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Culture War Roundup for the week of March 11, 2024

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As of this time @HlynkaCG has been permabanned. I'm posting this message at the top of the thread, because its not really for Hlynka, its for the community to know. There were a few different posts I could have chosen in the modqueue, and many of them were too buried to be visible. The mod team has given him repeated warnings and bans. And I personally reached out to him last ban to warn him that a permaban was likely coming if this behavior continued.

I mostly do not feel this is a good thing, but it is a necessary thing. Hlynka had quite a few quality contributions, and I don't think I was alone in appreciating his often unique (for themotte) perspective. But he repeatedly did it in a way that just wasn't acceptable for the rules around here.

I would like people to have a few takeaways:

  1. No one on this forum is infinitely excused of bad behavior. Having quality contributions and providing a unique viewpoint might get you some additional leeway, but our patience isn't unlimited.
  2. The mods do read and participate here. We know when someone is starting to abuse that leeway. We know when there is frustration about it.
  3. We do try to be deliberate and slow about things. It can feel real shitty when a cabal of people meet in secret to discuss your punishment and they decide permanent banishment is the solution. For longtime users that have put in the time and effort to be a part of the community here we don't lightly jump to permanent bans as a solution.

Please keep any discussion civil.

No comment on the permaban decision.

I'm surprised at some of the reactions to the "oddness" of Hlynka's views.

They're pretty common classical conservatism (FiveHourMarathon highlighted the "Hobessian" nature of it all) mixed with Gen-X / Millenial combat veteran comedic-fatalism. @JTarrou - think I've missed the mark here?

I understand that some of the drive-by insults were against the rules - and should be. I wonder how much, in Hlynka's mind, they were 40-layer deep irony / edgelord pills. Google the "November Juliet" scene from Generation Kill. Or "Whopper Junior."

Again, as this comment started out, no opinion being offered on the ban decision. I'm just pondering Hlynka's nature.

his often unique (for themotte) perspective

They're pretty common classical conservatism (FiveHourMarathon highlighted the "Hobessian" nature of it all) mixed with Gen-X / Millenial combat veteran comedic-fatalism.

He was a better written version of many people I encounter in real life all the time. Unique for themotte doesn't mean unique everywhere. My dad's view and mother in laws' views are probably somewhat similar, and I have a neighbor or two that might have nearly identical views. I like all these people, but I also recognize they'd probably not be a good fit here.

There are probably certain perspectives and viewpoints that can never really exist on this forum. This is sad, but to be expected. Not all(/many?) viewpoints allow for polite treatment of ideological enemies.

'polite' being the code word doing a lot of work, here.

You can say that black people are stupid and trans people are deluded pedophiles every day for years, as long as you maintain decorum. That's still 'polite'.

But if someones recognizes that what you're saying there is 'fuck everyone not like me' and responds with 'hey, fuck you too', that person is not being polite and must be eliminated.

Hlynka wasn't interested in maintaining decorum when it was an obvious papering over disrespectful or violent thoughts. I admired how long he was able to act on that disinterest without getting permabanned.

Personally, the masquerade is getting boring for me too. But out of respect for mod wishes, I'll try to fade out rather than flame out if it becomes too annoying to bother with.

  • -18

I'm well aware of the contradiction, I wrote this 5 days ago [emphasis added]:

This is a discussion forum for people with sometimes drastically different views. It feels like a fragile thing somedays. We are asking people to talk politely with one another when they may disagree with each other's entire existence. Most of the internet is filled with people pointing out that politeness in those circumstances is absurd. And thus most of the internet has descended into a bit of a hell hole that I cannot personally tolerate for any topic much less the topics where people might actually have a reason to hate each other.


Hlynka wasn't interested in maintaining decorum when it was an obvious papering over disrespectful or violent thoughts. I admired how long he was able to act on that disinterest without getting permabanned.

Personally, the masquerade is getting boring for me too. But out of respect for mod wishes, I'll try to fade out rather than flame out if it becomes too annoying to bother with.

I'm not really sympathetic to people that can't maintain the masquerade. Because I maintain it quite easily. I'm an anarcho-capitalist, and just about everyone on here is a statist of some sort. I believe most of those views are morally repugnant, and any statist view is an active advocation of violence against me. I also don't consider myself some paragon of self control. I think most people have the self control muscle and exercise it all the time. If you can drive in traffic and not run someone off the road when they do something dangerous to you then you also have that self control muscle. My 5 year old kid has the self control muscle. My 3 year old, does not. So its a skill you can learn and start using as young as 4 years old.

Also according to psychology there are bunch of psychopaths just walking around among us, following the rules, and not murdering people for shits and giggles. We don't threaten to purge all the psychopaths as uncaring monsters walking among us. And the psychopaths mostly don't act like the uncaring monsters that they are, except in specific high level managerial positions where we have designated their behavior "ok".

People complaining that it is hard not to say things in an online forum where they don't need to even participate is a bit mind-boggling to me. I truly do not understand how such a person navigates their day to day life. Perhaps they have an extreme set of blinders? Perhaps they are lying, and its actually very easy to follow the rules around here, they just don't want to? Perhaps they are in a special set of circumstances where people coddle them like I do for my three year old in order to avoid public tantrums?

I'm an anarcho-capitalist, and just about everyone on here is a statist of some sort.

Is there any plan to bring back the user viewpoint focus series? Hearing an ancap explain why their preferred system won’t just result in SomaliaHaiti is always at least interesting.

Pretty sure the viewpoint series died off by people just not doing it. No one ever asked me for my viewpoint, and I never quite felt arrogant enough to write something that long at that level of 'navel gazing' without prompting from someone else.

Should we resume?

Do we need to first gather a body of willing people, or how is it maintained?

I'm not against resuming other people resuming. I was never certain I'd be good about doing it. I typically only have the patience/interest to participate in a discussion for about 8 hours, and I'd spend most of that time just writing the things in the first place and then barely responding to any question.

It was maintained chain mail style. One person gets it and then they pick a person to pass it on to.

Regarding you being an anarcho-capitalist, I'm sure you've heard it a hundred times, but why won't governments just step in and take it over?

Anarcho Capitalism I consider a moral imperative. Its the right thing to do. Even if all the practical details haven't been figured out. Similar to how I feel about anti-aging. We don't have anti-aging figured out, but when we do it will be the morally correct thing to allow.

So, practically speaking: you are asserting that it's more important that you not impose force upon others (that is, form a government) than that you prevent other, worse people (that is, your most conquest-prone local powers) from imposing force upon those same people?

I was not speaking practically. I was speaking of a moral imperative.

Practically speaking I'm a run of the mill libertarian.

People complaining that it is hard not to say things in an online forum where they don't need to even participate is a bit mind-boggling to me.

