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There we go again.

This is a discussion on There we go again. within the General Discussions forums, part of the Community Boards category; Originally Posted by Prelude Be careful what you say. Because you're a moderator, and thus in a position of power ...

  1. #106
    the hat of redundancy hat nvoigt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Prelude View Post
    Be careful what you say. Because you're a moderator, and thus in a position of power and influence, those comments can't be construed as levity. Words that are innocent and entertaining when spoken by non-moderators magically become veiled threats and confirmation of ill intent when spoken by a mod.

    Well, if it's still perceived as veiled threats, I should practice my threatening voice. Germans were pretty threatening screaming and driveling in b/w and creaky sound. Maybe I'll try that next

    Okay, jokes aside, a mods job is to decide. To decide who is right and who is wrong in the context of the community. And we're not King Solomon so at least one participient will always feel he was deemed "wrong" and be unhappy. Even if there is no right or wrong side, no black and white. Most interpersonal communication is quite gray, even on the internet. And while it would be cool to instantly jump into a discussion when something offensive happens for the first time, it doesn't work that way. A mod probably comes in after sombebody else mentioned the thread as offensive, so the offenders are already 5-20 posts further along their path to a full blown flamewar. When we see something, we can say "hey, wait, don't do this again, or else...". But if that was 20 posts ago, I would feel pretty idiotic to say "hey, wait, don't do this another 15 times, or else...". Sometimes, the thread is too far gone to send a warning just like I wouldn't expect an officer to fire a warning shot if somebody killed 15 people and is aiming at #16.
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  2. #107
    (?<!re)tired Mario F.'s Avatar
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    Hmm... I'm sure you should realize by now that analogy doesn't make much sense. For starters, to my knowledge police officers are always instructed to shout at least one arrest order. But mostly, I'll agree to that analogy when an actual crime is committed on these boards (knock on wood!).

    Anyways, no chance for this?

    Quote Originally Posted by Capital M Moderator
    Hey! What the heck? This thread has gone way of the mark. Read rules #, # and # on the Forum Guidelines, to know why. If this behavior doesn't stop immediately, I'll close this thread. Do not answer this post. Just consider yourselves warned."
    I'm sure you can see the value in that.
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    Originally Posted by brewbuck:
    Reimplementing a large system in another language to get a 25% performance boost is nonsense. It would be cheaper to just get a computer which is 25% faster.

  3. #108
    spurious conceit MK27's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by grumpy View Post
    You are mistaking the concepts.

    Anarchy actually refers to a state of society without government or rule of law (where law is a body of principles and rules that are applicable to all members of a community).
    Nope. "Ana" from the greek means "against" and/or "without", depending on context. "Arch" refers to ruler. Anarchy refers to a form of political organization which eschews leadership and rulers. Not rules. And anarchist groups are more likely than hierarchical groups to truly have "a body of principles and rules that are applicable to all members of a community" because there is no hierarchy among the members allowing a rule to apply to one person but not another.

    That's what it literally means. It also has a concrete history going back centuries, of which you appear to know absolutely nothing.

    The pessimist's view of anarchy is a lack of government, with a fragile state of cooperation, and the society exhibits chaotic behaviour if enough individuals choose not to cooperate with others. The realist's view of anarchy is somewhere between those.
    These are all conjectural -- they refer to what you may think a theoretical anarchist society might be like if such a thing existed, but presumes it does not, because there is no need for conjecture about what really existing things "might" be like.

    Since there are real anarchist communities and organizations in the world, your conjecture is meaningless (even that of supposed "realist"). Empirically, it can be observed that anarchists do follow rules and are organized. No grand conjecture needed. I often criticize religion, but when I do it, I at least make reference to the actual behavior of real religious people.

    The pejorative and inaccurate use of the term "anarchy" floated by people who's political experience mostly takes place in an armchair in front of a TV is just that. I could teach my children that US Republicans eat babies for breakfast. The fact that they might believe me does not make it true.

    I am not questioning the value of what you refer to as "the pessimists view", however, that is not a view of anarchism, it is a view of a society which "exhibits chaotic behaviour if enough individuals choose not to cooperate with others". I think it is worth noting that anarchism requires cooperation -- without sufficient cooperation, you do not have anarchy, you have chaos. Chaos does not equate with anarchy, and using it that way is just about political spin and slander. If I hear of someone eating babies and say, "This is what the US Republicans have brought us to, everyone knows that is what they are advocating", I think it would be fair to say I am employing spin and slander. Same thing.

