Sunday, December 08, 2019

Remoras think they power the shark

Ron Unz, quite rightly, has broached the idea of offering subscriptions to the Unz Review and tying it to the amount of comments a user is able to make.
The underlying principle is simple. If you spend a great deal of time doing something, then you have empirically demonstrated that it must be worth the hourly value of your time. And it hardly seems unreasonable to financially contribute a small additional fraction to help support the iconoclastic writers who are providing that service.

Restricting access to our webzine to casual or ordinary readers would defeat our entire purpose of widely disseminating important and controversial material. But I think that our heavier website users, perhaps those who spend more than 5 or 10 hours per month here, should be encouraged or even required to support it. A stepped-fee somewhere in the range of $1 per hour seems fairly reasonable, and such a figure would go a long way toward covering the payments to our existing writers, allowing for further expansion, and helping to make this website self-sustaining. I doubt that a charge of $1/hour would strain many budgets given that it’s much less than the cost of a cup of coffee or most daily newspapers.

A substantial fraction of our heavy readers are probably ideologically-committed individuals, who might welcome a chance to support writers and thinkers whose content they often admire and whose writing may rarely be found elsewhere.

Perhaps the handful of irritating “trolls” possibly employed by various hostile organizations will be annoyed at having to request an expense account payment to cover such costs, causing them to effectively subsidize the distribution of ideas they abhor and would eagerly censor. But I think they deserve such a fate, and if they choose instead to permanently depart, I doubt they will be much missed.

The exact details and payment methodology will need to be determined, perhaps involving Patreon or other similar systems as an option. But I thought I’d first open on a discussion on this general topic and see what thoughts or suggestions our readers had.
Needless to say, this perfectly reasonable evolution has not gone over well with the troll brigade or the free lunch crowd there. One example of a typical response:
You mean he’d really like to censor opinions he doesn’t like but he doesn’t want to be seen to be doing so? In other words he’s just like everyone else. He believes in freedom of speech but doesn’t really think it should apply to people he disagrees with?

If that’s his intention he is choosing absolutely the worst way to do it. He’ll end up with just as many crazies and trolls as he has now but he’ll have chased away the thoughtful commenters.

And to be brutally honest, in general the comments here are a hell of a lot better and more interesting than the articles. Most of the articles are puerile or they’re simply rants. Most of the “writers” here are here because they can’t get published elsewhere, not because they’re controversial but because they’re nuts. There are three or four really good writers here and that’s about it.

I think Mr Unz will discover that most people come here for the lively discussions in the comment sections, not for the articles. He seems to be aiming to destroy the one great asset that the site has.
I've heard this self-serving, narcissistic argument every time I turned comment moderation on over the past 16 years. The fact that there are around 100 non-commenting readers for every commenter never seems to register with them, nor does the fact that when comments were turned entirely off, the site traffic here actually increased by about five percent.

Now, I'm willing to permit comments here as a courtesy to regular readers who want them. I think they can be a net benefit to everyone here, although it is clear that open and anonymous commenting is unfortunately no longer viable. But commenters should not delude themselves. No one - literally no one - is primarily here to read the comments.

Bonus project: identify the key word that gives away the commenter's SSH game.

ANSWER: "thoughtful". It's not the only indicator, and a number of people correctly pointed to the obvious "seems", but I was interested to see if anyone would spot a tell that I have not previously pointed out. One thing I have noticed over time is that only Gammas ever describe themselves as thoughtful. One can always tell that a blog is going to be meandering, boring, pointless, and self-absorbed when it advertises itself as featuring "thoughtful commentary", as just about every failed blog started by a journalist in the early 2000s did.

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Blogger James Dixon December 08, 2019 11:36 AM  

The only negative comment I could possibly make wrt the idea is that there are people who have more time than money, and they may sometimes have useful ideas to contribute. The percentages of both are open to debate.

Blogger Felis Concolor December 08, 2019 11:38 AM  

(searching for 'seems' - ah!) Too easy.

Blogger CCubed December 08, 2019 11:39 AM  

What is "puerile", Alex?

Blogger Servant December 08, 2019 11:41 AM  

Puerile? Or "writers". Thoughtful commenters. All the question marks.

His implication that Mr. Unz will chase away the one good asset he has (himself) is pretty telling.