I don’t know that this describes Hlynka. But neuroticism is a hell of a drug. I work to keep myself under control, but there’s definitely an undercurrent of subconscious screaming and threat detection that can get activated by online forums.

When young lefties talk about hate speech being violence and trying to purge the commons of hated speakers, I get it. I don’t like it, I don’t agree with it, I think it’s wrong, but I understand on a deep level the underlying psychological impulses that motivate it.

I think following that logic makes the problem worse, and forms a catastrophization cycle that reinforces and strengthens their distress. But I can totally see how “these terrible ideas cause me so much pain, we need to get rid of them” is a train of thought people go through.

And there is pain. I know, when I see ideas that particularly get my gourd, ideas that threaten, if taken seriously, to damage values I hold dear — I know those things can easily make me freak out, become despondent, vindictive, to lash out like a cornered tiger.

This isn’t something I can easily describe to someone not familiar with serious anxiety, not because it’s some secret knowledge or something I’m “special” for feeling, but just because the feelings are so profoundly out of place that I think many people would find it shocking anyone could react in such a way.

I think this describes some of the “I can’t help but post on this forum I hate” phenomenon. People love hate-reading and hate-posting. It’s not helpful, it’s not healthy, but it is gut-level rewarding because of the great salience of threatening ideas.

But encountering a threat, however overblown, makes anyone want to eliminate it. And thus we get censorship, and long screeds whose text rhymes with “fuck you.”

The difference between me and the cancellers, I guess, is I know my emotional response to these things isn’t helpful, and it isn’t anybody else’s problem. It’s mine. And it’s my responsibility to deal with it, and to respond to the world in an intelligent manner. To be slow to speak and quick to listen.

I know I’m an unusual case. Sometimes I like to talk like I’m typical of the zoomers because of my experience of mental illness. But if I’m truthful, I’m not. My neuroticism is way higher than the average even for my generation.

I also… and this contradicts everything I’m saying here, but I don’t think of my struggles as an identity. But I talk to some people who seem like they view themselves as a Certified Generalized Anxiety Disorder Experiencer (TM) and not a person who struggles with anxiety. I’m not a person-first language advocate (I think language games are silly) but I do think there’s a mindset difference there.

I do think we’re doing things that lower the sanity waterline, lowering all boats. And social media is ground zero of this as far as I’m concerned. I’m not sure that exposure to random strangers’ ideas is actually helpful for people who struggle with calibrating their threat detector. I also believe that facing difficult situations is the only good way to calibrate. I just think there’s a balance to be struck between engaging in things that are scary but useful and being a masochist who tries to argue with people you believe deeply in your heart are wrong, and evil.

All I’m saying is, maybe Hlynka was higher in neuroticism than he let on. At the very least, some fraction of “involuntary” posters is explained by what I described.

I truly do not understand how such a person navigates their day to day life.

If we’re talking about the neurotic ones, often not very well.

I have two highly neurotic family members. One is very well adapted to society, and one isn't. The one who isn't very well adapted to society would probably love to post here, but then I'd have to ban them, because they'd probably be like hlynka but far less well spoken. The well adapted one would probably take one look and nope out.

Perhaps we are sometimes selecting for the neurotics who like the elevated threat level. The same kind of people who like roller coasters.

I still don't feel my sympathy increasing for those who severely lack the self control. I still think this forum is pretty low on the level of things that could trigger threat levels. Its purely text, which is far less stimulating than video and images. You have to have a long attention span to even pick up on some of the threats. You can find more blatant threats with even the most milquetoast set of social media friends. Every news station is trying to one up the threat level to get eyeballs. And daily life in any metropolitan area is plenty threatening enough.

I'm an anarcho-capitalist, and just about everyone on here is a statist of some sort.

I’m an Objectivism-adjacent minarchist Christian, so you’re one of the few here to the freeward side of me. (As opposed to left or right.)

But if someones recognizes that what you're saying there is 'fuck everyone not like me' and responds with 'hey, fuck you too', that person is not being polite and must be eliminated.

One man's recognition that his interlocutor is secretly saying 'fuck everyone not like me' is another man's uncharitable mind reading.

Consequentialist 'fuck everyone else', not deontological 'fuck everyone else'.

(which is to say, if that wasn't clear: part of the entire functional purpose of a political ideology is to come up with an intellectual and narrative framework in which you can advocate of policies and ideas which advantage you and disadvantage your enemies, without ever descending into negative-valence emotions or traits. EG, coming up with arguments for why the policies that favor you and hurt your opponents are actually best for everyone 'in the long run' or are morally correct, without relying on having to say that you selfishly want things that benefit you or vengefully want things that hurt your opponents. Coming up with rational scientific matter-of-fact reasons why people like you are better than people like your opponents, and why that means society will be better served by people like you having more power and privilege. etc.

The fact that you honestly feel no explicit hostility or superiority towards the people who are screwed over by the things you are advocating, and would never dream of being directly rude to those people and telling them to go fuck themselves, is not impressive, even if it's 100% sincere. The whole point of ideology is to construct teh narratives and dialogues which allow you to do that while still taking the side that favors yourself and your team.

That's why a consequentialist looks at the slate of policies/stances a person or group takes and goes 'cui bono?' Everyone thinks their beliefs are dispassionate truths, if the set of dispassionate truths you believe all add up to obviously rationally objectively point towards policies that fuck over group X, that's the same as you just saying 'Fuck group X' in terms of consequences

See The bottom Line for why you look at the consequences rather than the justifications in cases like this).

Then you doom us to antagonism. Every division of spoils cannot be neutral, it is an assault against you by the other group who could give you just a little more.

You may say there is some fair division, but you literally just argued that you can't trust any such argument.

Seems like a non sequitur?

Not that I think this is the strongest form of the argument, but... One side points at specific statistical material gaps between two groups and says 'the gap is evidence that there's some form of discrimination or inequality at play somewhere, we should have policies to try to eliminate the gap.' The other side says 'One group is naturally inclined to outperform the other on whatever metric there's currently a gap in, so those gaps are natural and unavoidable and we shouldn't try to close them.'

To me, it seems like that second position is the one that can justify literally any size of gap, since there's no comprehensive a priori model of how big the performance difference is, or how big of a gap that should translate to (comprehensive and a priori being relevant word here).

Whereas the first side at least has a natural stopping point of eliminating the gaps, and would need some kind of major narrative shift to justify going past that.

But you think the opposite is true? I don't understand your reasoning.

Conservatives underrepresented in academia and owners of websites? Oh, it's not our fault conservatives cannot create modern software themselves. Men having higher suicide rates than women, shorter life expectancy and higher chance to be homicide victim? Again, not a problem.

