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FDR and Stef are being discussed at Metafilter.com


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125 replies to this topic

#1
Marcus Geduld

Marcus Geduld
  • 228 posts

I think this is the first time FDR has been the subject of a front-page thread on Metafilter. For those who don't know about it, Metafilter is an old, highly-respected web community with thousands of members and many smart ones.

Alas, the conversation isn't going well.

I urge non knee-jerky FDRers to join Metafilter and post polite, clear, smart comments about this community. I am sorry that the comments so far on Metafiler are not polite. But please try to rise above that. There really are smart, open-minded people who will listen to you if you're clear and not defensive or trollish. It's a conversation worth having.

I tried to start it (I'm grumblebee on that site). But I'm just one person, and I'm known there for having off-the-wall views. I'm also pretty new here, so I'm not the best representative of FDR.

Metafilter has a $5 membership fee. If you would like to respond but don't want to pay, email me your reponse and I'll be happy to post it.

http://www.metafilter.com/95084/Choose-Your-Own-Occupation


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#2
Marcus Geduld

Marcus Geduld
  • 228 posts

Note: I will be offline for most of this evening (Eastern Standard Time) until about midnight. So if anyone contacts me and I don't respond, I'm not igoring you.

Stef, the owner of Metafiler (Matt) usually waves the membership fee for people who are being attacked and who want to respond. Just contact him if you want. He'll give you a voice.


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#3
Formelyknown

Formelyknown
  • 445 posts

 

Metafilter has a $5 membership fee.

 

oohh smart move[applause]


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To follow ethics is subjective but the interaction between each individual's behavior is objective if you choose honesty over deception.


#4
Ricky Cisco

Ricky Cisco
  • 1115 posts

I urge non knee-jerky FDRers to join Metafilter and post polite, clear, smart comments about this community. I am sorry that the comments so far on Metafiler are not polite. But please try to rise above that. There really are smart, open-minded people who will listen to you if you're clear and not defensive or trollish. It's a conversation worth having.

 

Your advice is for FDR members to make polite, smart comments, and non-knee-jerk reactions at metafilter where all I see is impolite, uneducated comments, and knee-jerk reactions.

Thats like saying, 'hey those hungry wolves over there want to eat you - you should strip down, stuff some raw meat in your underwear and go have a polite discourse about why they shouldn't eat you.'

Yes, rise above that.

I think metafilter needs to be viewed as exactly how it is - insignificant. 


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#5
Greg Minton

Greg Minton
  • 1319 posts

I urge non knee-jerky FDRers to join Metafilter and post polite, clear, smart comments about this community. I am sorry that the comments so far on Metafiler are not polite. But please try to rise above that. There really are smart, open-minded people who will listen to you if you're clear and not defensive or trollish. It's a conversation worth having.

 

Your advice is for FDR members to make polite, smart comments, and non-knee-jerk reactions at metafilter where all I see is impolite, uneducated comments, and knee-jerk reactions being made?

Thats like saying, 'hey those hungry wolves over there want to eat you - you should strip down, stuff some raw meat in your underwear and go have a polite discourse about why they shouldn't eat you.'

Yes, rise above that.

I think metafilter needs to be viewed as exactly how it is - insignificant. 

I agree with Ricky. I don't see the point of engaging with people who clearly have no interest in thinking critically.


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#6
Ricky Cisco

Ricky Cisco
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And what is going on over there hardly qualifies as a discussion. It's a notch up from youtube comments.


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#7
Alan Chapman

Alan Chapman
  • 5097 posts

It's easy to become impassioned about spreading new ideas and correcting misconceptions on other sites, but I don't see anything to indicate seriousness or open-mindedness there.

It's best to let people who are interested in learning about our ideas come here. I don't think you're likely to persuade anybody there and you'll probably just end up becoming frustrated. It's not difficult to see what you'd be dealing with. This is one of the less sophomoric posts:

I'm not exactly sure what they're proposing as a sustainable alternative
method
to sufficiently organizing a large group of humans to get much
of anything done.



Because I'm sure we'd be able to have the electrical grid, water and
sewage systems, communication network, internationally manufactured
sophisticated electronics, and ready supply of nutritious food -- which
this person no doubt took advantage of while making this video --
without any kind of central organization system. All of that would
obviously just work itself out, somehow!


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#8
Boris

Boris
  • 236 posts

There really are smart, open-minded people who will listen to you if you're clear and not defensive or trollish. It's a conversation worth having.


 

They dont seem very nice to me...Im not saying it relates to you, but that statement reminds me a lot of abuse victims defending their abusers. I dont think you'd need to tell us they're "smart, open minded people" if they really were that way. Just sayin...


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"Common sense is the collection of prejudices acquired by age eighteen."  -Albert Einstein


#9
Stefan Molyneux

Stefan Molyneux
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don't sing duets with william hung

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#10
Ryan Linton

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  • 575 posts

@mgeduld

I think you should invite telstar and navelgazer to watch some of the anti-corporate videos or podcasts. They seem like reasonable and worthwhile people to debate with.