Blogger Ostar December 08, 2019 11:45 AM  


Blogger Ben Cohen December 08, 2019 11:46 AM  


Blogger TraceRoute Bear December 08, 2019 11:47 AM  

key word 'mean' in "You mean"

Blogger Rowan December 08, 2019 11:50 AM  


Blogger Clark December 08, 2019 11:51 AM  

"thoughtful commenters"

Blogger Stg58/Animal Mother December 08, 2019 11:51 AM  

Last paragraph, "seems".

The call of the gamma.

Blogger Clark December 08, 2019 11:52 AM  

"thoughtful commenters"

Blogger YehudaL December 08, 2019 11:57 AM  

Seems to me I might perhaps know the key word. However it seems to me that waiting for someone else to point it out, and then say I totally knew the word, and am King of Bonus Projects, is the right choice.
That seems smartest to meeeee.

Blogger thalios December 08, 2019 11:57 AM  

Bonus project answer: puerile

Blogger mrkai113 December 08, 2019 12:01 PM  

Is the key word "rants"? It seems to be a pretty common gamma word, especially when the gamma is ranting.

Blogger C December 08, 2019 12:03 PM  

There are two. "In other words," and "To be brutally honest." One for reinterpretation and one for authority.

Blogger Rattlesnake_Kid December 08, 2019 12:06 PM  


Blogger Peaceable Citizen December 08, 2019 12:08 PM  


Blogger JD Curtis December 08, 2019 12:09 PM  


Blogger Cluttermonkey December 08, 2019 12:11 PM  

My money is on ‚thoughtful‘ being the tell.

Blogger Qualitarian December 08, 2019 12:11 PM  

He SEEMS to be betraying a certain level of gammatude.

Blogger Heinz Gudbearian December 08, 2019 12:12 PM  

Mr. Unz, don't you know that he is the Most Thoughtful Commenter on your site?! What ever would you do without his immeasurably valuable input? How Dare You!

Blogger Jay Will December 08, 2019 12:12 PM  

The word is "thoughtful".

Blogger Rick December 08, 2019 12:18 PM  

The one great asset: Me.

Blogger Jose Miguel December 08, 2019 12:19 PM  

My bonus project answer:


Blogger EH December 08, 2019 12:21 PM  

$1 per hour is usually my starting point for content. Which is why I find it hard to buy most traditionally published e-books ($15+). $6 and under is the perfect price point.

Blogger LZ December 08, 2019 12:21 PM  

Microtransactions to post and like comments, something like what Twetch is building. Then people can also pay commenters, because they are also providing a free service. Everyone making quality contributions can benefit.

Blogger Christopher December 08, 2019 12:22 PM  

Bonus project: "brutally."

Blogger Out of Nod December 08, 2019 12:23 PM  

There's only one keyword? The first paragraph seethes with snark, projection, and accusation.

I'm here to learn. It's annoying when others feel like they have to steal the mic - it's like junior high all over again.

I appreciate the comments

Blogger Ominous Cowherd December 08, 2019 12:24 PM  

Not spotting a single key word, but I do see:

The gamma accuses Unz of censorship, ``just like everyone else.'' The gamma has worn out his welcome before.

The gamma is very concerned that Unz will disregard his wise advice.

The gamma denigrates the articles, some of which are pretty good, in favor of the comments, which I usually find to be a crapflood. He's almost certainly one of the poo-flingers who make the comments at Unz unreadable.

Heavy-handed moderation could improve the comments at Unz.

The gamma needs the hierarchy, hates the hierarchy because he hates his place in it. Gamma not omega, because an omega wouldn't be trying to bless Unz with his superior, secret wisdom.

Blogger Mr. Deficient December 08, 2019 12:26 PM  

Im betting thoughtful or lively for the word. "Brutally honest" because it sounds similar to "genuinely curious"

Blogger Rex Leroy King December 08, 2019 12:28 PM  

"to be brutally honest" is another tell.

Blogger Shimshon December 08, 2019 12:29 PM  

It's all there, right down to the "seems." Of course, "brutal honesty" about others' "faults" are what being gamma is all about.

Blogger Azure Amaranthine December 08, 2019 12:32 PM  

"there are people who have more time than money, and they may sometimes have useful ideas to contribute."

Then maybe they should put some of that time to good use and make some money.

My vote is for "thoughtful" over seems. I've seen seems be used without abusing from time to time. The same cannot be said for thoughtful. Anyone who uses thoughtful self-referentially is both vain and airheaded.