More comments

The issue is that there isn't an objective standard of a fair split (this is precisely what you argue).

I don't think you'd think we should make these sorts of policies broadly applicable.

One side points at specific statistical material gaps between two groups and says 'the gap is evidence that there's some form of discrimination or inequality at play somewhere, we should have policies to try to eliminate the gap.' The other side says 'One group is naturally inclined to outperform the other on whatever metric there's currently a gap in, so those gaps are natural and unavoidable and we shouldn't try to close them.'

Now let those two groups be defined differently. Urban areas have higher GDP per capita. Should we, to fix this inequity, direct money to even this? There are many other axes you could look at: even if you choose a 50-50 split, always, as the fair option, your selection of what measures to check along itself involves bias.

Whereas the first side at least has a natural stopping point of eliminating the gaps, and would need some kind of major narrative shift to justify going past that.

We know what happens when gaps are eliminated: switch measures until you find one where your favored groups are disadvantaged, or just stop caring.

You see this in education: no one complains that it's unfair that more women go to college than men.

I would think that there would be pattern matching. It’s one thing to have an opinion that those on the receiving end won’t like, and then there’s active dislike for those people. I think it’s perfectly reasonable to criticize any group or culture. On the other hand, when a person is running down the Welsh every chance he gets, and pointing out everything that those Welsh do is stupid and they shouldn’t act so darn Welsh, even if the person is polite, it’s hard to miss that this person has an active disgust towards Welsh people. And I think even when stated politely, active disgust is not a good thing.

And I think even when stated politely, active disgust is not a good thing.

I have explicit and active disgust for the neoconservatives who supported and advocated for the Iraq war, and though I usually state this politely the underlying disgust most likely comes out anyway. Is this a problem only for identity groups (like Welsh people) or does it apply more broadly?

I truly cannot understand why you would deliberately choose to spend so much of your free time in a specific online space when you believe that the majority of users in that space (excluding you) consciously endorse "fuck everyone not like me" as a lens through which they view the world; in which you don't seem to be having any luck persuading anyone not to endorse this worldview; in which you don't even seem to believe that anyone participating in this space can be persuaded not to endorse this worldview; in which I'm not even sure if you want to. It's just such an utterly baffling way to spend one's time. Do you really enjoy telling people "lol, you just hate everyone who's different from you" (not in so many words) only for the mods to tell you to knock it off for the nth time? Like, seriously, honest question - what are you getting out of this?

Why wouldn't you? It's much more fun to speak to people you disagree with - you make contact with their ideas, sharpen your rhetorical tactics and understanding of the subject matter, and maybe you'll learn something or maybe they'll learn something. And those people having moral flaws like "I hate everyone who isn't me" doesn't make the conversations any less interesting! They still have object level claims and complicated reasons for believing them.

Whereas being surrounded by people you agree with is (relatively) more like talking to a mirror. You know what it's going to say, so why bother?

Maybe I'm typical-minding. It really doesn't sound like much fun to me.

I don't think you are, most people would find this place unpleasant as is, saying nothing about my hypothetical. But I think my approach is better, and so long as you can get good object-level disagreement out of it there's no reason to be put off by anything else.

I think both are found commonly.

I agree with curious_straight_ca, and what they describe is also pretty close to the intended purpose of this forum.

I neither said excluding me, nor consciously endorse, nor that no one can be persuaded, nor that I'm not learning anything myself.

See discussion here and here.

Also, flagging @somedude and @sjet79, this is an immediate example of what I'm talking about. I don't thin this user is dishonestly putting words in my mouth to avoid the question, or w/e you were saying Hlynka did, but they sure are assigning beliefs and characteristics to me that I never said and don't follow from what I wrote.

Like I said to both of you, I think this is an honest mistake that happens when people talk across an inferential gap, and it gets noticed when the miscommunication is of a type that looks like hostility or strategy. But it happens all the time and just sometimes gives that appearance.

you got my username wrong, and misgendered me. Second thing is mostly in jest, idk why but sjet feels like a female form of my username.

Sorry about that, typing on phone at the time

You can say that black people are stupid and trans people are deluded pedophiles every day for years, as long as you maintain decorum.

But if someones recognizes that what you're saying there is 'fuck everyone not like me' and responds with 'hey, fuck you too', that person is not being polite and must be eliminated.

Do you consider there to be any possible explanation for those views other than "fuck everyone not like me?" I don't believe that black people are "stupid," though I do believe that there will be fewer high IQ blacks per capita than whites and Asians. I don't hate them, I just want to stop giving them handouts and discriminating in their favor. And I don't believe that all trans people are deluded pedophiles, just the overwhelming majority of the MtF ones.

Knowing that I hold these views, do you believe that I personally think "fuck everyone not like me?" If so, why?

See discussion here, the whole point is that hatred and endorsing name-calling are not necessary for your policy stance to be 'fuck them' in consequentialist terms.

Ans, yes, there are plenty of non-ideological ways to arrive at a conclusion like black people have lower IQ, or that most trans people are pedophiles, or that immigrants are dangerous and disgenic, or that feminists have gone too far, or etc.

But if you believe all of them at once, I'm not wrong to notice the correlation between that and one of the two dominant ideologies that define most political discussion in the english-speaking world, and guess that your bottom line is being written by a cultural affiliation, rather than the arguments above it.

Hlynka was at least interesting in being both anti-progressive and anti-HBD. Yo need to actually think about things for yourself to find yourself in that position.

That's more interesting than me, and most of the people here. Which makes it valuable to the discourse, right or wrong.

Hlynka was at least interesting in being both anti-progressive and anti-HBD. Yo need to actually think about things for yourself to find yourself in that position.

This position is rare only here but pretty widespread in general public.

Yo need to actually think about things for yourself to find yourself in that position.

Actually, that's just mainstream conservatism from the pre-Trump era. Anti-progressive and anti-HBD was actually just the default package for people in his circumstances, as far as I could tell.

But more importantly, he didn't actually think about things for himself! The moment you tried to press him on HBD issues he just vanished into smoke. I tried to interrogate his beliefs and figure out what he actually believed at one point ( https://www.themotte.org/post/587/culture-war-roundup-for-the-week/120781?context=8#context ), and he just disappeared and stopped responding. It isn't like this is a particularly unusual case either - I've seen multiple comments from pro HBD people talking about his refusal to actually argue his own points when the topic comes up.

"HBD is false" is the implicit and in many cases explicit messaging embedded in almost all modern culture, modern advertising, modern political narratives and explicitly in legislation. It isn't impossible to come to those views by virtue of your own reasoning, but I find the idea that you need to think for yourself in order to arrive at the position that societal elites are doing their best to inculcate in the general population isn't terribly rigorous.

