Category: Brandolini

Devlin on Brandolini on Refutation

Something to consider, emphasis added:

F. Roger Devlin
Posted June 15, 2016 at 9:01 pm | Permalink
It is dispiriting to observe how many people can be taken in by disguising partisanship as neutral expertise. Nearly every so-called expert on “right wing extremism” or “white racism” is an example of this.
Your essay puts me in mind of the famous observation of computer programmer Alberto Brandolini that “The amount of energy necessary to refute bullshit is an order of magnitude bigger than to produce it.” By the time you have produced a cogent refutation such as this piece, Timmy will have come up with five more lies or fallacious arguments.
That is why it is important to emphasize that he is demonstrably dishonest. Once you understand the well is poisoned, there is no need to examine every bucketful drawn from it.

Looking at this from another perspective, this is why I believe that blog comments (*), particularly unmoderated ones, are worse than useless – actually destructive.  It doesn’t take much effort for idiots, trolls, Nutzis, etc. to spew “bullshit” on a comments section.  After which, you have  a choice. You can either leave those comments unanswered, which third party observers can see as a tacit admission that those comments are correct or that at least you are unable to mount an effective riposte to them, or you can answer them, expending that “order of magnitude” more energy (and time) doing so.  And the time wasted could have been better spent on other things, for example, on new blog posts.  Moderation of comments helps, but also takes time and energy.

This is not a free speech issue; if the trolls, idiots, and Nutzis want to set up their own blogs and spew their “bullshit” then they have that right.  But freedom of association means that no one is obligated to host the “bullshit” on their own forums.  And all the self-described “political soldiers” out there should take their own self-description seriously and consider all of this as memetic warfare, not as a polite debating society.

But, of course, don’t listen to Brandolini – he’s not “one of the boys.” Who cares what that negroid kebab has to say, right?

*But, hey, isn’t Devlin’s comment an example of a useful blog comment? Yes it is, but, putting aside the fact that Counter-Currents has a moderated comments section, we must consider the signal-to-noise ratio.  Looking at the entire “movement” blogosphere, for every useful comment, there is a large number of stupid and destructive ones.  The best option is for a thoughtful commentator like Devlin to have his own blog.