Blogger Goodnight December 08, 2019 12:35 PM  

I've been reading Vox since the WND days and reading the blog daily for maybe 15 years, and probably own 90% of the Castalia catalog. And yet I probably only comment about half a dozen times a year. Vox and Unz are both right on this.

Blogger Beardy Bear December 08, 2019 12:35 PM  

"...see what thoughts or suggestions our readers had."

Did he really say "our readers?" The narcissism is insufferable.

Blogger Shimshon December 08, 2019 12:36 PM  

Maybe Ron can have a two sided auction. Have bidders for and against open commenting, per article. As long as the closed commenters put up more, only their comments are displayed. But while open commenters prevail, all comments are displayed. But in all cases, record all comments. Gotta give the secret kings something to fantasize about.

Blogger YehudaL December 08, 2019 12:41 PM  

I tried to give him benefit of the doubt as just a penny pincher, but the whole "commenter is better than writer" mindset destroys any charitable judgement.

Blogger Karen took the Kids December 08, 2019 12:45 PM  

I'm gonna say the word "seems" is the gamma tell. Its the usual preface before they give their unwanted opinions and narcissistic ramblings.

Blogger Dave December 08, 2019 12:47 PM  

All of you stating puerile as the gamma tell owe Vox a dollar.

Blogger Jack Amok December 08, 2019 1:10 PM  

"Mom! I need another $5 a week in my allowance. That poppy-head Unz started charging for comments."

Blogger Shane Bradman December 08, 2019 1:14 PM  

'You mean' is the first gamma tell. He's re-interpreting what is said so he can steal the microphone and get attention.

Blogger Robert What? December 08, 2019 1:17 PM  

I like to read the comments. But then I'm odd.

Blogger Zaklog the Great December 08, 2019 1:17 PM  

I'm not saying this about Unz. I simply don't have enough experience with the site to assess it. I will say there are some sites where the comments section is a lot more interesting than the articles. The Federalist has been one of those for some time. Honestly, most conservative sites that refuse to honestly address race fall in that category.

Blogger Lamarck Leland December 08, 2019 1:24 PM  

I've been reading Vox Popoli before we even had comments.
Now, since comments were allowed I have always skipped most comments but I still got to enjoy many years of Vox kicking the trolls and whatnot.
It's probably stressful for our host though haha

Blogger Manuel December 08, 2019 1:25 PM  

My vote is "mean" with "seems" for 2

Blogger Bert Head December 08, 2019 1:28 PM  

He "seems" to be......Blind answer, I did not peek at other comments first!

Blogger Bert Head December 08, 2019 1:30 PM  

I might be wrong, as I skimmed but did not read. Although, as walls of text go it was only a little garden wall.

Blogger Kiwi December 08, 2019 1:32 PM  

I say "seems" a lot. I'm not sure how to get around that but I'll give it a go.

Honest is the word I notice.

Blogger Tom Bridgeland December 08, 2019 1:33 PM  

Ron's smart. This is a wonderful idea. Good, to-the-point comments are worth reading. Unmoderated comments rarely are.

Blogger Tom Bridgeland December 08, 2019 1:35 PM  

'You mean'. Is a tell right there. The very first words.

Blogger Jay Will December 08, 2019 1:37 PM  

This is very good it gets people thinking about the realities of how sites fund themselves, and even if your arguing about what kind of model its based on at least you are thinking about it.

Remember people going to the pub, getting freebies etc, but never spending anything. The push over the edge was when people would moan about the quality of the free food! But I'm filling your pub up with my presence dear sir! How dare you suggest I'm ungrateful by spending the sum total of zero pounds sterling in your establishment while enjoying free table time, free food, free tv sports and a nice warm chair. Gangs of people would come in for the live football match, spend nothing, and walk straight back out again.

Blogger Out of Nod December 08, 2019 1:38 PM  

*I appreciate the comments when they stay on topic

Blogger Avalanche December 08, 2019 1:43 PM  

Long ago, I ran across a saying about brutal honesty that ever after stood as a boundary for me:

"Those interested in brutal honesty as usually more interested in brutality than honesty."

Blogger Fozzy Bear December 08, 2019 1:45 PM  

Since nobody else has said it: “asset”, as in “ He seems to be aiming to destroy the one great asset that the site has.”. Random gamma thinks his comments are the great asset that draws people to Unz’ website.

Blogger furor kek tonicus ( according to the 13th Amendment, Slavery is neither Cruel nor Unusual: MSAGA ) December 08, 2019 1:47 PM  

i'm really enjoying that whole last paragraph.