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#11
Ryan Linton

Ryan Linton
  • 575 posts

“First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.”

I'm personally happy to see we are moving up in the world. [:D]

 


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#12
Eric Starnes

Eric Starnes
  • 442 posts

I am guessing that those who have enough curiosity to handle the new ideas continued watching videos on the youtube channel rather then vomiting on the comment section.


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#13
Marcus Geduld

Marcus Geduld
  • 228 posts

I respect your feelings re replying. I know you guys are tired of explaining yourselves and have been burned before. I've made a personal decision to always be available for discussion, but I don't expect others to do that. It makes me a little sad, but, again: I get it.

Mostly, I just wanted to give you a heads up that the metafilter discussion was happening.


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#14
soma

soma
  • 472 posts

From those comments, the viewers on that site offered a disgusting display of haughty, pretentious and aggressive behaviour - just a nest of trolls. I say, ignore them, any decent person will be put off by that kind of conduct.


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#15
Giedrius

Giedrius
  • 84 posts


 

I've made a personal decision to always be available for discussion, but I don't expect others to do that. It makes me a little sad, but, again: I get it.

 

Would you be available for discussion with a mugger who openly threatens to assault you?

 

 

Mostly, I just wanted to give you a heads up that the metafilter discussion was happening.

 

 

What evidence do you have that discussion on that site is happening? I see a noise of aggressive trolls only.


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#16
Russell Pellow

Russell Pellow
  • 1131 posts

Yea i wouldn't dare attempt to talk in that setting about freedom etc . . to many people with to many conclusions, lots of anger and very little curiocity. I'm sure if you talked to one or two of them privately it might work, but not like that.

Also i cant stand the color combinations of the website [shocked]


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#17
Marcus Geduld

Marcus Geduld
  • 228 posts

Would you be available for discussion with a mugger who openly threatens to assault you?

I don't want to misrepresent myself. I have an ideal about availability that I strive to live up to, but of course I often fail and always will. If I was being mugged, I would almost definitely be too terrified to even put words together, so I literally wouldn't be available to talk. But at least in theory, I would be (or I would like to be), as silly as I'm sure that sounds to many people.

Interesting story that, coincidentally, started on Metafilter: there was a member there who offended pretty much everybody (including me at times).

Metafilter has a sister site called Ask Metafilter. It's a site where you can post questions and community members with the appropriate expertise can attempt to answer them. Lots of questions about computer issues, relationships problems, where to stay when visiting New York, etc. But this one guy -- I'll call him Bill -- kept asking these naive questions like "Do guys become gynecologists just because they're perverts? Aren't they embarrassed about their jobs? Why don't they do something more respectable?" He asked these sorts of questions about once a week, and 90% of the members were sure he was trolling.

I was undecided about that. I certainly thought it was possible he was trolling. But I also knew that some people have lived sheltered lives. Many of his questions (including the one about gynecologists) were questions that I had once. I was probably about twelve when I wondered about stuff like that. Luckily for me, I was a voracious reader with access to lots of books, and very quickly learned how to find answers to most of my questions.

But my policy towards Bill was that if there's a CHANCE he's not a troll, I owe him an answer if I can give it. And I am serious about "owe," even though most people I've talked to about that disagree that it's a requirement.

When I was a kid, what upset me the most was when grownups refused to answer my questions. When I got older, I spent twenty years as a teacher. Maybe because I've never really quit being a teacher (in my mind), I feel that answers are a basic sort of respect that one human owes another. And, yes, I feel that I even owe that respect to people who are not respecting me. I can't control their behavior, but I can control mine. As I said, above, there are limits to what I can take. I'm NOT going to keep talk to someone who is hurling endless abuse at me. But I'll give people a couple of chances.

I know that Stef and others here advise against arguing with assholes and trolls, and I'm not going to say that's bad advice. Most of the time, such arguments go nowhere. But not ALL the time. Here's an illuminating experience I've had multiple times in my life: someone will come at me with both a question and an insult: "You asshole! Why do keep insisting that public schools suck?" What I've found is that if I respond to the "you asshole" part -- if I even acknowledge it -- the conversation is over before it started. SOMETIMES, if I totally ignore that and say, "I think public schools suck, because..." the "you asshole" stuff goes away.

Sometimes it takes two or three rounds. "I knew you were going to say that, you fuckhead! Don't you see that education is a GOOD thing." To which, if I'm able to avoid being defensive, I say, "I agree that education is a good things, but..." As I said, above, SOMETIMES, after a couple of rounds like this, the conversation becomes civil and meaningful. I am not tell YOU that you should put up with "you asshole" and "you fuckhead." I am explaining how I feel I need to live -- or to try to live.

As many have pointed out here, there's no sense in talking to a brick wall. If someone has made it obvious that they're incapable or unwilling to listen to you, then there's no point in talking to them. So please don't take this as me berating anyone here for not going over to Metafilter. I think people's reasons for not doing that make sense.

