohedge has that. Sometimes when the replies get numerous enough, the indentation results in columns that are 2 letters wide.


I wish someone would solve this once and for all. There aren't a lot of good solutions. I like the conversation aspect, but I like being able to ignore certain discussions.

Anonymous Randy M April 16, 2013 10:44 AM  

I like when you have a back and forth with someone you disagree with, like with Luke or Dominic. The Scalzi backhanding is hillarious, too, but not as interesting as some thoughtful give and take.

Also, I haven't seen a homeschooling post in awhile.

But you've kept me intersted for years, and the topic drift is probably part of that.

Anonymous Josh April 16, 2013 10:45 AM  

A non-denominational Christian sounds like a bizarre concept to me

Have you read much about the early church?

Anonymous James May April 16, 2013 10:50 AM  

Considering what I've just written, saying I'm defending my work is stretching the word "defending" to its limit. I've done no such thing.

I am not rationalizing it while staring into the sun nor explaining it away until stupid becomes smart. It is what it is, and that's what I've said.

Were you correct, my novel would helplessly be 200,000 words long. It isn't. I didn't want it to be. If I didn't want my essays to be so long, they wouldn't be.

I am not working but having fun. When someone wants to pay me they can have the essays per their requirements. I don't do everything for a reason or in a way that makes sense. That's why I love having no boss. It's lazy freedom without constraint. I am by nature not a structural common sense kind of guy, and that's the way I like it.

My view of "Britetown Races" is not irrelevant but in fact the only one that matters. I did it to my exact specifications. To do otherwise is to introduce conformity. What's the point of writing then? I'm not a machine with some production for use idea.

If one is writing fantasy with an audience in mind, one can make more money as a plumber. Writing fantasy is not plumbing; it is a wild seed if done properly. It cannot be tamed or taught. Look at the massive failure of creativity in the field of fantasy today. I suspect many of those people are very bright - they're just not bright in the right way. They are conformists. They remind me of adults who, when asked "Why?" say, "Because I said so." Please save me from properly done and sensible fantasy.

One cannot produce wild eccentricity at will. For some, they are standing helplessly on the other side of plexiglass staring at something they can never have.

Comparing me to Luchia Halfhatz is maudlin. As they say, the proof's in the pudding and creative is as creative does, and it's not an assembly line or someone else's opinion.

Many people hate "The Nightland" because of its structure and prose. Despite that, it is somehow also a tour de force that is unique. Why is that? It remains only to decide on a priority: art as edible and sensible, or art as art. The people who wrote the Dick van Dyke Show no doubt thought about writing the great novel. A penniless vagabond with a great novel no doubt wished he had that gig. The problem is that those modes of thought are often mutually exclusive, as regimentation produces acceptance as much as it kills art.

No surprise, with all our sensibleness, we have no equivalent today, decades later, of a Heinlein, Howard or Tolkien. Why is that?

Anonymous Beau April 16, 2013 10:53 AM  

@ James May

Faithful are the wounds of a friend, but the kisses of an enemy are deceitful. - Proverbs 27:6

Listen to VD. Take it to heart. His posts to you are the work of a friend.

Anonymous James May April 16, 2013 10:53 AM  

That God person? And where's the Devil in that detail?

Blogger Nate April 16, 2013 10:55 AM  

James. That's just pathetic. Hiding behind creativity now? Exactly how many excuses do you have before you have to face the fact that you screwed the pooch?

I could point out the logical inconsistency... but why bother?

Clearly you have some growing up to do. You may in fact hate the rabbit people so much, because you see them display the things that you hate most about your own self.

Anonymous Josh April 16, 2013 10:57 AM  

Holy word vomit, Batman

Anonymous Josh April 16, 2013 11:00 AM  

That God person? And where's the Devil in that detail?

God does not need the devil to exist in order to be God. God would still be God if nothing else in the universe existed.

Anonymous Pat Hannagan April 16, 2013 11:02 AM  

"Have you read much about the early church?"