TL;DR - the articles here ( written by the paid professionals ) suck, which is why i just read the comments

Blogger Jeff December 08, 2019 1:48 PM  

I have no idea what "SSH game" is. I think I'm too short for this ride.

Blogger Silent Draco December 08, 2019 1:51 PM  

Wall of text is the first gamma tell. Three negative paras or more instead of a two sentence positive input. 'Seems' is one piece of debris in the avalanche field.

I appreciate the privilege of being allowed to comment. On question, though: weren't readers down about 5% with moderation off, source from Vox speaking in a Darkstream or noting the difference in a previous post? This was in the past 7-10 days, thought it was caused by active gammas and other trolls. I could be wrong.

Blogger Durandel December 08, 2019 2:03 PM  

I am one of those who rarely comments. But I will comment to note that I rarely read the comments here anymore. I used to read them more back in 2006-2008, but stopped sometime around 2009.

Blogger Garuna December 08, 2019 2:04 PM  

the gamma's licence to lie

Blogger Br1cht December 08, 2019 2:17 PM  

Here the unemployed, broke with a touch of Autism comes.
I wholeheartedly support a "pay2play" system for the simple reason that just the broke and perennial cognitive "unfortunate" always clog the comments with their "wisdom" while normal people with a job and a family(sans lunacy) are trying to communicate.

I don´t much care for the "career" commenters that always lurks in the grass for a chance to take a pound of flesh.

Marvelous idea imo.

EU delenda est.

Blogger Iron Knight December 08, 2019 2:20 PM  

'Brutally' was the final nail for me.

Blogger Dr. J December 08, 2019 2:22 PM  

Absolutely agree on this - pay to comment would at the very least cost Soros some cash and would pare down the lesser trolls. I fall into the same category as Goodnight - support Vox's cultural counteroffensives and occasionally drop a "hear, hear" comment a few times a year. Like this one.

Blogger Br1cht December 08, 2019 2:23 PM  

Darn, forgot the word; “writers” is the tell here, the use of quotation marks makes for a true Gamma dig imo.

Blogger Andy Evick December 08, 2019 2:24 PM  

The key gamma clue I spot is his projection in the first paragraph.

Blogger Nathan Hornok December 08, 2019 2:26 PM  

Maybe I missed something, but was Unz talking about charging for time spent commenting, or for time spend reading articles? I think the idea of paying for comment time is a good one, as well as being more aggressive about asking for users to support what they love.

Charging for time spent reading the articles would not be effective since stingy people would just screen grab, or cut and paste, the article to read it off-site. And honest people would feel a bit of stress as they read articles wondering if they are about to be charged the next dollar.

Blogger An Orthodox Christian December 08, 2019 2:33 PM  

Puerile until last para. SEEMS wins.

Blogger Redbeard December 08, 2019 2:39 PM  

I think its easy to tell a gamma comment when it starts out with "You mean" because then they try to redefine or change what was just said to suit them self.

Blogger God Emperor Memes December 08, 2019 2:48 PM  

I'm going with "thoughtful".

Blogger Doktor Jeep December 08, 2019 2:54 PM  

Come to think of it, imagine what the internet would be like if people had to pay to post. Imagine what all that shilling would cost the special interests.

I'm not even thinking about trolls. When I go in search of information to fix things, I have to get through 1000 non-answers on blogs to find what I need. I call it boomerpoasting because the useless posts appear to come from people who are too tired or retired to do that which they are posting about. So all they have is something to say that's not of any use.

Blogger NewTunesForOldLogos December 08, 2019 3:16 PM  

I’d pay a dollar a month for Audacious Epigone, let alone for the long-form essays by Unz. Membership-for-comments will be an interesting model to watch, I hope it works.

Blogger Slagenthor December 08, 2019 3:20 PM  

Seems to be a tell in there somewhere...

Blogger lowercaseb December 08, 2019 3:22 PM  

He almost got away with his comment, but he had to stick a "seems" in the last sentence.

@38 Yep, they world ALWAYS has to be viewed from their viewpoint.

Blogger Wormwood December 08, 2019 3:25 PM  

What he's suggesting can be done.....without the "trolls" knowing it. The Federal government has become expert at "taxing" a population without their knowledge. It's the clicks that count, so let the trolls click away, if they can find someone interested in advertising on their site.

