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View Full Version : The obnoxious paradox



sufi
23-02-2006, 09:36 AM
Something kind of triggered by Buick6 thread, and by Buick themself - our token/pet irritant on dissensus, as well as observations of other discussion boards. It seems like some of the most stimulating posts are by posters who tread a very fine line between 'trolling' and raising issues that people feel the need to comment on - often i reckon by playing a devil's advocate role, posting views that they may well repudiate in 'real life'.
Sometimes if a thread is not started with a controversial, even confrontational post, then it doesn't elicit much response, but those posters who are most obnoxious can paradoxically be most productive in terms of stimulating discussion. Sometimes not of course, Buick's threads are good examples of both tendency i guess,

i think this concept rolls out across other media too, nowadays i reckon there's a strong trend particularly in advertising to get attention simply by being a wind-up - an easy and fairly innocuous example is the crazy frog, but i'm sure there are other adverts that i don't even want to think about.

looking deeper, we can easily apply the idea to many political/PR events, exploring the boundaries of PC is a common wind-up these days, where politicians play empty but inflammatory gestures to the slavering media....

thoughts?

bassnation
23-02-2006, 09:45 AM
Something kind of triggered by Buick6 thread, and by Buick themself - our token/pet irritant on dissensus, as well as observations of other discussion boards. It seems like some of the most stimulating posts are by posters who tread a very fine line between 'trolling' and raising issues that people feel the need to comment on - often i reckon by playing a devil's advocate role, posting views that they may well repudiate in 'real life'.

it reminds me mitochrondria in cells, which is basically bacteria living inside the host and doing a useful job - but the cell needs to keep it in check just in case they revert to form and become dangerous. maybe stretching the analogy slightly too far but there you go.

i think you need "irritants" to challenge complacency and the kind of laziness that comes from only debating issues with others who share the same viewpoint.

aside from this, one of the things i find stimulating about dissensus is the fact that its a truly international forum. before i had only been on uk forums and you kind of take it for granted as a brit that people share common views - its refreshing to see other peoples perspectives from around the world - i've learned a fair bit from some of these debates.

occasionally forums will eject combatants when things become too heated, but thats part of the natural order too.

droid
23-02-2006, 09:47 AM
Its true to some extent - and theres nothing bad about controversial or challenging posts - if they're followed up with some actual discussion by the original poster... (lack of which is usually the sign of genuine trolling) - its the engagement after the 'wind up' that leads to fruitful discussion IMO

I do object to mindless accusations of anti-semetism and 'Jew envy', constant 'cooler than thou' posing and posturing, lack of responses to valid arguments, and ignorant/arrogant assumptions about fellow users...

But I guess it takes all sorts... :cool:

IdleRich
23-02-2006, 10:10 AM
lack of responses to valid arguments, and ignorant/arrogant assumptions about fellow users

I think you're right. If you're insulting people or whatever then the onus is on you to argue your points not just shout them.

zhao
23-02-2006, 10:11 AM
hmmm... wonder if you had that AIDS thread in mind... just to be clear, it really was/is something on my mind, and not just trying to be controversial... so any obnoxiousness is accidental (posts about indie-rock excepted).

polystyle desu
23-02-2006, 02:57 PM
I hear that Sufi ,
obnoxious a fine choice of words there.
The 'Devils advocate' position as you put it makes the 'ob' more interesting though ,
made me think about the whole thing - saying something you don't really believe yourself , just to stir comments /argument ... hmmm .
Experiencing windups , *uckups and whatever else on the streets daily and then getting them online too
was / is often too tiring to spend time and energy on , but if it moves the debate and Board intel forward then can be useful.

Also hear Bassnation re: cells too , maintaining a balance.
Probably like many here and anywhere , when one hears statements about genres and generalizing 'about the Board',
I can find myself becoming irritated by it or start to glaze and move on to look for something , anything more personally interesting .