I see. Well, we'll just have to continue this conversation when and if the topic of Judeo-Christianity should ever come up on this blog.

Till then, may Judeo-Christ be with you.

Anonymous Jill April 16, 2013 11:05 AM  

1. Economics/politics: these subjects depress me because I feel powerless to change the way this country is going, so I may not comment, but I will read (as I read your column in WND)
2. History
3. Fiction (spec. sci fi/fan)

The posts that get kind of old to me (I've been reading your blog(s) for a lot longer than I've been commenting) are the ones about gender politics. You may feel it's a necessary topic, but I grow weary of the criticism. I get enough of it from the complementarian ilk in Christian circles.

Blogger JartStar April 16, 2013 11:10 AM  

James, take heed of the Ilk's advice and stop the stream of consciousness, re-read the advice given by Vox, and contemplate it a while.

Blogger Nate April 16, 2013 11:12 AM  

"You may feel it's a necessary topic, but I grow weary of the criticism. I get enough of it from the complementarian ilk in Christian circles."

One need not assume that Vox is talking about them personally.

Anonymous damntull April 16, 2013 11:13 AM  

"Have you read much about the early church?"

You mean the Catholics?

Blogger Nate April 16, 2013 11:14 AM  

"You mean the Catholics?"

Dumbest comment of the year.

Anonymous Edjamacator April 16, 2013 11:16 AM  

Dumbest comment of the year.

Great, now A. Man will have to get competitive.

Blogger Conan the Cimmerian, King of Aquilonia April 16, 2013 11:22 AM  

Nate:
Clearly you have some growing up to do. You may in fact hate the rabbit people so much, because you see them display the things that you hate most about your own self.


And along with what Nate wrote, it is wise to consider the whole trap that is the "Racist, racist, pin the tale on the racist" thing.

J'accuse, particularly racism, is a game of the marxists.
Trotsky invented the term.

To borrow from WarGames: The only winning move is not to play.

Anonymous Pat Hannagan April 16, 2013 11:26 AM  

"You mean the Catholics?"

Lol, exactly what I thought but I knew it wasn't what he meant. It's the same thing those heretical Jehova's Witnesses start on with at your door early Sunday morning, and you know you're in for hours of maddening circumlocution. There goes Sunday!

Who knew that there were Arians still getting about? I thought they were done and dusted.

Blogger Nate April 16, 2013 11:31 AM  

Anyone that thinks the Catholic Church is the first Church... or the Real Church... literally knows nothing about ecumenical history.

The Catholic Church is just a particularly arrogant splinter of the Apostolic Church.

Anonymous patrick kelly April 16, 2013 11:31 AM  

1) Economics, especially analysis of current financial and market news.

2) NWA was right.

3) Video Games, playing and design.

4) Gunz

5) Whiskey

6) Cigars

Anonymous Josh April 16, 2013 11:37 AM  

Who knew that there were Arians still getting about? I thought they were done and dusted.

That's hilarious.

Blogger Nate April 16, 2013 11:37 AM  

Obviously Patrick Kelly is a Bloggerblaster kind of guy.

Anonymous Pat Hannagan April 16, 2013 11:38 AM  

When I hear the word ecumenism, I reach for my gun.

Anonymous Outlaw X April 16, 2013 11:39 AM  

The Catholic Church is just a particularly arrogant splinter of the Apostolic Church.

Yeah, but we are still special, and we were first. :P

Blogger Nate April 16, 2013 11:40 AM  

"When I hear the word ecumenism, I reach for my gun."

Ecumincal History means... "The History of the Church" you blithering idiot of a moron.

Blogger Nate April 16, 2013 11:40 AM  

"Yeah, but we are still special, and we were first. :P"

No. In fact of the first 5 churches... you were last.

Anonymous VD April 16, 2013 11:42 AM  

Considering what I've just written, saying I'm defending my work is stretching the word "defending" to its limit. I've done no such thing.

Yes, you most certainly have, James. And your energy would have been much better spent cleaning up your essay or finding someone to help you do it.