Blogger Thomas W. December 08, 2019 3:39 PM  


Blogger MidnightSun December 08, 2019 3:40 PM  

I would say it is "brutally" as in brutally honest. This is always a dead giveaway.
Its apparent this numbskull has never read a single article from start to finish or else he wouldn't make such absurd comments.

Blogger sammibandit December 08, 2019 3:42 PM  

The initial reason anyone reads a blog is for the posts.

The posts always anchor comments, never the inverse. That's why hi-jackers get banned.

My guess is his first two words "you mean..."

Blogger Vaughan Williams December 08, 2019 3:45 PM  

The comments here are definitely a value add. Perhaps 1/4 to 1/3 of the value, to me. I liked it better when things could go off-topic more easily and interesting tidbits of news and links and authors would be mentioned that were being censored elsewhere, like this was an after-hours.

Blogger Subnif. December 08, 2019 4:25 PM  

I would not use money per say put a fake equivalent that games use for micro transactions then have the user buy them to spend on a couple of perks.
EX: $4.99 = 250 "diamond"
15 diamond per comment over a certain word count.
150 diamond for early access... etc.

Blogger Doktor Jeep December 08, 2019 4:30 PM  

If we had to pay to post here, I would post less, but put more effort into my sPelin'. Less one0liners cluttering up the space.

One thing that is always entertaining about closed Youtube chats where you have to be a member to comment: a troll by default has lost way before he hits "send" solely on the fact that he paid to be able to troll.

Blogger Sargent.matrim December 08, 2019 4:48 PM  

I read the UNZ most days. I've barely even looked at the comments, ever.

The idea that someone thinks we go to here or the UNZ for the comments is weird.

If Vox shut the comments off here, I'd still read the blog. If UNZ did the same, it not would effect me at all.

I appreciate being able to comment here. But it's a privilege and not the reason why we are here.

Blogger Falcor December 08, 2019 5:00 PM  

Thumbs up to your Pay2Post idea.
Blog members open account and pay to post or reimburse other commenters. Blog owner takes cut.

Key word: seems

Blogger map December 08, 2019 5:02 PM  

I like the idea of charging for comments. I still can't get over Haxo getting slammed by Corvinus for Haxo's gamma behavior when Paul Kersey interviewed VoX at Unz.

Do you have any idea how significant that was? Corvinus is one of Unz Review's biggest trolls. I've been trying to get him banned for a long time. To have Corvinus, of all people, call you out is really, really bad.

Now, if Unz charges for comments, both Haxo and Corvinus will go away!!!

Blogger Raker_T December 08, 2019 5:08 PM  

I was looking for variants of 'seems' such as 'in general' and 'most of'. As for this blog, with some exceptions, it's closer to 'birds of a feather'. The knowledge and wide ranging expertise of commenters here is very rewarding. You guys rock.

Blogger Matt December 08, 2019 5:21 PM  

Per hour probably isn't the best model, since it incentives fast rather than good writing. I'd make it monthly.

But either way, I'm interested to see how it turns out.

Blogger bodenlose Schweinerei December 08, 2019 5:26 PM  

It's a buffet, or cesspit, of gamma in those replies. Many a wall o' text and a whole heapin' helpin' of folks convinced they're the Super Smart Secret Kings around which the world revolves.

Interesting how many of these ultra-geniuses also complain about how broke they are.

Blogger Ariadne Umbrella December 08, 2019 5:42 PM  

I'd prefer a spelled-out price range. Being one of the "reduced circumstances" types, I can read magazines at the library, where I have the good sense to not mark up the pages. Online, it's always so hard to figure out what is the correct sort of exchange.

Like, for Mr, Day, here, I preferentially bought comic books for Christmas presents. The recipients were pleased. I was pleased that $10 on Amazon went to a publishing house that I am grateful exists, and that I could get presents for people for $3. Not buying $30 hardbounds is about like 'not buying a Mercedes.' I'm not upset that I can't afford a Mercedes, as there is another, far more affordable car available.

Assuming circumstances change, then I'd be in the market.

Mr. Unz publishes things completely unlike anything else on the web. He is not funded by billionaires. He should charge something for his work. It's valuable. It's disrespectful to not act as if it were valuable, and it's disrespectful to working people to pretend to be a trustafarian, with free.

Blogger Gregory the Tall December 08, 2019 6:12 PM  

Only liars say "to be brutally honest". And many believe them, e.g. Othello when he says "honest honest Iago".