Seconding the international aspect too , seemed there used to be more tension but now that it seems to be past that stage (evolution / growth of the 'cell' /organism ?) .
I can recall a distinct feeling of 'ok, this is a UK thing and Americans are going to get snuffed here ,
but I met Matt and that led me here and so dammit , I'm staying '
This stage of dev sure beats so many other Boards I have been on ...
Cheers all

bassnation
23-02-2006, 03:12 PM
hmmm... wonder if you had that AIDS thread in mind... just to be clear, it really was/is something on my mind, and not just trying to be controversial... so any obnoxiousness is accidental (posts about indie-rock excepted).

i don't think you were obnoxious at all, in fact i'd say the opposite. people disagreed, but didn't think you were trolling or trying to forment disharmony.

john eden
23-02-2006, 03:17 PM
i don't think you were obnoxious at all, in fact i'd say the opposite. people disagreed, but didn't think you were trolling or trying to forment disharmony.

Yeah I think c came across as genuine and I was more worried by everyone else (myself included) laying into him/her tbh.

zhao
23-02-2006, 04:49 PM
thanks for saying that... (wipes tear from eye)

no seriously. thanks.

infinite thought
23-02-2006, 05:45 PM
I look forward to the dissensus thread in which someone says something completely indefensible, and then everyone apologises to them for being 'mean'.

Oh, wait....

john eden
23-02-2006, 06:36 PM
I look forward to the dissensus thread in which someone says something completely indefensible, and then everyone apologies to them for being 'mean'.

Oh wait....

Not THAT worried! :rolleyes:

sufi
23-02-2006, 09:18 PM
yeah i think i tend to kick off threads that i don't return to - that's a bad habit.
& yeah that thread did cross my mind when i posted actually confucius but i wasnt't thinking particularly you were on a wind-up


I can recall a distinct feeling of 'ok, this is a UK thing and Americans are going to get snuffed here , that sucks desu, but i can imagine why you felt like that i guess :(

what vexes me more is when being inflammatory is just like a substitute for content, like a sort of cover for mediocrity - this phenomenon more in the outside world than in dissensusland tho tbh

bassnation
26-02-2006, 10:32 AM
I look forward to the dissensus thread in which someone says something completely indefensible, and then everyone apologises to them for being 'mean'.

Oh, wait....

thats brits for you ;)

i just don't seem to have it in me to tear people to shreds on net groups anymore. rational discussion is fine, of course - and i think we more than refuted the claims that were made.

stelfox
15-03-2006, 09:54 AM
i am pretty certain buick6 is a student at lampeter university in south wales and was brought up in the home counties as part of a well-to-do upper-middle-class family and has never even been to australia.

personally, i like a bloody good row. myself and marcus the other week, for example. seriously disagreeing about things is not disrespectful and is definitely not something to ever apologise for, provided it doesn't involve threats of violence or personal insults. i do find some of the "keep it nice at all costs" attitude here a bit silly at times, because we're discussing important stuff that people have every right to have passionate reactions to. it also seems that a lot of the political and philosophical debate/diktats posted here is/are quite at odds with this idea of egalitarian inclusivity, coming from an extremely rareified, intellectually authoritarian elitist/paternalistic standpoint.

bruno
15-03-2006, 05:51 PM
i've only just reared my head in again, but even a cursory look at threads shows a level of animosity to different opinions that i find very UN-british. almost communist!

what did buick6 do, deny the holocaust? and even if he did, why is it so hard to engage him taking into account everything he's posted, perhaps recognising in him a healthy source of polemic?

and the way people have started bashing craner, for example, who is a moderate and intelligent provocateur. it's disheartening.

i would recommend more humour and less outrage.

bruno
15-03-2006, 06:22 PM
Something kind of triggered by Buick6 thread, and by Buick themself - our token/pet irritant on dissensus, as well as observations of other discussion boards. It seems like some of the most stimulating posts are by posters who tread a very fine line between 'trolling' and raising issues that people feel the need to comment on - often i reckon by playing a devil's advocate role, posting views that they may well repudiate in 'real life'.
Sometimes if a thread is not started with a controversial, even confrontational post, then it doesn't elicit much response, but those posters who are most obnoxious can paradoxically be most productive in terms of stimulating discussion. Sometimes not of course, Buick's threads are good examples of both tendency i guess,

i think this concept rolls out across other media too, nowadays i reckon there's a strong trend particularly in advertising to get attention simply by being a wind-up - an easy and fairly innocuous example is the crazy frog, but i'm sure there are other adverts that i don't even want to think about.

looking deeper, we can easily apply the idea to many political/PR events, exploring the boundaries of PC is a common wind-up these days, where politicians play empty but inflammatory gestures to the slavering media....

thoughts?

