New posters: read Da Roolz (and how to send photos)

September 3, 2023 • 8:15 am

Lately there’s been an influx of rather toxic new posters, people whose first posts are nasty, rude, clueless, or call other posters names. If you’re going to make your first post on this site, please read “Da Roolz”—the guidelines for posting on this site. You can find them here or on the site’s left sidebar. I’ve been rejecting comments that don’t follow these guidelines, and, if the comments are sufficiently obtuse (e.g., taking me to task for not accepting the “overwhelming evidence for God”), I’ll just ban the commenter.

I have no idea why this is happening; is it “post-pandemic meanness”? I’ll remind posters of rules 7 and 8:

7.) Do not insult your host. Pretend that you’re speaking to me in my living room which is, in a sense, what this website is.

8.) Most important, please try to refrain from insulting other posters, no matter how misguided you think they are.  I don’t like name-calling, for it lessens whatever class this site has and certainly doesn’t foster discussion.  I will often warn people about this behavior either on the site, or in a private email. About 70% of those who are warned respond with truculence, either insulting me or saying that their behavior is fully justified. That’s a good way to get blacklisted—almost as good as telling me to stop posting on cats or cowboy boots. If I ask you to apologize to a commenter whom you insulted, please do so.

Also, I’m delighted to get readers’ wildlife photos (but please hold off until Sept. 23), and there’s another link that shows you how to send then to me.  Please send good photos of the quality that usually appears here.

5 thoughts on “New posters: read Da Roolz (and how to send photos)

  1. “I have no idea why this is happening; is it “post-pandemic meanness”?”

    Something I learned from one of the professors on my doctoral committee is the power of modeling. I would call the avalanche of nastiness that characterizes our current conversations as “Trumpian meanness”, or alternatively, “authoritarian meanness”.

    The meanness has always been there. What has not always been there, or at least comes and goes, is the permission to express it. Even people who don’t agree with Trump or authoritarians philosophically see how successful they currently are at getting what they want. Even when they are only semi-successful, they also experience joy in their meanness, which is self-rewarding. We unconsciously adopt role models’ behavior, especially if we see its success.

    When you’re not a mean person, you tend to see meanness as dysfunctional. THEY don’t see it as dysfunctional; rather they see it as being strong and uncompromising in their beliefs. But the example they set is absorbed by many of the rest of us. Few are capable of taking a step back and analyzing what is happening, and even those who are capable of that don’t necessarily spend the time actually doing any analysis.

    The power of modeling can, and often does, go in a positive direction as well. Keep DA ROOLZ, Jerry. The example you set works the same way as the example of the Trumpers. There are still more of us than there are of them, and if we stick to our values behaviorally rather than getting sucked into responding in kind, we’ll all be better off. The successes of the authoritarians are diminishing, and people are noticing.


  2. “What the political left, even in democratic countries, share is the notion that knowledgeable and virtuous people like themselves have both a right and a duty to use the power of government to impose their superior knowledge and virtue on others.
    ~ Thomas Sowell”

    So perhaps the toxic new posters feel they are both right and have a duty to impose their superior knowledge. I imaging the toxic right feel the same way. Plus they have to shout louder to compete with other posters.

    It used to be a joke that people would slave over a hot keyboard because ‘Something Is Wrong On The Internet’ and they were determined to put it right. We’re not laughing now.

Leave a Reply