You will never write anything worth reading as long as your first reaction is to defend a flawed work rather than fix it. I disagree with many things my editor says, but I never argue with him. I either fix it or ignore it.

Now stop talking about yourself and your writing already.

Anonymous James May April 16, 2013 11:42 AM  

What fact have I not faced? Is me saying straight out I don't know how to write and am not a writer a Rubik's Cube? It seems terse enough from my end.

I am not completely senseless. When I wrote part 2 of my screed I prefaced the PyCon affair with Roger, Robert Frank and Sartre, and threw in Sayd Qutb too. I knew that was problematic.

In the end, the hope there was that people would acquaint themselves with those exact cases and the issues surrounding them, step away from this particular event and think about it differently. It's an encouragement to be more widely read and think of these thing from multiple perspectives. I was not writing for children with short attention spans. Many history books are long and boring. Some people stick with them, some don't.

If people want to stick to brevity as the soul of wit and the trouble with Tribbles, that is their affair, not mine.

I have written an entire essay on Robert Frank's book "The Americans." However sloppy the essay is, the point is that, in a debate about the issues involved, yes, truly, one would be hard pressed to try and hide behind proper structure and form and escape the logic of my arguments.

For all the superior writing skills of those involved, just try finding someone who has a balanced view of the Frank book. I found more "experts" with their heads up their Leftist asses than otherwise.

Sarah Greenough is the senior curator and head of the department of photographs at the National Gallery of Art. She is an expert on Frank and gives lecture about his work. She is also an idiot. Her remarks about Frank are as empty as a clown's. What does that tell you about the value of propriety and form? I on the other hand, would be laughed out of the building by the very people who listen to Miss Greenough. And based on what? Why? Well, based on the fact she has observed such and such protocols and has credibility. She may speak clearly, but she thinks with mud.

I am not impressed by structure. I've seen it as an analog to failure too many times. Try reading Bernal Diaz or Cortez's letters to King Charles V in the original Spanish. Not fun. But very rewarding. And I love the eccentricity, at least to my ears, of the prose. There are many ways to get to to a place. I should think that's obvious. If Scalzi's folks don't like King Charles, tough.

Anonymous James May April 16, 2013 11:43 AM  

If I had an editor I would certainly listen to them. I don't.

Anonymous Outlaw X April 16, 2013 11:45 AM  

No. In fact of the first 5 churches... you were last.

Seriously Nate, tell me, you are a smart guy, I would like to know who the first four were. I am not being a smartass, would like to know.

Anonymous Josh April 16, 2013 11:45 AM  

I CAN TYPING!!!

Anonymous Pat Hannagan April 16, 2013 11:46 AM  

"you blithering idiot of a moron"

Wow, three for the price of one. You must be real Trinitarian. Yet, also non-denominational.

I refuse to engage with such ecumenical heresy. Extra Ecclesiam nulla salus!

Anonymous Hoots April 16, 2013 11:46 AM  

Economics
Current Events / NWA was right

I'd love to hear more of your assessment of current world economics. The money/currency discussion is a nice foundation.

Blogger Nate April 16, 2013 11:46 AM  

"Is me saying straight out I don't know how to write and am not a writer a Rubik's Cube? It seems terse enough from my end.
"

You're saying you don't know how to write... then blathering on about your creativity... and how X work is exactly what you wanted it to be... implying you do have skills.

So do you or don't you?

You're jabbering in circles.

When chased... you know what runs in a giant circle?

A rabbit.

Anonymous Josh April 16, 2013 11:47 AM  

Seriously Nate, tell me, you are a smart guy, I would like to know who the first four were. I am not being a smartass, would like to know.

Jerusalem, Antioch, Alexandria, Constantinople.

Anonymous bub April 16, 2013 11:48 AM  

A rabbit...with a touch...of aspergers

Anonymous Josh April 16, 2013 11:49 AM  

I refuse to engage with such ecumenical heresy. Extra Ecclesiam nulla salus!

You bloody mongoloid.