    You are also mixing up the concepts of leadership and domination. Leadership is not about forcing one's will upon others - it is about having attributes that others are willing to follow through informed choice. Domination is about forcing one's will on others.
    Sure there are good leaders and bad leaders. However, I do not see how one person can force one's will on another if you are equals -- you have to be in a position of power, whether it is one you take by force or one given to you because of the "informed choice" of others. Hitler was a leader in both ways at different times, but IMO at least, always a bad one. Anarchism does not allow for one individual or group of individuals within the community to take power (by any means) and wield it, hence the kind of domination you are talking about would be considered illegal and dealt with by the community appropriately.

    It is important to understand that there is no such thing as an "Anarchist Nation" that holds dominion over its subject. Anarchists communities are voluntary. If you do not agree with or cannot abide by the tenants of anarchism and the community, then you do not have to participate.

    Anarchy does not prevent leaders arising (although, when that happens, the society may become something other than an anarchy)
    Yes, it does. That is what it is by definition. As you admit, theoretical despots that may rise up out of anarchist communities would not any longer be members of an anarchist community. Their despotism would be taking place in society at large, not within an anarchist context. Of course, this is still very conjectural, because AFAIK, no (former) anarchist has ever done such a thing anyway.

    Going back to my example about the "anarchistic" side of cboard: beyond webmaster, there is no mechanism to allow anyone to seize power or attain leadership at present. By not allowing it, we prevent it. That is also how anarchism works.

    an anarchy, dominators (or dictators) often become firmly entrenched, because there is no systematic way to remove them.
    Again, you are talking about some theoretical state that does not exist. Eg, Somalia is not a homogeneous anarchist state. It is just a state without a central authority, and various warring despots. Ie, it is heterogeneous and chaotic.

    WRT to the anarchist communities that do exist, as I've said repeatedly, these do have systematic means of removing would-be dictators. However, again, if your political experience is imparted to you solely via the mass media, this might have escaped your attention. But having an entrenched opinion on something completely off your map does not make you informed -- it makes you ignorant. By definition.

    But the rules at any point in time in an anarchy are determined by who is strong enough to defend or enforce their chosen rules, or who can persuade or force others to enforce those rules. An anarchy does not offer any consistency of rules, orderly evolution of rules, or even any attempt to treat individuals fairly. It only guarantees that the rules will be chosen by the strongest or the most influential, without any checks or balances associated with other types of society.
    Again, you are speaking of something you are completely ignorant of; no actual anarchist community has ever operated that way. Previous to the modern age, "anarchy" in colloquial English may often have been used as a synonym for chaos. Very likely, this conflation was natural to people fiercely committed to their rulers, people who could not imagine getting along with out them.

    But that usage become apocryphal during the 18th century, when actual anarchists came into being. You will not find a reference to anarchists previous to that because there were not any. Since then, people on the political right have often resurrected the apocryphal usage in order to create the impression that there is some group of wacko leftists -- the anarchists, who do really exist, and are often very critical of the hegemonic right -- who's goal is to bring society to a state of chaos. Which has never been true. But telling the truth is not always high on everyone's political agenda.

    At the very least, people who call themselves "anarchists" and advocate social chaos are A) a self fulfilling prophecy of the hegemonic right, and B) a rare exception*. I'd also guess: not part of any collective. The vast majority of anarchists do not promote chaos. This is sort of like cyber crime "hackers". Most people and organizations who call themselves hackers are not criminals.

    * The hegemonic right would like to convince you these exceptions are a representative norm, because of course everyone on the left is some form of wacko, from who's chaotic tenancies all decent people need protection.

    Unlike an anarchy, other forms of society attempt to guarantee some consistency of rules and orderly transition of rules
    Over and over again: there is nothing about the philosophy of anarchism which rejects rules or consistency. In fact, that would be oxymoronic, since it literally means, no leaders. A consistent rule.

    There are plenty of books by and about anarchists, grumpy. I assume either you are unaware of this or you have choosen to ignore this and make yourself the authority. The later is an attempt to edit/re-write history and a dismal standpoint epistemologically; if I decide knowledge is whatever I want to believe and completely eschew empiricism, what does that knowledge reflect? The world, or just me?