i think a reasoned approach to things can embrace reactionary obnoxiousness and outraged progressive obnoxiousness at the same time, while not taking oneself too seriously either.

as long as extremes don't threaten to hijack their host they should be encouraged, if only to be demolished in reasoned argument. but also to be listened to. i think when you proscribe or take away outlets for these voices they only become more resentful and insidious in the future.

btw i'm speaking from the point of view of a society that has experienced massive unrest in the past and appreciates moderation. i think you can be moderate and have a love for occasional disruption at the same time.

bassnation
15-03-2006, 07:27 PM
personally, i like a bloody good row. myself and marcus the other week, for example. seriously disagreeing about things is not disrespectful and is definitely not something to ever apologise for, provided it doesn't involve threats of violence or personal insults. i do find some of the "keep it nice at all costs" attitude here a bit silly at times, because we're discussing important stuff that people have every right to have passionate reactions to. it also seems that a lot of the political and philosophical debate/diktats posted here is/are quite at odds with this idea of egalitarian inclusivity, coming from an extremely rareified, intellectually authoritarian elitist/paternalistic standpoint.

"keeping it nice at all costs" does not mean that you can't disagree. its just when it becomes personal as you said, which seemed to happening more frequently e.g. you don't like being called a twat because you don't like dubstep, do you?

also there is a propensity on here of everyone piling in when someone looks weak, with no specific points being debated when people flame - i fail to see what is so robust and admirable about that. seems like the easy option to me and its not one i'm going to take.

it goes without saying that i can be as passionate as anyone else when its something that matters - its just that i've seen forums become totally dominated by aggressive gladatorial people and personally i can't be arsed with that style any more.

i agree with the elitest paternalistic thing though.

mms
15-03-2006, 08:00 PM
i am pretty certain buick6 is a student at lampeter university in south wales and was brought up in the home counties as part of a well-to-do upper-middle-class family and has never even been to australia.

personally, i like a bloody good row. myself and marcus the other week, for example. seriously disagreeing about things is not disrespectful and is definitely not something to ever apologise for, provided it doesn't involve threats of violence or personal insults. i do find some of the "keep it nice at all costs" attitude here a bit silly at times, because we're discussing important stuff that people have every right to have passionate reactions to. it also seems that a lot of the political and philosophical debate/diktats posted here is/are quite at odds with this idea of egalitarian inclusivity, coming from an extremely rareified, intellectually authoritarian elitist/paternalistic standpoint.

Your're right, i think it is good too, we disagreed but it seemed it was good for actually honing and creating a reasoned debate rather than complacently following the status quo, or just talking because you are a bit bored. it was good to hear people like bassnation and Finney talk as well, we come from different angles but there are places where ideas, value judgements and aesthetics cross, and those are as interesting as the places where they don't but you don't know that shit till you dig in there.

As far as philosophy goes, i think mark k-punk is the master at keeping everything at an understandable level (his teaching comes out here as a reasoning skill imo). Other threads seem to be a bit one up or downwardmanish and the concentration of philosophical figures like totems seems to be missing the point of both philosophy and debate, often reaching into aesthetics.
Arguements shouldn't ever turn into 'well i clearly have more depth of knowledge on this subject than you ' as most of us aren't academics but we're smart enough to 'get ' what's going on if we are let in to it.The real quality of philosophy is being able to apply models and ideas to situations rather than just letting everyone know you know you've read a lot of books.

stelfox
15-03-2006, 10:09 PM
well, marc, i think the key thing in the argument the other day is that we all stuck around and kept it going until everything was pretty well hashed out. as a result, while we didn't come out agreeing (and what's the point in that anyway, the board ain't called consensus), it did all begin to make sense and we all got to appreciate where each other was/is coming from. that's a good, constructive discussion to me.

i don't like viciousness or people calling each other names and really dislike bitching, backbiting and bullying, but i do like a good ballsy discussion that goes somewhere. that particular thread was a bit of a weird one because it all looked a lot harsher in print than it would have sounded if spoken - say we were talking about the same things in a pub, i'd have got up halfway through and bought marcus a beer and then come back and carried on arguing just as trenchantly.

the crucial thing to remember on messageboards is that anything typed hits harder than it would in conversation (and a lot of people see it, too).

of course, i don't want this place to turn into ilm at its worst, but there is room to fight a corner sometimes and do it without saying sorry or littering points with winking emoticons etc.