Blogger Nate April 16, 2013 11:49 AM  

"Seriously Nate, tell me, you are a smart guy, I would like to know who the first four were. I am not being a smartass, would like to know.'

Do you really not know the history of your own church?

here's a clue... Look at the titles of the letters Paul wrote that became "books" of the new testament.

The Church in Rome was literally no different than any of them. The church in Rome did not rule them. And in fact... They existed before the Church in Rome did.

Anonymous Outlaw X April 16, 2013 11:49 AM  

Thanks Josh, I am going to ask my priest aboout that.

Anonymous Lulabelle April 16, 2013 11:52 AM  

"Now stop talking about yourself and your writing already."

Scroll, scroll, scroll.

Such a shame; I rather liked his re-treatment of Asher's writing. (was it Asher? I can't remember now).

Anonymous Josh April 16, 2013 11:52 AM  

Thanks Josh, I am going to ask my priest aboout that.

They might not be the churches Nate is referring too, but they're the other four patriarchates.

Blogger Nate April 16, 2013 11:52 AM  

"A rabbit...with a touch...of aspergers"

dear God...

Are Ellipses contagious?

Blogger James Dixon April 16, 2013 11:52 AM  

> I'm curious to know what sort of subjects people are finding to be of the most interest today.

Economics and technology. That hasn't changed much over the years.

> Maybe that's a function of using Firefox as my browser.

Almost certainly.

Anonymous Outlaw X April 16, 2013 11:53 AM  

The Church in Rome was literally no different than any of them. The church in Rome did not rule them. And in fact... They existed before the Church in Rome did.

I was always of the opinion that the church moved around not that it changed because of location. But this is OT. Interesting to me though.

Anonymous Outlaw X April 16, 2013 11:55 AM  

I dropped firefox and am back to IE.

Anonymous Lulabelle April 16, 2013 11:55 AM  

"Are Ellipses contagious?"

Yes, definitely. I was vaccinated just last week.

Anonymous dh April 16, 2013 11:56 AM  

Do you really not know the history of your own church?

The Catholics do a nice job of washing over the early history. The rise of that splinter is more attributed to having an amenable host rather than anything else.

Blogger Nate April 16, 2013 11:58 AM  

"They might not be the churches Nate is referring too, but they're the other four patriarchates."

Paul went first to Greece. He established churches all over Greece. Then he went to Rome.

So you can certainly argue Josh's 4 predate the Church of Rome... but also all the Churches of Greece as well.

Its not surprising that the average Catholic is ignorant of the Great Schism. I mean it sort of totally destroys their whole "we are the Church" narrative.

Blogger Nate April 16, 2013 11:59 AM  

"They might not be the churches Nate is referring too, but they're the other four patriarchates."

The Church didn't move around at all. Paul wondered around planting Churches.. and then traveled city to city back and forth throughout Greece cultivating those churches.

Blogger Nate April 16, 2013 12:00 PM  

Outlaw X,
As your priest what the phrase "First Among Equals" meant.

Anonymous Josh April 16, 2013 12:01 PM  

Its not surprising that the average Catholic is ignorant of the Great Schism. I mean it sort of totally destroys their whole "we are the Church" narrative.

Especially considering that they left.

Anonymous Pat Hannagan April 16, 2013 12:02 PM  

The Church in Rome was literally no different than any of them. The church in Rome did not rule them. And in fact... They existed before the Church in Rome did.

The Church was established when Christ said: "And I say to thee: That thou art Peter; and upon this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it."

St. Peter died in Rome, hence Rome as the physical home of the one, holy, catholic, and apostolic Church. But, it need not be in Rome. At one stage the earthly centre of the Church was in Avignon. The location is not important, though it is traditional.

Anonymous Edjamacator April 16, 2013 12:02 PM  

Are Ellipses contagious?

Only on William Shatner Day.

Blogger Nate April 16, 2013 12:03 PM  

"I refuse to engage with such ecumenical heresy. Extra Ecclesiam nulla salus!"

I CAN TYPING!!!!

