Amerika

Furthest Right

How to comment on this site

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I am thankful for our user community here. Unlike on other sites, it is not a hugbox; users continually challenge me. However, there is also a shortage of the type of contrarianism that appears similar to honest dissent but really is nothing but attention whoring and time-wasting distraction. All comments are appreciated, but some — and the percentage is higher here than most places — stand out and are remembered and frequently form the inspiration for new articles.

As more people comment, I thought I’d write a short guide to commenting.

I. Behavior

I started out as a strong free-speech advocate. Over the years, I have realized that what ruins free speech is the tendency to abuse it and poison the discourse so that nothing gets done. People enjoy doing this because it gives them a sense of power, especially if other parts of their lives (family, job, school) are not going so well. It thus must be discouraged or they will do it not only here, but in the rest of society as well.

The usual response to free-speech abuse is to ban categories of speech. The simplest version is banning bad words; from there, it moves on to banning bad topics (sex, drugs, “racism”) and banning types of audience (piracy, hacking, child porn). This is where free speech, which was designed to protect unpopular and relevant or true political, scientific, religious and philosophical viewpoints, faces its greatest risk. It is merely a skip and jump from banning categories to defining those categories by user negative response, which is almost never unanimous and thus rewards pluralities within the user community, meaning any identifiable group acting in consort. That allows these categories to extend so that a ban on calling people racial epithets becomes a ban on any honest discussion of race, a ban on sex becomes a barrier to any discussion of sex roles, and forbidding hacking becomes a way of censoring any inconvenient knowledge about how technology works. All of these are wrong, not just practically but morally, and should never happen.

My approach now is to preserve free-speech by eliminating low-value content. This is the same rule used with spam, which might be defined as entirely generic commentary. Maybe you do want those penis extender pills or X10 cameras, but most users come here for more specific reasons. Thus we filter spam as low-value content even though doing so infringes on the rights of the bots of the people who posted it. In the same way, few users have trouble censoring a comment that consists only of an obscenity with no other content. My modus operandi is that anything which does not make good reading for other users is an abuse of the community and I will defend it. This method is not invoked often because, as stated above, “youse guys are the best.”

II. Mechanics

Fascinating technical stuff ahead. Bring a pillow. This system runs on WordPress and uses HTML, a form of the 1970s-era text-based formats that introduced the standard “tag,” with some limitations. The basic idea is that to change the attributes of any block of text, you enclose it in open-tags and close-tags.

Here’s how to do it:

<em;>italicize&;lt;/em>

italicized

<strong>bolded</strong>

bolded

<strike>struck-through</strike>

struck-through

<a href="http://www.amerika.org/texts/the-death-of-god-and-nihilism-friedrich-nietzsche/" target="_blank">The Death of God and Nihilism, by Friedrich Nietzsche</a>

The Death of God and Nihilism, by Friedrich Nietzsche

<blockquote>
Beware that, when fighting monsters, you yourself do not become a monster... for when you gaze long into the abyss. The abyss gazes also into you. - Friedrich W. "Fred" Nietzsche
</blockquote>

Beware that, when fighting monsters, you yourself do not become a monster… for when you gaze long into the abyss. The abyss gazes also into you. – Friedrich W. “Fred” Nietzsche

Putting it all together:


For many years, conservatives have struggled to find a unifying theory of their beliefs -- generally formulated from <em>gut instinct</em> more than abstraction -- which can compete with liberal ideology, which originates in a single idea, egalitarianism, which is the notion that all people are "equal" <strong>so that</strong> each individual is free of social oversight. In Nietzsche, conservatives found their ideal through his embrace of "health," both individuals and society. His idea was that the right must not so much fight the left as entirely reject it and focus on itself instead. One of his most famous quotations states a warning against letting the left draw us into combat that pulls us down to their level:

<blockquote>
Beware that, when fighting monsters, you yourself do not become a monster... for when you gaze long into the abyss. The abyss gazes also into you. - Friedrich W. "Fred" Nietzsche
</blockquote>

Through this short passage, Nietzsche removes the focus from beating the left to avoiding their disease, conflating ideas with contagion in a classic conservative model (much as Burroughs later observed that "language is a virus"). This gives two dimensions to conservatives: first, to see liberalism as a mere trend or idea that is appealing in a social group but transient as far as actual relevance, and second, to remove our focus from specific liberal battlegrounds and to look toward overall health, both our individual mental health and the health of our society, including the measure of joy and excitement we get from living within it. This forms the basis of his conservative ideal, which is leading people away from the false reality of liberalism and back toward reality itself, centered on the idea of <a href="http://www.amerika.org/texts/the-death-of-god-and-nihilism-friedrich-nietzsche/" target="_blank">healthy life</a>:

<blockquote>
We have measured the value of the world according to categories that refer to a purely fictitious world.
</blockquote>

For many years, conservatives have struggled to find a unifying theory of their beliefs — generally formulated from gut instinct more than abstraction — which can compete with liberal ideology, which originates in a single idea, egalitarianism, which is the notion that all people are “equal” so that each individual is free of social oversight. In Nietzsche, conservatives found their ideal through his embrace of “health,” both individuals and society. His idea was that the right must not so much fight the left as entirely reject it and focus on itself instead. One of his most famous quotations states a warning against letting the left draw us into combat that pulls us down to their level:

Beware that, when fighting monsters, you yourself do not become a monster… for when you gaze long into the abyss. The abyss gazes also into you. – Friedrich W. “Fred” Nietzsche

Through this short passage, Nietzche removes the focus from beating the left to avoiding their disease, conflating ideas with contagion in a classic conservative model (much as Burroughs later observed that “language is a virus”). This gives two dimensions to conservatives: first, to see liberalism as a mere trend or idea that is appealing in a social group but transient as far as actual relevance, and second, to remove our focus from specific liberal battlegrounds and to look toward overall health, both our individual mental health and the health of our society, including the measure of joy and excitement we get from living within it. This forms the basis of his conservative ideal, which is leading people away from the false reality of liberalism and back toward reality itself, centered on the idea of healthy life:

We have measured the value of the world according to categories that refer to a purely fictitious world.

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