Pretty sure anti-progressive and anti-hbd is the tribal position of “one of the two dominant ideologies that define most political discussion in the english-speaking world”

I’ll grant you that these two beliefs are definitely overrepresented on this forum though.

The vast majority of users here hold many opinions that are outside of the two main dogmas. If you don’t see that I think it would be worthwhile to spend time either delving the various posters beliefs better or to reassess what the dominant beliefs actually are in the West.

I do think black people have a significantly lower average IQ than whites, that this has a genetic component, and this means that disparate impact civil rights law and affirmative action should not exist.

I don't think this comes from a believe in 'fuck everyone not like me' - I'm happy to work with smart Indians, Chinese, etc. And if I see a black person who's in fact contributing at the same level as a non-black person, I'm happy to work with that person too! (Clarence Thomas, for instance, doesn't seem to be any worse of a justice than the others).

I think most pro-HBD commenters here have beliefs like that?

I don't think most trans people are pedophiles though, or that they're transing our kids in the schools or w/e. I don't think transitioning is a good choice for anyone, but there's not really any concrete relationship between the way it's bad and pedophilia or schools.

I do think black people have a significantly lower average IQ than whites, that this has a genetic component

Wouldn't that, when compressed to 3 words, result in sentence @guesswho dislikes?

He's claiming we believe "black people are stupid" and "fuck everyone not like me". It's plainly not true that most people here who believe the first believe the second.

Clarence Thomas, for instance, doesn't seem to be any worse of a justice than the others

Among the best, rather.

Saying clear facts outright, which may be controversial, negative, or inherently “disrespectful,” is a lot different than “boo outgroup” using inflammatory language.

For example, saying “there’s a racial achievement gap” used to be uncontroversial as an empirical fact, and it was only controversial to bring up certain forms of causation. In more recent years there have been cases where even mentioning the fact of, which is indisputable, got somebody fired. See also: Damore and differences between sexes.

All of this is to say that you have a lot of gall for criticizing those here who try to discuss distasteful facts with decorum, given how basically everywhere else on the internet works (either censorship or cesspool).

The mods forcing consistent decorum even for those where it’s thinly papering over antipathy is a pretty fucking important norm to preserve even for the actual Nazi defenders around here, among others.

So please don’t cry that you have to work a little to hold in your contempt for your outgroup(s) here because that’s how it is for most of us on any given issue. (I’ll grant that you are playing on hard mode relative to the average poster here.)

The people you claim are saying “fuck black people” made their black neighbors the wealthiest black community in the world and regardless of race one of the most influential global cultural communities.

If that’s getting fucked sign me up for a good fucking.

You also seem to be overgeneralizing. And missing the dogs that don’t bark. Are they anti-Italian? Or have those people assimilated and function in society now so there is no issue? Are they anti-Asian? Anti-motorcycle Aficianados?

Yes, the point of this community is discussing controversial topics with some decorum. There are plenty of places online where you can discuss boring and uncontroversial topics with decorum, or can discuss them with only prescribed mainstream views allowed. And there are many places where you can say edgy or controversial things with zero decorum, endless slurs and baiting, and a generally hostile userbase.

This exists as one of the only places where all views are tolerated provided they’re expressed in a polite and well-written way. That makes The Motte unique or almost unique, and it is a quality many of us care about.

Without decorum, why didn't you look into studying polygenic indices of different populations?

Hlynka wasn't interested in maintaining decorum, but also wasn't interested in making his POV clear or understanding opponents' POV.

You can say that black people are stupid

define 'stupid'

I'm surprised at some of the reactions to the "oddness" of Hlynka's views.

It wasn't so much his object-level political views, which as you point out were largely garden-variety conservative talking points that would have been at home on 00s Fox News. What really made him unique was his personality and his discussion style.

He was supremely confident in his own views, and seemingly oblivious to any and all criticism, despite being (in my own personal opinion) supremely wrong about some of those views. He frequently railed against "postmodernism", despite the fact that a simple transcript of his comments would constitute a pretty good experimental postmodern novel in its own right. He insisted that all of his ideological opponents, whether they be Rationalists, woke progressives, fascists, or anything in between, were all really "the same" underneath, in spite of the continued insistence by all of those groups that they had deep fundamental disagreements with each other. He had a habit of simply fleeing from any sub-thread where he was asked to provide direct evidence of his claims; this clashed very noticeably with the "grizzled military veteran, ride the tiger, don't take no shit from no one" personality that he wanted to project. It was this contrast that made him such a frustrating and fascinating character.

I'd rather have a discussion partner who's interesting and wrong, than a boring one who I agree with. In spite of my numerous disagreements with him, I would often check on his profile just to look at his recent comments and see what he was up to. So his ban will constitute a loss for me in that regard.

He insisted that all of his ideological opponents, whether they be Rationalists, woke progressives, fascists, or anything in between, were all really "the same" underneath, in spite of the continued insistence by all of those groups that they had deep fundamental disagreements with each other.

I just saw something on Tumblr that seems rather relevant to this. It started with an anon saying

Islam and Christianity are much closer than you think. They belive that a woman's role is motherhood and servitude and they oppose homosexuality and abortion.

Which, a little down the chain, leads to thathopeyetlives's reply

I continue to be alarmed and frustrated by the attitude of “this thing I hate and fear is totally defined by that specific aspect of it that I hate and fear and has no notable attributes other than those”.

I wonder how much this drove Hlynka's attitude, because, looking back, it seems like the sets 'what he hated about Rationalists,' 'what he hated about woke progressives,' 'what he hated about fascists,' et cetera, were significantly overlapping — lack of traditional religiosity, insufficient colorblindness, insufficient Hobbesianism, and (possibly most importantly) intellectualism. Hence, everything else about them becomes irrelevant, "the narcissism of small differences," "Stalinism vs. Trotskyism" minutiae.

I wonder how much this drove Hlynka's attitude, because, looking back, it seems like the sets 'what he hated about Rationalists,' 'what he hated about woke progressives,' 'what he hated about fascists,' et cetera, were significantly overlapping — lack of traditional religiosity, insufficient colorblindness, insufficient Hobbesianism, and (possibly most importantly) intellectualism.

Now suppose that, based on the evidence available, one comes to the conclusion that the list of hated things you've just provided, along with a number of others, appears to emerge from a fairly tightly clustered set of similar values and philosophical primitives. Suppose that there's a specific set of memes and ideas that can express themselves in a variety of negative ways, but share a basic commonality in how one gets to those negatives. The worldview leads to a typical set of strategies, which when adapted to local conditions result in a wide variety of specific behaviors, but with significant commonalities between them.

Categorizing human ideologies is not a trivial problem. Grouping together people who seem wildly disparate under a specific theory is not an unusual occurrence.