Anonymous Outlaw X April 16, 2013 12:03 PM  

Its not surprising that the average Catholic is ignorant of the Great Schism. I mean it sort of totally destroys their whole "we are the Church" narrative.

You know the "great schism" was 1000 AD or there about.

Outlaw X,
As your priest what the phrase "First Among Equals" meant.


I will. You better watch out TZ may show up.

Blogger Nate April 16, 2013 12:04 PM  

"The Church was established when Christ said: "And I say to thee: That thou art Peter; and upon this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it."

St. Peter died in Rome, hence Rome as the physical home of the one, holy, catholic, and apostolic Church. But, it need not be in Rome. At one stage the earthly centre of the Church was in Avignon. The location is not important, though it is traditional."

We know the ignorant Catholic Dogma.

Run along and educate yourself. Start with The Great Schism.

Blogger Nate April 16, 2013 12:05 PM  

"You know the "great schism" was 1000 AD or there about."

Then you know for 1000 years the "pope" had no authority over the rest of the churches of the world.

Because the Schism is what happened when he tried to assert that he did.

Anonymous Stilicho April 16, 2013 12:06 PM  

The Church was established when Christ said: "And I say to thee: That thou art Peter; and upon this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it."

With such solipsism, it should come as no surprise that the RCC is thoroughly feminized.

Anonymous Mina April 16, 2013 12:06 PM  

In 2004, I started following a blog called TheHousingBubbleBlog. It was on this same format, Blogger.

He would do about three blog posts a day, each one was a selection of snippets from the news about the housing bubble/market for a specific geographical area and then of course people would comment on that post. Functionally, that blog works exactly like this one.

After a few years he got kind of lazy I guess and he would only post one or two blog entries and then added what he called a "Bits Bucket" which was an empty article with NO snippets, no data, nothing. So basically it was a placeholder for "today" where people could free-form comment.

Months later I started noticing that the Bits Bucket got most of the traffic and the blog posts not so many. The host must have noticed too so he decided to launch a Forum thinking "a forum has to be better than an empty blog post named Bits Bucket" Nope. No one used it. After about two years he killed it entirely.

The moral of the story is that you just never know what people like about ~your~ site. Maybe it's the content, maybe it's the company, maybe it's the format. Maybe it's all three. Or something else.

I don't have any content suggestions. I come here because the topics are always varied and sometimes unexpected. I do of course like the thought process of the host and his commenters. Good mental stimulation. Most blogs get too predictable after a while and that is boring.

Thank you for taking the time to be here.

Anonymous Pat Hannagan April 16, 2013 12:09 PM  

There is no solipsism in the statement you have quoted, Stilicho.

If anything, Nate has made a category error.

Anonymous Beau April 16, 2013 12:09 PM  

@ Pat Hannagan

Extra Ecclesiam nulla salus!


Impressive, Latin; try this:

εἷς γὰρ θεός, εἷς καὶ μεσίτης θεοῦ καὶ ἀνθρώπων, ἄνθρωπος Χριστὸς Ἰησοῦς

Awaiting your reply.





Anonymous Outlaw X April 16, 2013 12:11 PM  

Then you know for 1000 years the "pope" had no authority over the rest of the churches of the world

Because the Schism is what happened when he tried to assert that he did.


That is not axiomatic, but I am not in a mood to argue about it, besides it is off topic. If Vox chooses to have a discussion about this I would be interested in picking your brain.

Anonymous Pat Hannagan April 16, 2013 12:11 PM  

Nope, no idea Beau.

Anonymous Stilicho April 16, 2013 12:14 PM  

There is no solipsism in the statement you have quoted, Stilicho.

Not in the scripture, in the self-referential use of it by Roman Catholics.

Anonymous Stilicho April 16, 2013 12:16 PM  

εἷς γὰρ θεός, εἷς καὶ μεσίτης θεοῦ καὶ ἀνθρώπων, ἄνθρωπος Χριστὸς Ἰησοῦς

Google translate fails miserably:

"There is one god gar, sectors and broker God and man, man Christ Jesus"

Blogger Nate April 16, 2013 12:16 PM  

The Church was established when Christ said: "And I say to thee: That thou art Peter; and upon this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it."