    What you describe here is not anarchy (although it is what idealists claim anarchy to be). It is actually a form of democracy.
    Yes, grumpy, in real life anarchism is pretty much always a form of direct democracy, and very often operates by consensus (100%) and not majority (51%). Meaning it is more democratic than most citizens of modern "democracies" can wrap their head around (because, of course, our society is already perfect and so anything that is not exactly the same must be flawed).
    Last edited by MK27; 09-23-2011 at 09:53 AM.
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    Current ISO draft standard
    CCAN -- new CPAN like open source library repository
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    cpwiki -- our wiki on sourceforge

  4. #109
    Master Apprentice phantomotap's Avatar
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    "Ana" from the greek means "against" and/or "without", depending on context. "Arch" refers to ruler.
    O_o

    Look at the way "Spouse" is written in Japanese or antiquated variations of "Quarrel" in Chinese.

    The components of a word don't always add up so literally as you are implying.

    I actually agree with your interpretation of anarchy, but talking about the etymology is a bloody poor way to defend your view.

    Soma
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  5. #110
    (?<!re)tired Mario F.'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MK27 View Post
    Yes, grumpy, in real life anarchism is pretty much always a form of direct democracy, and very often operates by consensus (100%) and not majority (51%).
    And you don't see a problem with this?

    Quote Originally Posted by MK27 View Post
    Meaning it is more democratic than most citizens of modern "democracies" can wrap their head around
    Being you someone who spent most part of his post accusing someone else of ignorance of your ideological beliefs, it doesn't surprise me it didn't take you too long to reveal your own ignorance about what other political ideologies actually mean. Such is how it usually goes.

    I'd like also to hear about what anarchist societies have emerged starting with the 18th century. I'm dying to understand what's this amazing fact of history I've been missing all these years.
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    Originally Posted by brewbuck:
    Reimplementing a large system in another language to get a 25% performance boost is nonsense. It would be cheaper to just get a computer which is 25% faster.

  6. #111
    spurious conceit MK27's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by phantomotap View Post
    I actually agree with your interpretation of anarchy, but talking about the etymology is a bloody poor way to defend your view.
    I brought up the etymology because I think it is fundamental to understanding where anarchists came from and why they would choose to call themselves that.

    You are right, pure etymology or semantics is not much of a "defense" of anything. But it can shed light on who said what when and why.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mario F. View Post
    And you don't see a problem with this [consensus democracy]?
    I do not think it would work in a nation state, where citizenship is compulsory and not voluntary. But I do not think an anarchist nation state is possible -- even if it worked by simple majority. You cannot force people to accept anarchism. It is something which must be choosen.

    Which is probably why consensus works well in the situations (anarchist or otherwise) I've seen it deployed, tho most people (including myself) consider it absurd at first. This is pretty much a cliche amongst advocates of consensus ("Yeah, I thought it was the dumbest idea I'd ever heard. Then I gave it a chance..."). What happens is this: you have one person in 20 who repeatedly stands in the way. Eventually, such people recognize they are wasting their own time at least as much as everyone else's, and they quietly disappear. I've never heard of such a person wanting to stick around and just blatantly play the saboteur publicly, but maybe it has happened somewhere.

    Nb, just because you need 100% agreement (consensus) on decisions that will affect everyone does not mean everyone has to agree about everything.

    My jury is out about how well direct democracy (separate concept) could work in a nation state.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mario F. View Post
    I'd like also to hear about what anarchist societies have emerged starting with the 18th century. I'm dying to understand what's this amazing fact of history I've been missing all these years.
    Kind of surprised to see you asking a LMGTFY type question.

    History of anarchism - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    According to which it would seem there were anarchist collectives prior to the 18th century, but I'm sticking with the clear-cut explicitly (not just implicitly) Anarchist.
    Last edited by MK27; 09-23-2011 at 10:23 AM.
    C programming resources:
    GNU C Function and Macro Index -- glibc reference manual
    The C Book -- nice online learner guide
    Current ISO draft standard
    CCAN -- new CPAN like open source library repository
    3 (different) GNU debugger tutorials: #1 -- #2 -- #3
    cpwiki -- our wiki on sourceforge

  7. #112
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    Quote Originally Posted by MK27 View Post
    That's what it literally means. It also has a concrete history going back centuries, of which you appear to know absolutely nothing.
    I am aware of that history (or, more precisely, the derivation of the word). What you are neglecting is that, although english words are derived from words in other languages (greek in this case), the english words do not mean precisely the same as the words from which they are derived.