the thing that strikes me as funny is that the musical discussions are so excrutiatingly polite, when plenty of the political and philosphical discussions are so dictatorial and mental. oh and, by the way, i've been told that there are many more valid reasons to accuse me of being a twat than my musical tastes anyway, so that doesn't really bother me at all, it just strikes me as a bit of a waste of time and effort.

anyway, where's k-punk? i want to talk to him about why hip-hop is the best and most important thing in the modern world...

gumdrops
16-03-2006, 02:31 PM
anyway, where's k-punk? i want to talk to him about why hip-hop is the best and most important thing in the modern world...

id dearly love to hear why

Omaar
23-03-2006, 07:58 AM
James Sturcke
Wednesday March 22, 2006

A landmark legal ruling ordering a woman to pay 10,000 in damages for defamatory comments posted on an internet chatroom site could trigger a rush of similar lawsuits, a leading libel lawyer warned today.

Michael Smith, a Ukip activist who stood for the Portsmouth North seat last year, became the first person to win damages yesterday after being accused of being a "sex offender" and "racist blogger" on a Yahoo! discussion site.....

Article Link (http://technology.guardian.co.uk/news/story/0,,1737001,00.html)

matt b
23-03-2006, 10:23 AM
Article Link (http://technology.guardian.co.uk/news/story/0,,1737001,00.html)

we best all refrain from calling padraig a cunt then

droid
23-03-2006, 11:44 AM
No - thats fine. :D

bassnation
24-03-2006, 03:39 PM
No - thats fine. :D

donning my killjoy hat, its not acceptable to insult someone - as much as he irritates me.

i actually flamed his arse responding to his thread ranting about complacency- but then thought better of it and deleted the post. life is too short.

droid
24-03-2006, 05:53 PM
donning my killjoy hat, its not acceptable to insult someone - as much as he irritates me.

i actually flamed his arse responding to his thread ranting about complacency- but then thought better of it and deleted the post. life is too short.

Your flame was grand, and totally justified (you shouldve left it IMO) - and I was (obviously) joking there :) . Ive only seen about 3 genuine ad homenim attacks on here, and I dont think any of the regulars are going to start indulging...

Padraig
24-03-2006, 08:52 PM
we best all refrain from calling padraig a cunt then

Your politically-correct Superego is repressing your Id? Psychoanalysts would certainly be very impressed - so let's perpetuate the pretence ...


Originally Posted by Omaar
Have you got a reference or a link? Cheers.

See below.


Originally Posted by bassnation

i actually flamed his arse ... but then thought better of it and deleted the post.

Iron discipline on display there, bassnation. Congratulations!


Emotional [Droid] Zombie: Your flame was grand, and totally justified (you shouldve left it IMO) .

Have you got a reference or a link for that? Cheers!

http://www.mediaright.ca/pics/brian.jpg

"What is the great Amercican sin? Extravagance? Vice? Graft? No; it is a kind of half-humorous, good-natured indifference, a lack of "concentrated indignation" as my English friend calls it, which allows extravagance and vice to flourish. Trace most of our ills to their source, and it is found that they exist by virtue of an easy-going, fatalistic indifference which dislikes to have its comfort disturbed....The most shameless greed, the most sickening industrial atrocities, the most appalling public scandals are exposed, but a half-cynical and wholly indifferent public passes them by with hardly a shrug of the shoulders; and they are lost in the medley of events. This is the great American sin.": Joseph Fort Newman, Atlantic Monthly, October 1922

matt b
27-03-2006, 11:36 AM
Your politically-correct Superego is repressing your Id?

ooof.

should i now post this information on the 'what ails you?' thread?

bassnation
27-03-2006, 02:34 PM
Iron discipline on display there, bassnation. Congratulations!

was talking about you, not to you. like i said, i don't have the time to read twenty pages of densely typed adolescent gibberish.

Padraig
27-03-2006, 06:02 PM
was talking about you, not to you.

Then take your pathetic ravings off this forum and into private E-mail [was talking to you, not about you].


like i said, i don't have the time to read twenty pages of densely typed adolescent gibberish.

But you've plenty of time to write it ...

droid
28-03-2006, 02:34 PM
Any chance of a ait of:

http://www.forumspile.com/Thread-Crap-Lock.jpg

?