The Church wasn't built on a man. Like so many other scriptures... the Catholics have totally missed the point on this one.

The Church is built on faith. Faith... the Faith Peter displayed... is the Rock.

Anonymous Josh April 16, 2013 12:17 PM  

Amen, beau.

Anonymous Pat Hannagan April 16, 2013 12:18 PM  

The Church is built on faith. Faith... the Faith Peter displayed... is the Rock.

I see. I didn't know that is how you interpreted the scripture. What denomination did you say you were again?

Anonymous Lysander Spooner April 16, 2013 12:18 PM  

favorite three subjects for blog discussion:

1. Economics
2. Guns, Dope and Whiskey.
3. Christianity vs. Deism, the influence both have had on The Enlightenment and the effect each have had
upon the development of Western Civilization.
4. Wimminz and Nigs.

Anonymous Pat Hannagan April 16, 2013 12:19 PM  

"There is one god gar, sectors and broker God and man, man Christ Jesus"

Perhaps Beau is drunk. We should go easy on him.

Anonymous Josh April 16, 2013 12:21 PM  

The Church is built on faith. Faith... the Faith Peter displayed... is the Rock.

And specifically the answer to the question, "who do you say that I am?"

The confession that Jesus Christ is the Messiah, the Son of God is the rock upon which He built and continues to build his church.

Anonymous Josh April 16, 2013 12:25 PM  

Perhaps Beau is drunk. We should go easy on him.

Tread lightly when it comes to beau. He is the best of the ilk, the one who reminds us more than any other of what it means to follow Jesus. He has laid himself up numerous treasures in heaven, and will be greeted as a conquering hero, a champion, and a prince of the church when he is called home.

I would be more concerned with asking beau to go easy in you.

Anonymous Stilicho April 16, 2013 12:26 PM  

Perhaps Beau is drunk. We should go easy on him.

Unlikely. I was mocking google. A better translation is: "There is only one God and one mediator between God and Man; Christ Jesus"

Anonymous Pat Hannagan April 16, 2013 12:26 PM  

Fair enough Josh, I understand this is your interpretation of scripture. Now, tell me who you are relying on for this interpretation.

In other words, what is your denomination?

Anonymous bubu April 16, 2013 12:26 PM  

Matthew 16 ESV

13 Now when Jesus came into the district of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, “Who do people say that the Son of Man is?” 14 And they said, “Some say John the Baptist, others say Elijah, and others Jeremiah or one of the prophets.” 15 He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” 16 Simon Peter replied, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” 17 And Jesus answered him, “Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah! For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father who is in heaven. 18 And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. 19 I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.” 20 Then he strictly charged the disciples to tell no one that he was the Christ.

Anonymous Stilicho April 16, 2013 12:30 PM  

Or if you prefer, the KJV: For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus; 1 Timothy 2:5

Anonymous Stilicho April 16, 2013 12:31 PM  

Now, tell me who you are relying on for this interpretation.

In other words, what is your denomination?


THAT, I suspect, is a category error, but I'll let Josh answer.

Anonymous Pat Hannagan April 16, 2013 12:32 PM  

"Tread lightly when it comes to beau. He is the best of the ilk, the one who reminds us more than any other of what it means to follow Jesus. He has laid himself up numerous treasures in heaven, and will be greeted as a conquering hero, a champion, and a prince of the church when he is called home."

I'll take your word for it.

One things for sure, he's very demanding.

Anonymous Josh April 16, 2013 12:32 PM  

Fair enough Josh, I understand this is your interpretation of scripture. Now, tell me who you are relying on for this interpretation.

In other words, what is your denomination?


My interpretation comes from reading the text using a literal translation and a concordance. Along with asking the Holy Spirit for revelation and explanation where needed. Also from various pastors and teachers ranging from presbyterian to pentecostal.

Anonymous Josh April 16, 2013 12:35 PM  

The requests for people to identify their denomination is illuminating.