Blogger Nostromo December 08, 2019 6:26 PM  

My vote is "I think..."

Blogger State Estimation December 08, 2019 6:31 PM  

My hypothesis is gamma tendencies are correlated with endocrine system dysfunction.

Blogger Pierre December 08, 2019 6:32 PM  

Making gammas pay the salary of the moderators that will ban them is simply beautiful. I love the idea.

Blogger Eric Waite December 08, 2019 6:38 PM  

Keyword: Puerile. It seems any boy who fits "puerile" into his working vocabulary must be a VERY SMART BOY indeed, and a much more thoughtful asset to Unz than all but 3 or 4 of the writers on the site.

Blogger damaris.tighe December 08, 2019 6:46 PM  

UNZ is very special, I am happy to pay for such a worthwhile site.

Blogger Jack Amok December 08, 2019 6:53 PM  

I say "seems" a lot. I'm not sure how to get around that but I'll give it a go.

The key is why a gamma says "seems." It's so they can then twist the other person's comment to fit their narrative. In this case, Unz is looking for a way to monetize, and perhaps reduce spam. The idiot gamma uses "seems" to imply Unz has a different motivation - to "censor" his readers. "Seems" is also a gamma retreat tactic. If the gamma's observation turns out to be false, he can hide behind the fact he didn't really say it was true, he only said it seemed to be that way.

So, to help break yourself of "seems", whenever you want to use it, ask yourself what you're really trying to say. If you think someone has made a mistake, say it. "Ron, I think it's a mistake for you to charge for commenting. The comments add a lot of value." That way, you're not recasting his words, and you're not leaving yourself a cowardly retreat.

Blogger Dan in Georgia December 08, 2019 6:55 PM  

Air quotes are big tells.

Unz should charge a sliding scale based on how annoying the comment is. If you end up with a $1000 charge on your MasterCard, reign it in a little.

Blogger urthshu December 08, 2019 7:04 PM  

I'm going to go ahead and admit that I hadn't been aware that there were any comments on the Unz pages.

Blogger Doktor Jeep December 08, 2019 7:14 PM  

It's fun trying to come up with a model for "Pay2Post". How would I do it if I were to create such a thing? Long
ago are the days being in conversations like that about video games.
Some things that come to my mind:
Ranked costs: give other paying users the ability to upvote or downvote a post and the more upvotes a commenter has, the cheaper it is to post. Downvotes make it more expensive. I would imagine that a troll or gamma would have to pay even more to troll and gamm.
Tiered membership: Using a military style "time in service time in grade" system with promotion linked to reputation puts you in a higher rank and discounts membership or posting costs.
Reputation: An upvotes-only based metric that weighs for or against promotion to a higher tier.

This topic would be boring to me if I were making games. But it's the same thing, creating a "system" and all that. I still can't get over the humor of this. How much would gammas pay to keep up their crap? How rich would one get off special interest groups that want to send shills? The later is even more interesting. If I was influential and had a P2P blog, and special interests wanted to send in shills to brigand my forums, vote others down, crowd people out of the tiers, etc., how much would they pay? What if I was a fake and did everything just to make money off special interests? How would the special interests know I was genuine or not? It's all very funny the more I think of it. Imagine if Pewdiepie took advantage of such a thing!
I'm sorry but for the sake of inglorious REEEE-inducing changes and the heinous money sink it would mean for leftist special interests on the internet, I would support any pay to poast model.

Blogger Dan Karelian December 08, 2019 7:15 PM  

How about the word 'seen' in the first paragraph, gamma projection?

Blogger MNW December 08, 2019 7:31 PM  

That crowd is going to have far more trolls and will not financially support what they are trolling.

The pros outweigh the cons

Blogger Marbella Agent December 08, 2019 7:56 PM  

"No one - literally no one - is primarily here to read the comments."

I've been reading here for about 10 years and this is maybe my fourth or fifth comment. No, I'm not here 'Primarily' to read the comments, but all the sites I used to read that turned of comments got promptly dropped.

I greatly value your take on things Vox, but the comment section is where the meat is chewed. Please don't drop it.

Blogger JamesB.BKK December 08, 2019 8:01 PM  

This "auction" sounds like what slowly then suddenly collapsed the long out- short borrow Dutch auction banking system ca. 2007-08. Highly efficient and as unstable.

Blogger JamesB.BKK December 08, 2019 8:02 PM  

It was in the close though.

