zahir at ix.netcom.com zahir at ix.netcom.com
Thu May 21 01:59:59 EST 1998

mike wrote:

>Sorry, I'm no martyr.  I do make
> an effort to make the world a better place by trying to treat my fellow man
> with common decency and will continue to do so until I die.

With my appreciation.


>  I think he's one of two common personality
> types.  One type is in a constant state of worry: "I need more money, the
> government's out to get me, the homosexuals are destroying the moral fiber
> of our nation, anybody who doesn't think like me must be on drugs", etc. ad
> naseum).  The other type are people who are bored with their lives so they
> seek gratification through mudslinging.

>  That often works to get them some
> confrontation that keeps them from being bored.  In some sense, I've helped
> perpetuate that behavior by responded to his posts.

Now, now...you should realize that confrontation has many positive
virtues and also practical ones, although I don't think that Andelman's
methods are as sophisticated as mine or are employed for the same
purpose.  I think, for example, that the consistent use of abusive
language, consistent aggression, and intolerance of other ideas works to
supress the free expression of opposing ideas in this medium.  When I
engaged in this behavior you may notice that some people simply quit
posting, making exposure to their opinions more difficult.  Others fell
into the trap of responding to the insults rather than the opinions,
leaving themselves open to the charge of engaging only in gratuitous
slander rather than contributing to discussion.  Yet others were cowed,
and only weakly defended their ideas.  Few of those who remained simply
quit responding to my posts while maintaining discussion, but because
these were constantly interrupted by my comments some of these also
quit.  I was even beginning to find support for my approach from a small
number of posters.  In effect, had I continued to post as I had, I would
have controlled expression on the group for all practical purposes, or
caused it to be shut down.

You can see this approach applied every day in our national politics -
continual harassment of duly elected public officials, heavily biased
reporting and restricted news sources (referring specifically to the
AP), and the standards of right-wing political diatribe.  I think it
interesting that these methods, transdcribed to the venue of an only
indirectly political forum on the internet, are yet so effective.


>  I continued because it
> was good for a laugh or two.  "California pothead."  "Take it up the a##
> like a man."  "My cannibis smoking friend".  These are the golden words of
> Marc that are so fun to read.
> For those of you who see inconsistencies in what I write, I say "no
> kidding."  Because I'm human I have an on-going battle between the objective
> and the subjective.  Right now my objective side is telling me that I've
> wasted enough time with this ideological marathon.  Again, it was an
> entertaining diversion.  Thank you.
> Peace,
> mike

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