Anonymous RC April 16, 2013 12:35 PM  

I come here because each and every post helps me better understand the nature of man, how people think, how they argue, the extent to which people can be deluded, the gross rationalizations people make, and so forth. There truly is so much to observe here: the utter fruitlessness of dialogue between the intelligent and less so, rhetoric versus logic, hand-waving versus carefully contructed arguments, the occasional comment by Beau that reorients an entire discussion, and the interesting, if sometimes deranged, personalities that frequent the blog.

I enjoy the variety of material in the posts, but the economics-related posts are my favorite. Guns are always on target too.

I second or third Farmer Tom's suggestion of a numbering system, just because it's easier to recall than timestamps. A filtering feature would be very helpful, especially for navigating long comment streams. Click on a name and his comments are skipped. A quick quoting system would be nice, to keep the context fresh and provide consistency. I second Nate's suggestion that links be automatically generated a good one too.

I frankly don't understand why such straightforward functionality is largely absent in these platforms. I suppose the economics just don't justify the investments.

Anonymous Stilicho April 16, 2013 12:38 PM  

The requests for people to identify their denomination is illuminating.

It very nearly presupposes an appeal to authority.

Anonymous patrick kelly April 16, 2013 12:39 PM  

Nate: "Run along and educate yourself. Start with The Great Schism."

Why start there? The seeds of what is commonly called "The Great Schism" were planted centuries before. The divergence of theological thought and ecclesiastical practice between east and west did not happen overnight, or even over any particular lifetime. The controversies and and disagreements are varied and nuanced in focus and priority likely foreign to most modern Christians.

Anonymous Pat Hannagan April 16, 2013 12:39 PM  

The requests for people to identify their denomination is illuminating.

Because you say you have no denomination, that is no higher authority for your scriptural understanding. I don't pretend to understand all the ins and outs of Catholicism, but I can at least be judged according to a set of dogmas, and be argued with on that score.

You, Nate and others have no-denomination and yet expect me to believe every scriptural interpretation that comes out of your keyboard.

At least cite me your sources for your interpretations. Like, what church do you belong to, is it Calvinist, is it Lutheran, etc? That way I may at least have some foundation to understand where you are coming from.

At least the Jehovah's Witnesses have that integrity.

Anonymous RC April 16, 2013 12:41 PM  


"The Church is built on faith. Faith... the Faith Peter displayed... is the Rock." - Nate

I agree that the Rock is not a man, but think it's better understood as the truth of his confession, revealed by the Father, as the Rock: "You are the Christ, the Son of the living God." Jesus is the Rock.

Anonymous Pat Hannagan April 16, 2013 12:42 PM  

"It very nearly presupposes an appeal to authority."

Christianity *is* an appeal to authority. Christ's authority. So, yes, some basis for understanding Christ's mission, besides what you think it is, would be of great assistance.

Anonymous Josh April 16, 2013 12:45 PM  

http://www.gracecenter.us/statement-of-faith/

My church. Our statement of faith.

Anonymous Pat Hannagan April 16, 2013 12:48 PM  

Just as a comprehension exercise, Bubu quoted the rest above:

"I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.”

That sounds to me like he's giving the keys to St. Peter, not faith. How does one give faith keys and authority? And who is to know what to have faith in, especially if we can all just make it up to suit our fancies?

Of course we appeal to authority, unless you're the world's best biblical scholar to have ever walked the earth since St. Thomas Aquinas.

Anonymous Stilicho April 16, 2013 12:49 PM  

At least cite me your sources for your interpretations. Like, what church do you belong to, is it Calvinist, is it Lutheran, etc? That way I may at least have some foundation to understand where you are coming from.


If you wish to debate scripture, then debate scripture. However, this tells me that you would prefer that Josh (and others) appeal to some secondary authority so that you may attack (or debate against) that secondary authority ("my secondary authority can beat up your secondary authority..."). I don't think this an intentional avoidance on your part. It seems to be just the way you think about Christianity.

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