Blogger JamesB.BKK December 08, 2019 8:03 PM  

Althouse in general has good comments.

Blogger JamesB.BKK December 08, 2019 8:27 PM  

"Seems" is a hedge, a weasel word. All types of people use it when they are obliged to be declarative but wish to allow the opening that their declaration is or could be wrong. It degrades clarity but is not otherwise a manipulation. Here it is used to restate what is going on to attack it, though at the end. I would agree its use is not definitive, but "key" is the test. "Thoughtful" is self-referential and complimentary even when purporting to be used on behalf of others (my selection). Restating the premise inaccurately and uncharitably with "you mean" and arguing that superseded any single word choice.

Blogger JamesB.BKK December 08, 2019 8:33 PM  

They go to where the action is, declare themselves to the action, and ruin the ambiance. Every stinking time.

Blogger Snidely Whiplash December 08, 2019 8:35 PM  

Ban the Brutal Truth!
Make 'em pay per word. You get 15 words per day free. After that, a penny a word. If you go over $10, you're automatically banned.

Blogger jarheadljh December 08, 2019 8:40 PM  

"Bonus project: identify the key word that gives away the commenter's SSH game."

Deliberately not reading comments for this one, I going to go with "puerile" because using a word that most people will have to look up makes him into a SmartBoy(TM).

Blogger Raker_T December 08, 2019 8:57 PM  

@94 Ouch. Me not like.

Blogger MidnightSun December 08, 2019 9:11 PM  

I read much and comment rarely. However comments are the most useful section of the blog because there we discern the truth from the lie. And henceforth can get a taste of what the world and its inhabitants are really like.

Blogger VFM #7634 December 08, 2019 10:11 PM  

One thing I have noticed over time is that only Gammas ever describe themselves as thoughtful.

It's one of those words that only counts if other people use it to describe you. As with Sigma.

Blogger Servant December 08, 2019 10:13 PM  

I think a combination of the currency one (comment bucks) and the sliding scale thing, but maybe the moderators only. So if they have to delete, two dings, and if they just find you cunty, one ding. Future comments cost more per ding. Maybe dings fall off, or you can even earn free comments with a positive side to the system.

Finally any complaint about a ding gets deleted and three more dings on top. Just absolute tyranny, no appeals.

Blogger Shane Bradman December 08, 2019 10:20 PM  

Another call is "Mr Unz". The attempt at sincerity reads as sarcastic and bitter. Just about everything The Gamma says is a gamma tell. They're that toxic.

Blogger Korbin Ransley December 08, 2019 10:20 PM  

@96 I heard of weaponized Autism but monetized Gamma. 8^)

Blogger furor kek tonicus ( according to the 13th Amendment, Slavery is neither Cruel nor Unusual: MSAGA ) December 08, 2019 10:22 PM  

speaking of remoras, we've got a new historical movie in which they removed half of the DWEMs from the story.

Blogger Snidely Whiplash December 08, 2019 10:58 PM  

Servant wrote:I think a combination of the currency one (comment bucks) and the sliding scale thing, but maybe the moderators only. So if they have to delete, two dings, and if they just find you cunty, one ding. Future comments cost more per ding. Maybe dings fall off, or you can even earn free comments with a positive side to the system.

No, seriously, I know the mods here. Nobody would last a week. Except maybe bob k. mando.

Blogger damaris.tighe December 09, 2019 1:11 AM  

Vox Day "One can always tell that a blog is going to be meandering, boring, pointless, and self-absorbed when it advertises itself as featuring "thoughtful commentary"
Oh no. I occasionally write feedback to students saying their work is "thoughtful". Now I'm really worried.

Blogger OvergrownHobbit December 09, 2019 2:44 AM  

Takimag does pay to see-and-read comments.

If you don't need the kind of cover required to publish people like David Cole, pay-to-comment (but free to read them) could be excellent value.

I would pay a nominal monthly fee to pay to comment here, and also at scifiwright and accordingtohoyt if they used a non-paypal or patreon processor.

Blogger SirHamster December 09, 2019 3:45 AM  

Some interesting parallels between paying to comment and other content delivery systems.

Postal service - put a stamp on your envelope.

Internet network packet delivery - sender pays. (If receiver paid, spammers would abuse the network)

Blogger VFM #7634 December 09, 2019 3:59 AM  


Gammas use it to describe themselves, not other people. Even in contexts where they're ostensibly referring to other people, as in the OP. You're obviously not referring to yourself when grading papers.