I enjoyed poking at his cognitive dissonance and the internal inconsistencies of his worldview.

He was wrong but in pretty unique ways.

I personally wasn’t overly offended by his rule breaking, but it does seem his response to my comment is what led to the ban.

Ironically, he was fairly justified in being peeved at me there for my demonstrated ignorance (though he’d be on firmer ground if he hadn’t been constantly avoiding questions and misrepresenting many of us).

He insisted that all of his ideological opponents, whether they be Rationalists, woke progressives, fascists, or anything in between, were all really "the same" underneath

From the perspective of a space alien from another galaxy, all us 4-limbed Earth critters are alike. From my perspective, I barely comprehend why Trotskyist communists disagree with mainline communists, or what the substantive differences between the different Interantionals were. And there's absolutely a strain of conservatism that views all of us here as the spawn of the Enlightenment, and of a particularly virulent offshoot at that. We love defining, categorizing, systematizing, and playing games with Venn diagrams and 4-quadrant memes. We like reasoned and clear argumentation, we want evidence, and objective evidence at that, but all we really get is words words words. And even when we don't care about evidence, we pretend that we do.

We're the type of people who have a bunch of different ethical philosophies, but they all boil down to different varieties of consequentalism, clever hacks to work around the problem that we can't directly comprehend consequences, and so we've called these hacks by a salad of different names. But (and this is just a metaphor) when we encounter someone who's not actually a consequentialist, we don't even have the words to describe what that means, because we've used "non-consequentialist" to refer to other varieties of consequentialism.

He could be pulling this out of his rear, but the shouldn't the Mottely response to that not be to insist on the primacy of our nice little distinctions, but instead to question why he thinks he's so different? Maybe he can't put that in words, in a way that we can understand. Maybe we can't parse his binary blob*, but at least we can stick a wrapper around it and say "this dude has a Thing about politics that we don't understand". And maybe some of us conclude that there's no "there" there, that he's failed at constructing a perfectly rational system of the world from the bottom up, and that his views are fundamentally incoherent. But wasn't part of the problem that we don't want people claiming that they know what's going on in other people's heads, and ascribing views to the other people that the other people explicitly disclaim?

  • Yeah, yeah, "ATM machine".

He felt like a chatbot to me lately. Where people would give counter arguments and instead of dealing with them he would claim no one is presenting the opposition. Sort of like if you keep telling a chatbot to show your a picture of a Viking raid party that is historically accurate and it keeps presenting you with black and Asian Vikings.

I found him unreadable lately and was close to blocking while trying to just skim. I don’t think it’s productive to just have people talking past each other and leads to clutter. Not sure if that’s permaban worthy but it did make the site less useful.

It’s a shame he was simply unable to follow the rules. He made some very good posts, but then would have occasional outbursts at random people. Who can forget the time he was randomly racist to @self_made_human and accused him of not being able to understand English because he was Indian or something?

this is the most Jewish contribution I've ever seen you make

'shame he was simply unable to follow the rules' lmao okay, fair point. Shame you killed Jesus and His blood is on you and your people

  • -43

Is the Motte supposed to be funny?

This is the funniest shit I've read all morning

There definitely needs to be a day where absurdist comedy is allowed, maybe we can unban Hlynka on it

I think if Hlynka should be unbanned if he does “The Hock”, with photographic evidence to back up his claim. Trial by ordeal.

I’m not even remotely kidding.

That might be the funniest deep cut mashup of internet niche humor ever produced. It would be a scream come true.

You know, and I had been meaning to ask in the fun thread this week, what happened to Mr Hock?

He was banned for only ever posting about the Hock. His reddit account is still active, so clearly he hasn't gone into the woods to his death.

I asked the same question about a month ago. Apparently he chickened out came to his senses and realized it was a suicide mission. He went on a big mountain climbing trip instead, which is less fun but more sensible.

I am on standby to make the rdrama thread if that ever happens.

Much as I realise it's suicide to do so and that consciously I can not condone it, deep down a part of me very much wants someone from here to do The Hock (and hopefully live to tell us the tale) because the memes it will generate will be fire.

I would kill myself if this happened.

Then again, Hlynka probably has a much higher chance of surviving the Hock than Skookum does.

Place your bets people, military training and oppositional defiant personality disorder versus medical training and weapons-grade autism. Who can weather the wastes first?

Easter seems like the obvious choice for a resurrection.

Having everyone unbanned for 24hrs before being rebanned on April Fools would be absolutely wild.

As an Easter treat can we have a Skookum vs hlynka debate, ‘are some races doomed to die out because their men are short?’

And by the time this discussion is done, Zorba will come in and find that everyone has banned everyone and he's all alone on the Motte.

Incidentally I partly agree that the above response does sound vaguely condescending, but just out of curiosity before you inevitably get modded - what did you expect to gain with this accusation? What was the point of the specific (((angle))) when you surely could've gotten away with simply calling the response out as smugly condescending without the added insults on top? Does it just not hit the same way?

Genuine question, feel free to respond in DMs if you think I'm baiting you to dig yourself deeper.

Once in a blue moon there is value all to itself in saying what you wanted to

Can't disagree, but counterpoint: keeping your power level in check doesn't automatically make you a cuck (not by itself, at least) and is a generally beneficial, widely applicable practice.

For what it's worth the modded post gave me a good chuckle but it's not worth getting sniped for.

The left has successfully eliminated every space available to the less-than-50-Stalins...except for this one. Our king Zorba probably deserves a statue or at least a portrait for this - it didn't happen by accident. But that was just a little side-cuck to your deserved response lol

Point is that I keep my power level in check 99.9% of the time. Turn on the radio, bite my lip. TV, hold my tongue. Out for drinks, better not say anything. I work for myself but otherwise can only imagine.

Once in a blue moon there is value all to itself in just saying "fuck" with an extra "k" on the exhale and pointing people to scripture (Matthew 27)

The left has successfully eliminated every space available to the less-than-50-Stalins...except for this one. Our king Zorba probably deserves a statue or at least a portrait for this - it didn't happen by accident.

Yes, but one of the methods by which this place continues to withstand elimination is exactly what you got shot for - i.e. immediately turning any issue or disagreement into culture war. Personally this is exactly why I value this place and am willing to hide my power level by e.g. not participating in political discussions or not considering "cope and seethe" a valid way of responding.

It's a feature, not a bug. You might see it as cuckoldry, I see it as a price of admission, I can always (and often do) slum it with fellow /g/entlemen but the quality of discourse and the IQ of the median poster is dreadful in comparison.

Point is that I keep my power level in check 99.9% of the time. Turn on the radio, bite my lip. TV, hold my tongue. Out for drinks, better not say anything. I work for myself but otherwise can only imagine.