    The word "anarchy", as it has been used in the english language for some centuries, has the meaning I described. Granted, your description captures the derivation of the word "anarchy". But, given that I was writing in a modern english rather than in ancient greek, the definition I gave is one that may be found in any current and reasonably comprehensive english language dictionary.

    I wrote in english, not in greek, so I will concede my argument may not seem quite right if my words were translated literally into greek.

    Quote Originally Posted by MK27 View Post
    Sure there are good leaders and bad leaders. However, I do not see how one person can force one's will on another if you are equals -- you have to be in a position of power, whether it is one you take by force or one given to you because of the "informed choice" of others.
    A large part of political theory is concerned with progressing towards a desired end-state that is resisted by a number of your ostensible equals.

    Quote Originally Posted by MK27 View Post
    Again, you are speaking of something you are completely ignorant of. Previous to the modern age, "anarchy" was in colloquial English, often a synonym for chaos. Very likely, this conflation was natural to people fiercely committed to their rulers, people who could not imagine getting along with out them.
    No, you are deeming me ignorant based on the fact I am not using the same modes of expression that you are. So I can justifiably accuse you of as much ignorance as you accuse me. Pot, kettle, black, and all that.

    Quote Originally Posted by MK27 View Post
    There are many well known and definitive books by and about anarchists, grumpy. I assume either you are unaware of this or you have choosen to ignore this and make yourself the authority. The later is a dismal standpoint epistemologically; if I decide knowledge is whatever I want to believe and completely eschew empiricism, what does that knowledge reflect? The world, or just me?
    If I was to decide knowledge is only what I can observe empirically, and can only be expressed with reference to a particular historical context, what would that knowledge reflect?
    Right 98% of the time, and don't care about the other 3%.

    If I seem grumpy in reply to you, it is likely you deserve it. Suck it up, sunshine, and read this, this, and this before posting again.

  8. #113
    spurious conceit MK27's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by grumpy View Post
    I am aware of that history (or, more precisely, the derivation of the word). [...] The word "anarchy", as it has been used in the english language for some centuries, [...] I wrote in english, not in greek, so I will concede my argument may not seem quite right if my words were translated literally into greek.
    Quote Originally Posted by MK27 View Post
    I brought up the etymology because I think it is fundamental to understanding where anarchists came from and why they would choose to call themselves that.

    You are right, pure etymology or semantics is not much of a "defense" of anything. But it can shed light on who said what when and why.
    Quote Originally Posted by MK27
    Previous to the modern age, "anarchy" in colloquial English may often have been used as a synonym for chaos. Very likely, this conflation was natural to people fiercely committed to their rulers, people who could not imagine getting along with out them.

    But that usage become apocryphal during the 18th century, when actual anarchists came into being.
    Quote Originally Posted by grumpy
    A large part of political theory is concerned with progressing towards a desired end-state
    I'm not against this ideal (progress), but I'm skeptical of how it is defined and understood, which is part of why I would call myself an anarchist. A major significance of anarchism in the 19th and early 20th century was that it was taken up by people who dissented inside communist groups (who were very much about proceeding toward a "desired end state"). Some leftist-marxist types (the anarchists) said this was too crass an application of dialectical materialism and pointed out it would most likely lead to one lousy system replacing another, which turned out to be mostly true. Because of this history, communist regimes are extremely intolerant of anarchists and consider them dangerous opponents to be weeded out and eradicated.

    I suppose I don't see that as progress toward a desirable end state, maybe you have some other version.

    If I was to decide knowledge is only what I can observe empirically, and can only be expressed with reference to a particular historical context, what would that knowledge reflect?
    If the other choice is "whatever pie in the sky party goes on between my ears", I'll settle for the empirical.

    Again, the big issue here is your desire to conflate anarchy with chaos. The only reason I see to do this is because you want to align yourself with a tradition whereby human beings are naturally inclined to destructiveness (might be so!) and the only way to restrain this ungodly chaotic nature is a strong hierarchical hegemony of Rulers (not so).