Blogger bodenlose Schweinerei December 09, 2019 4:54 AM  

@109 - And humble.

Blogger Servant December 09, 2019 6:21 AM  

I feel like vox wouldn't mind that really

Blogger Ricky Rari December 09, 2019 7:15 AM  

You always harp on about gammas but never the mothers who singlehandedly raised them, or their absentee fathers.

Blogger Mr.MantraMan December 09, 2019 7:36 AM  

All those very smart people who come here and don't read the comments but comment about not reading the comments should IMO at least skim the SSH threads.

Two things set VP apart from the con game of conservative hokum, advising the use of rhetoric instead of being yet another egotistical bow tied loser and the SSH theory.

Blogger tuberman December 09, 2019 8:33 AM  

The thing I noticed with the Unz article/interview with Vox was that one Gamma/Retard took over the comments. This guy is banned from here. Likely that most of the extremely destructive comments on Unz come from the same sort. The same Alt-Retards that were allowed to damage Gab. They are not the whole problem, but a good part.

VD's site won't suffer from getting rid of comments, as he and his Ilk are doers, not just talkers. Do it VD, get rid of all comments for a period, say several months. Report the results after the period.

Either that or go by who has supported projects in the past and currently as to who can post and how much.

Blogger dc.sunsets December 09, 2019 8:46 AM  

Is there a modal difference between those whose on-line writing is mainstream vs those who speak to Nock's Remnant? I suspect so.

If so, then who/whom? Who benefits more from whom? Let's not imagine that writers get nothing from their self-created platform. The VoxDay, Inc. approach to modern communication (where freely-disseminated blog articles act as a driftnet, fishing for the rarer catch-of-the-day, which is a paying subscriber) is clearly the current mode of for-profit communication. Unfortunately, this comes as at a the most precious of all possessions: time.

Idea merchants predated the Internet, doing so on subscription or donation support models. Perusing "free" content is a time-sink, and for people like me, a vice in need of constant suppression. Given that I see the Internet as primarily a vast enabler of vice, connecting real $ to its use (in every aspect) promises to reduce the self-harm people do with it.

Ending "free content" on the Web would be like ending legal gambling, legal weed, legal porn, legal other words, it would place the collective back on the road to HELPING individuals avoid self-harm instead of actively enabling it. Who is worse, the pusher or the addict, the person who struggles with a weakness or the one who monetizes it?

Blogger Alexamenos December 09, 2019 9:08 AM  

I'd pay $1 per hour for free apeech.

Blogger JamesB.BKK December 09, 2019 9:08 AM  

But the Gamma male can change his pattern of behavior.

A man's got to stand on his own two legs. [sometimes figuratively, defects and all]

Blogger Mr.MantraMan December 09, 2019 9:09 AM  

Bill Lind's blog comments has been infested by the gamma virus. I suggest he close the comments even with the loss of my genius derived commentary, gammas ruin everything.

Blogger JamesB.BKK December 09, 2019 9:17 AM  

I'd pay $1 per hour for free speech

It's necessarily word or character and not time based no? I suppose it could be a purchase of a block of time that includes drafting time to make for economy of words. But there should be discounts and premiums based on feedback from others including hosts and mods though where from other commenters factions would arise.

Blogger Gregory the Tall December 09, 2019 9:18 AM  

It seems brutal honesty does not count among our readers anymore as thoughtful commenters are more and more driven out by the puerile rants of fourth class writers.

Blogger Jim December 09, 2019 9:56 AM  

I'm more curious as to how successful that model will be when Dissenter is also an option.

Blogger Owen December 09, 2019 2:58 PM  

Good one. Thoughtful is another good tell, in addition to the more common “seems “

Blogger damaris.tighe December 09, 2019 7:56 PM  

VFM #7634 wrote:@damaris.tighe

Gammas use it to describe themselves, not other people. Even in contexts where they're ostensibly referring to other people, as in the OP. You're obviously not referring to yourself when grading papers.

I have an acquaintance who refers to HIMSELF as the "best husband and father anyone could have"! another descriptor best left to other people to apply.

Blogger Terrific December 11, 2019 11:45 AM  

I enjoy scanning through the comments, searching for the few gems there might be and finding them definitely enriches my reading experience. I also enjoy occasionally dropping my own pearls of wisdom or turds of reality, just because. Thanks for letting me. I try not to abuse the privilege.

But I can safely say I DO NOT read this blog for the comments.

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