Such is life for high power level beings, and for what it's worth I empathize. I still think that's not an excuse to flip out at people in the sole place where tone is the only thing actually being moderated (YMMV but I believe in this particular bit of propaganda) and you can otherwise freely post on [MIND-KILLING TOPIC] as long as you are verbose enough and make a passing effort at sounding neutral (the One Weird Trick jannies don't want you to know!)

We're in furious agreement all around it seems

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I wasn’t really being condescending. Hlynka had a longstanding dislike for me, but except for one time he was being almost comically racist to another user for no reason I never reported him (actually even then I’m not sure I did, but I might have). I enjoyed a lot of his posts, and as another user said I thought he brought a valuable perspective as a Christian red state Reaganite conservative, a group who make up the bulk of American conservatives but who are certainly underrepresented on this board.

For what it's worth, I didn't interpret your post as condescending, but as simply regretful.

Shame that Christianity that sees Jews as "Christkillers" is dead and Christianity that sees Jews as "beloved elder brothers" and "forever Chosen people" is growing by leaps and bounds world wide.

I’m not sure what you were expecting, but take a 1 day time out for your bizarre culture warring.

What do you think of all the dead Palestinians recently?

Unable to similar-mind someone who would find that comment 'bizarre culture warring'

Accordingly, we ask that you do not use this thread for waging the Culture War. Examples of waging the Culture War:

  • Shaming.
  • Attempting to 'build consensus' or enforce ideological conformity.
  • Making sweeping generalizations to vilify a group you dislike.
  • Recruiting for a cause.
  • Posting links that could be summarized as 'Boo outgroup!' ...

I don't really care how you or Eetan feels about Jews, Christians, or Palestinians. You have to talk about them with a level head.

This may be a perfectly appropriate response to something from somewhere, but probably not to the question 'what do you think of all the dead Palestinians recently'?

They’re alright, I guess.

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I may be misreading him but I took this as pointing out Christian philosemitism is much larger than Christian antisemitism in modern times.

So it’s not really “bizarre” because he was matching the framing of the previous comment to say “shame most Christians disagree with your views.”

Though I guess it’s unavoidably culture warring in that responding in kind to a comment blatantly breaking the rules is still going to break the rules. But it didn’t strike me as over the top, so I would think this was more of a warning situation (unless you have other violations as a pattern).

@Eetan is probably somewhat antisemitic but I don’t think that was the intention of the comment, it was just bait/trolling. Of course, the latter is arguably more deserving of a ban here.

And that’s what makes the Motte special

Shame you killed Jesus and His blood is on you and your people

Eh, I wouldn't blame all the Jews for killing Chirst. Caiaphas and his ilk yes, but extending it to all Jews is just taking it too far. Even Herod Antipas (who was Jewish) didn't want to convict Jesus.

Eh, I wouldn't blame all the Jews

Well, you might not, but Christians for 1900 years nearly unanimously interpreted this biblical passage that way.

Until Scofield Bible and Nostra Aetate, but this is another story.

God: Hey, I need you to turn my son over to the Romans so that can crucify him.

Jews: :-/

God: Trust me, it'll be awesome! You're my chosen people! Would I lead you astray?

Jews: Well, there were those forty years in the...

God: Oh, for my sakes! Will you let that go already? I gave you manna, didn't I?

Jews: Okay, fine, you're the god.

Jesus: X-(

A thousand years later...

Jews: :-(

How did you get that from the scripture, which to refresh your recollection, reads:

What shall I do, then, with Jesus who is called the Messiah?” Pilate asked.

They all answered, “Crucify him!”

23 “Why? What crime has he committed?” asked Pilate.

But they shouted all the louder, “Crucify him!”

24 When Pilate saw that he was getting nowhere, but that instead an uproar was starting, he took water and washed his hands in front of the crowd. “I am innocent of this man’s blood,” he said. “It is your responsibility!”

25 All the people answered, “His blood is on us and on our children!”

What the hell kind of comment is that supposed to be? I don't know who is or isn't Jewish, atheist, Buddhist, wiccan, Wiccan, etc. on here because I don't keep that kind of information on people to hand. We're coming up to Easter, is that supposed to be a crack in advance?

When you're ready, you won't have to

What a goofy post that seems like it's straight out of 4chan. But given that this account just started posting 12 days ago, I presume it's a ban-evader who will just make a new account.

The only other post from Vino I recall is him praising Hitler. It's definitely bait and not of great quality.

What exactly are you trying to convey through this comment barring pure antagonism? Consider this a warning. I don't extend a short ban only because you don't have any prior offenses in the mod queue, but personal attacks of this nature, especially so non-sequitur, are not kosher.

Edit: After this received a bunch more reports, I'm upgrading you to a day's ban. I feel like even a regular in good standing would deserve rebuke for an uncalled for and random attack of that nature, and you haven't earned that. Do not do that again.

Well I certainly didn't, if only because I speak better English than he does and that requires some working memory.

I think the specific claim in question was I was unable to parse his clear language and misunderstanding him because it's difficult for me to translate from English to "Indian".

The audacity, I find it even hard to be mad. I did find his takes on machine learning and LLMs to be far worse for my blood pressure, as they were the kind of "not even wrong" mixed with gish-galloping and a pugnacious inability to know when he was conclusively and incontrovertibly mistaken, in a manner not easier to falsify than reading a comment I write, in English.

Anyway, I for one am not sad he's gone, though I have repeatedly had to recuse myself from taking mod action against him however justified it was because of the obvious conflict of interest (and so do other mods with people they have some kind of personal tiff with, unless they're the kind of asshole who has beef with all of us) . I knew this would happen, he can't help himself.

It’s a shame he was simply unable to follow the rules.

Not unable. Unwilling. He used to be a mod in the Reddit days for Pete's sake (not that I was terribly thrilled about that), very few people know more about how to toe the line. No way was he incapable of doing so. He made an active choice not to.

Hlynka was, in my opinion, one of the best posters this community has ever seen. I had an argument with him once that abruptly and very significantly changed my mind, my values and my entire perspective on a whole host of issues, all in a single sentence. What he had to offer, this community needed quite badly, whether the members recognize it or not. I'm quite sure he was right about most things, and of the few I'm less sure of, I'd still rather bet with him than against him.

That being said, I am pretty sure he knew the ban was coming, and was in no particular hurry to forestall it. My impression is that he just got tired of the bullshit, a situation with which I sympathize even if it doesn't change the outcome. We ask questions to find answers, and having found them, the purpose of a space designed to facilitate question-asking falls rapidly to zero, and it is time to move on. Godspeed, good sir.