    You are entitled to disagree with the philosophy of anarchism. Unfortunately, you have chosen to do it by attacking a textbook straw dog.
    C programming resources:
    GNU C Function and Macro Index -- glibc reference manual
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    Current ISO draft standard
    CCAN -- new CPAN like open source library repository
    3 (different) GNU debugger tutorials: #1 -- #2 -- #3
    cpwiki -- our wiki on sourceforge

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    it seems to me that you're getting off topic a bit.

    this was a discussion of heavy-handed tactics by forum moderators, and you've turned it into a discussion of the history and effects of anarchy in general.

    I can certainly appreciate the merits of BOTH discussions, although one is relevant to the original subject of this thread, and the other is not. if you want to continue the anarchy discussion, it might be best to split it off into its own thread, so that this thread can get back on topic, just in case there is any more to be said on the subject.

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    Quote Originally Posted by MK27 View Post
    Again, the big issue here is your desire to conflate anarchy with chaos.
    I had no such desire. I simply observed that, in practice, anarchy is often overtly associated with some forms of chaotic behaviour.

    There are rules that govern how gaseous particles interact (based on interchange of momentum and energy) but observable net effects such as brownian motion are difficult to predict in advance so exhibit some elements of unpredictable, possibly chaotic, behaviour. Analogous statements might be made about any type of complex system, including societies.

    My actual points though (coming back to the topic of this thread) are that a forum site needs rules, it needs some systematic enforcement of rules (by moderators), that moderators are imperfect but things are usually alright as long as they genuinely try to do the right thing, and that tying moderators hands is not a solution to any problems in a forum.

    It is you who interpreted my words as a wider attack on your specific preferred form of society.
    Right 98% of the time, and don't care about the other 3%.

    If I seem grumpy in reply to you, it is likely you deserve it. Suck it up, sunshine, and read this, this, and this before posting again.

  11. #116
    spurious conceit MK27's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by grumpy View Post
    I had no such desire. I simply observed that, in practice, anarchy is often overtly associated with some forms of chaotic behaviour.
    You have to define anarchy as chaos to do that, otherwise you do not have any observations of anything in practice, because your examples did not involve anarchism or anarchists.

    In fact, the whole discussion of "what happens under chaos" (I'm going to save confusion and use that word) hinges on the reification of the concept of social chaos. But there is no real thing "social chaos" (conversely, there are real anarchists) -- it is just conceptual.

    That concept is weighted in order to produce a desired conclusion (a cart before the horse) because otherwise it is unnecessary. I referred to Somalia as "heterogenous and chaotic", but that does not explain why something really happened or what could really happen. To understand that, you would need to understand the actual events, the people involved, the specific history etc.

    If you were interested in doing something in Somalia (start a business, wage a war, whatever), the stupidest thing you could do would be to hire a consultant working "top down" from Mario or grumpy's premise (various reified armchair philosophy things about what happens in "a state of social chaos"). Instead you would hire someone who knew specific details of what is really going on where and when.

    Ie, the concept is useless except for curmudgeons in armchairs to mull over after dinner, or as political rhetoric in influencing policy making, etc. That's why ALL of Mario & grumpy's posts dealt in complete abstraction, without any real examples.

    So if
    I had no such desire.
    You are unconsciously playing out someone else's (inherited hot air), which is probably even more unfortunate.
    Last edited by MK27; 09-24-2011 at 11:19 AM.
    C programming resources:
    GNU C Function and Macro Index -- glibc reference manual
    The C Book -- nice online learner guide
    Current ISO draft standard
    CCAN -- new CPAN like open source library repository
    3 (different) GNU debugger tutorials: #1 -- #2 -- #3
    cpwiki -- our wiki on sourceforge

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    I would suggest you are consciously playing out someone else's (inherited hot air). I remind you this started as a discussion about moderation of a forum, not attempting to wage a war.

    You are the one exhibiting contempt for those who don't subscribe to your views, not Mario or I. And that contempt, which I've seen shown by others who advocate anarchy, is one reason I consider anarchic systems to be fragile. You don't exhibit the behaviours that you espouse.
    Right 98% of the time, and don't care about the other 3%.

    If I seem grumpy in reply to you, it is likely you deserve it. Suck it up, sunshine, and read this, this, and this before posting again.

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