I had an argument with him once that abruptly and very significantly changed my mind, my values and my entire perspective on a whole host of issues, all in a single sentence.

What was the argument about? Could you link it?

Several people have asked, Reddit's search functions are trash so I don't have a link, but I'm working on a writeup. the short version was that I was super-black-pilled and 100% committed to what I perceived to be Red-Tribe Accelerationism, went in hard asking what the alternative was supposed to be, and left convinced that I had, in fact, been thinking like a Blue, should stop doing that immediately, and should endeavor to actually think like a Red instead. People who've talked to me long-term often mention that I've mellowed out a lot since then; that conversation is what did it.

A lot of people dump on him for his theory that blues and the "radical" right are actually the same thing, but I know for a fact he is correct, because I have observed the divide between the two in my own thinking. I was raised Red, and went deep blue for more than a decade before drifting back. What I thought of as moving back to the "right", though, was only surface detail, and my core ideological and philosophical commitments were still intrinsically Blue. His response clearly communicated the difference, and I have endeavored to emulate his good example ever since.

I don’t know if you’re still planning on posting your comprehensive writeup, but if you aren’t, I’d greatly appreciate it if you could elaborate more on what it means to think like a Red and think like a Blue, and in particular what bearing this has on the question of the radical left and the radical right being “the same thing”.

(If you are still planning on posting your writeup and it will address these questions, I will patiently await it.)

The writeup is still in progress, but I want to try to at least communicate some portion of the insight in the meantime.

Let's leave aside "Red" and "Blue" as labels, and substitute "A" and "B". From Orwell's "politics and the English Language", here's an example of the same idea written written two different ways:

Here is a well-known verse from Ecclesiastes:

I returned and saw under the sun, that the race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, neither yet bread to the wise, nor yet riches to men of understanding, nor yet favour to men of skill; but time and chance happeneth to them all.

Here it is in modern English:

Objective consideration of contemporary phenomena compels the conclusion that success or failure in competitive activities exhibits no tendency to be commensurate with innate capacity, but that a considerable element of the unpredictable must invariably be taken into account.

Let's call the first style "A" and the second style "B". Obviously the two are quite different, and Orwell, being a master of composition, has intentionally written the second to be bad and wrong. Let's ignore aesthetics completely, and not care at all about which is more pleasing to the eye or ear.

I think there's a significant and irreducible difference between the two formulations, and a way to try to begin describing it would be to say that "A" presents itself as on the inside looking out, and "B" presenting as from the outside looking in. I would say further that the former is better than the latter, because there is no "outside", and presenting as though one is "outside" is fundamentally dishonest. In this way, the passage shows that the way one talks about something reveals the way that one thinks about something, and that some ways of thinking are better than others.

Does that description make sense to you?

I would say further that the former is better than the latter

I agree that the former is clearly superior to the latter, but I confess that I don't know why.

The former is certainly closer to the soil; although we shouldn't forget all the nasty, poisonous things that lurk in the soil as well.

there is no "outside", and presenting as though one is "outside" is fundamentally dishonest.

I'm more inclined to say that there is no inside. There is only outside. (I'm very influenced by Zizek and McGowan's psychoanalytic reading of Hegel on this point - there is nothing that escapes contradiction, not even God.)

the way one talks about something reveals the way that one thinks about something

On the most literal reading, this seems straightforwardly false. Otherwise how could we explain the possibility of lying, or the ability of authors to write convincing dialogue for characters who think differently from themselves?

At any rate, I'm happy to discuss these issues independently, but I'm not sure what all this has to do with the question of the equivalence between the contemporary far left and far right, or the question of equivalence between political ideologies in general. I have some guesses as to where it might be going, but it would probably be better to save that until you post the definitive account of your position.

I'm more inclined to say that there is no inside. There is only outside.

Hmm. Let's try it this way.

A: I returned and saw under the sun...

B: Objective consideration of contemporary phenomena compels the conclusion...

The former admits appropriate subjectivity: I saw frames the sentence as the author's personal experience, which you are implicitly invited to measure against your own. The later inappropriately claims objectivity: Objective consideration, with no mention of who is doing the observing, is the language of a textbook, presenting information to be ingested uncritically. It implies a comprehensive system of knowledge, of which this is one piece.

...Or I can make it even simpler, and hopefully divorced from any political or social connotations.

A: It seems obvious to me that...

B: Everyone knows that...

Both strongly assert a position. The latter bakes in an inherently inappropriate social claim to reinforce the point. You see that, right?

In this case, A is speaking from "inside" themself, about a perceived reality they recognize as outside them. B is speaking from "outside" themself, about a "reality" that almost certainly does not exist. It seems to me that there is nothing that "everyone knows", most especially because the phrase is usually deployed at someone who evidently doesn't know the thing in question.

Likewise:

A: "but time and chance happen to them all"

B: "but that a considerable element of the unpredictable must invariably be taken into account"

...Are not equivalent either. The former frames time and chance as something to be accepted. The latter frames them as something to be managed, if not outright overcome. But the whole point of the passage is that they are to a considerable extent unmanageable; the A version is highlighting this, and the B version is minimizing this, perhaps even denying it.

It seems to me that the A version presents itself as inside a box, the self, looking out at the world, while the B version presents itself as Systematized Knowledge, looking into a box, which is the world. That is what I mean by inside and outside. I'm further asserting that there is no Capital-S Systematized Capital-K Knowledge, though to really chase that point down will probably require a lot more drawing of definitions. Suffice to say, the implicit claim I'm pointing to is false.

Does that make more sense, whether you agree with it or not?

On the most literal reading, this seems straightforwardly false. Otherwise how could we explain the possibility of lying, or the ability of authors to write convincing dialogue for characters who think differently from themselves?

Lying is difficult, and simulating is likewise difficult. No one can do either perfectly, and we're talking here about conversation, not fiction. I'm asserting that how people argue, especially when they argue well and forcefully, reveals a lot about how they think.

but I'm not sure what all this has to do with the question of the equivalence between the contemporary far left and far right

Because the assertion that I am endorsing is that the appropriate way to group ideologies is not by position statements, which observably change with some frequency, but rather on core axioms and values, which do not. I've argued previously that the core of Enlightenment/Progressive/Left-wing thought is the axiom "we know how to solve all our problems", with the point being that it is a false axiom, and anyone who uses it is making the same fundamental error, regardless of what specifically they think the problems and solutions are. With the example above, I'm trying to show how that thought iterates out into even basic statements about observable reality, like "chance exists".

Because the assertion that I am endorsing is that the appropriate way to group ideologies is not by position statements, which observably change with some frequency, but rather on core axioms and values, which do not.

I won't comment upon this assertion except to point out that this was absolutely not what Hlynka was doing. Hlynka would just tell people they were lying about their positions, make up some of his own to attribute to them, and then strut off as if he hadn't just made a fool of himself.

His bullshit system of categorization wasn't leading him to some deeper insight others failed to understand, it was leading him to make stupid nonsensical posts where he attempted to call people out for failing to defend arguments they had never made.

Did you make a point against his IQ skepticism that he doesn't want to answer? Prepare to have him ask you how your point is supposed to invalidate colorblind meritocracy. Have you ever posted about meritocracy before? Doesn't matter if you haven't. Are you actually in favor of it? Fuck you, Hlynka can read your mind and knows you really aren't.

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I've argued previously that the core of Enlightenment/Progressive/Left-wing thought is the axiom "we know how to solve all our problems"

Are you sure that's a uniquely Enlightenment axiom? Isn't traditional Christianity quite opinionated on how we can solve all our problems? "For man's happiness consists essentially in his being united to the Uncreated Good, which is his last end."

Anyway, this strikes me as more of a statement of personal credence about the results of a given policy program, rather than a core philosophical axiom that we might expect to find wedded to one ideology over another.

There was and still is definitely an element of this in Marxism, the faith that the world revolution would usher in the end of history and the final utopia. Absolutely. But there are also Marxists who are critical of that tendency. It's a fortunate coincidence that I mentioned Zizek and McGowan in my last post, because they're both self-described Marxists who are critical of traditional eschatological Marxism. Zizek has transitioned over the years towards a position where he treats Marxism as more of a regulative ideal to strive for, rather than a single defined end state. McGowan critiques the traditional Marxist conception of a utopian social order free of contradictions because it fails to account for the lessons of Freud and Lacan about the fundamentally self-destructive nature of the human psyche. He describes his position as one of "permanent revolution" - yes we should strive for a socialist economic order, but he explicitly acknowledges that that won't be the end of our problems. There will always be new problems, new tensions, the need for new revolutions. If a Marxist thinks like this, is he no longer a Marxist? Well, he obviously doesn't become a traditional Red.

Do you think that white identitarians think they "know how to solve all our problems"? I've never really heard any of them talk in those terms. But if any of them do believe that, then they should obviously stop. There have been lots of (almost) 100% white societies throughout history and they all had lots of problems. White people have a long history of violently murdering each other. So it's just a simple historical fact that white nationalism can't solve every problem. I think that every intelligent white identitarian who has reflected on meta-politics is aware of this.

You can use almost any political ideology as an example. Let's take ancaps. Do ancaps think they know how to solve all our problems? It seems obvious to me that there could be some who do and some who don't. And they're all still ancaps. It wouldn't make sense to classify them any other way.

I'm not opposed to the idea of looking at political ideologies through the lens of common foundational commitments, if we can find the right ones, but "we know how to solve all our problems" just doesn't strike me as a good one. Dividing people based on that would lead us to put people with severely disparate ideologies into the same camp.

Was it the one gattsuru cited somewhere in this thread?

I can't find a post by gattsuru citing Hlynka in this thread. got a link?

....Still working on the writeup.

Ah, thanks much. None of those are the actual exchange, but they are part of the lead-up to it, as he and I started poking at each other more and more. This and this are close preludes, and probably contain most of the information, but it took an actual head-on argument about it to drive the point home.

Reddit's search functions are trash

I noticed that too. I wonder why nobody can come up with a Reddit search engine that is actually usable.

There were several, but the shut down the public API for IPO$/fuck you reasons and now they are all broken.

Listen, once you reserve the right to disregard the other guy's actual post and respond to the one you imagined him making, you're not participating in a forum in good faith. If you're going to respond to someone with "How does this prove X?" like it's some kind of comeback then X can't be something the other person has never posted about.

You can suspect whatever you want about what kind of autistic power level hiding fatlords everyone is, but you have to respond to posts that exist. You have to participate in the conversation people are actually having.

People do this to me almost literally every time I post.

I think what you are referring to is the inferential gap, not malice. People from a different hivemind than yours will have so much different context than you that the words you write won't mean the same things when they read them. Replies will look bizarre and non-sequitur and like they're ignoring things you already said.

You just have to have faith and be charitable in assuming that people are trying to make constructive replies and the inferential gap is making the two of you talk past each other, and try to work it out using smaller words. If your response to someone making a bizarre reply that seems to miss the point is to say 'that person is being dishonest', then you'll preferentially disregard all communications from people outside your filter bubble until you eventually can't even talk to anyone who doesn't already agree with you.

When people talk about Hlynka disregarding other people's posts, they're talking about stuff like this. There's no "inferential gap" here - he's just flatly accusing people of lying about their own positions, and ignoring their pleas to the contrary. I'm not sure how else you could interpret it.

I think what you are referring to is the inferential gap, not malice.

No, I'm not referring to an inferential gap. Dude literally sees fit to tell you that you're lying about your own opinions and then make some up for you. Check Prima's example, there are others. Thanks for the twee little lecture, but you'd have been well-served to acquaint yourself with the discussions in question before delivering it.

In general, I agree with you (and will miss him), but Hlynka definitely was pretty bad about this, far worse than people are toward you—people repeating dozens of times in a single conversation that they don't have the view imputed to them, and his response is essentially just to repeat the assertion.

I agree with you and I think people treat you with unnecessary disdain here for your politics. That said, you and Hlynka are quite different in that I think you’re able to engage in much better faith with users you strongly disagree with, even when you occasionally get too mad (and so do all of us).

You can suspect whatever you want about what kind of autistic power level hiding fatlords everyone is, but you have to respond to posts that exist. You have to participate in the conversation people are actually having.

You can also not do that because you decide it is beneath you, and accept a ban as the consequence. Each person makes their own choices, and I would be very surprised if Hlynka did not fully expect the ban and at least weakly agree that it was justified based on his behavior.

I had an argument with him once that abruptly and very significantly changed my mind, my values and my entire perspective on a whole host of issues, all in a single sentence.

Well. Don't leave us hanging.

What was the sentence?

I remember that conversation vividly like it was yesterday, that sentence was "Democrats are the real racists."

I'm quite sure it wasn't, but if you've got a link I'd love to have it. I'm working on a more in-depth writeup to answer the question above, and it'd be interesting to check my recollection against the actual conversation.

It takes a certain kind of person to come into a community where their opinions are going to be very frequently and widely disagreed with, and to take that disagreement from ideological enemies day after day for 5+ years without flipping out, resorting to name-calling or just getting buttmad™️. Unfortunately Hlynka, for all his many interesting stories, life experience and wit (and he had a lot of it), was not equipped for it.

The great majority of people here are able to not insult other users even though ideological disagreements are very much commonplace.