When I said I was sad about it, I meant that literally. To me, the saddest thing in life is two people ignoring each other. It's a fact of life; it's going to happen; sometimes it has to happen; but it's always going to make me sad. All my life -- all my career choices (teaching, writing, theatre directing) -- are about building bridges. That's who I am. As much as many on this site are passionate about Libertarianism or Atheism, that -- more than those things -- is my passion.

As for Bill, since no one was really answering his questions, I sent him an email that said, "I have my suspicions that you're a troll, but I'm willing to take the risk that you're not. Please feel free to ask me any question you have. If I can possibly answer it, I will." And he did. He started sending me questions almost every day.

Eventually, he "went too far" and got kicked off on Metafilter. I agree with that decision. He said something really personally offensive (and creepy) to another member, and, for that, it made sense to ostracize him. I was quite frank with him about my feelings, but still I continued to answer his questions. I can't tell you how many friends have said I'm nuts to keep corresponding with him. "What do you get out of it?" "Why do you waste your time?" Etc. This also really saddens me, though, again, I understand why people feel that way.

What do I get out of it? Well, Bill's questions are so naive that they often force me to confront core assumptions in my thinking. And I've also noticed that, though it sometimes takes immense patience and repeated efforts on my part, Bill DOES often understand (and even agree) with my points after a while. Which is part of the reason I "waste my time." But mostly I do it because it's part of my core ethics. You are a person with a question; I am a person with an answer; I owe you that answer just as much as I'd owe you food if I have some and you were starving.


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#18
nathanm

nathanm
  • 2008 posts

Wow, that's really nutty stuff.  I wouldn't know where to start with people so in love with The Man.  Do these people not get paychecks?  Are they the children of senators?  Do they not look at all those fucking deductions and get pissed off?  FUCK!


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"The government always sneaks in when I'm half seized-over and purloins the very thread from my hanky!" - Joad Cressbeckler


#19
Leon Atkinson

Leon Atkinson
  • 72 posts

don't sing duets with william hung

Good point, and remarkably succinct. [;)]

May I add an unless? That is, unless you want to make a big spectacle in order to draw attention to yourself.

Given: arguing on metafilter likely changes no one's mind. I've proven to myself many times over that logical arguments have no effect on anyone who has yet to accept logic. However, if the choice is between no one knowing you exist and some jerk yelling about how he hates you, the latter does you a favor. If our goal is advertisement, then it may be wise jump into the conversation to stir it up as it starts to die down.

The approach may seem cynical, as if you're manipulating a bunch of people caught up in their illusions, but I think it can be done honestly and in a way that demonstrates humility.


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#20
JamesP

JamesP
  • 3905 posts

Interesting note: they're "discussing" FDR and Stef but nobody over there is discussing philosophy or anything real.


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#21
Marcus Geduld

Marcus Geduld
  • 228 posts

Sorry, but that's simply not true. It's not true that NO ONE is discussing philosophy -- unless you mean a meta discussion ABOUT philosophy. I agree that no one is doing that. SOME people are discussing philisophical points, particularly ethical ones.

You can rightfully accuse MANY people of just chest beating. You can rightly accuse MANY people of using faulty logic. But that's not the same as not discussing.

I know you've heard it all before until it makes you want to throw up, but "If we don't have a state, how will we deal with criminals?" isn't a dumb question. It's definitely a question about something "real." I'm betting it's a question that some of you had, before you came to FDR. I'm not saying that people there are necessarily open-minded enough to listen to an answer. But there are some legitimate questions mixed in with the romper-room behavior.

That's EXACTLY the sort of question I feel someone SHOULD answer. Someone should at least try. Maybe one person will listen. Maybe one person will half listen. In my mind, that would make it worth the effort. Unfortunately, I am the only person in that thread answering those questions, and that's so fucking wrong. I am not a Libertarian (I just have Libertarian leanings), I have not been studying Libertarianism or Anarchy for an iota of the time many of you have. And yet I'm the ill-equipped idiot who is carrying the torch as best I can. Because I passionately believe that whether you folks are right or not, what you're saying (even if it's wrong) is of deep, deep value.

By the way, though I'm not getting a great response in the thread, my posts there have generated several private emails from people too shy to post. They are clearly interested in Stef's ideas, which they haven't encountered before. I am directing them here. So not everything is bleak. But I really, really, really understand that the fifth time you've been slapped, it's pretty hard (and seemingly pointless) to go back for more.


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#22
Alan Chapman

Alan Chapman
  • 5097 posts

I think you're approaching this wrong, and, in your zeal, you may end up frustrated and disgruntled. It's something many of us have experienced. Don't feel as though you have to convince everyone about freedom. It's important to realize that the dumbed-down masses aren't going to be convinced that freedom is in their best interest, and they couldn't care less anyway. They'll live out there lives advocating force, and if it ultimately results in their own ruination they'll simply conclude that the force wasn't used in the way they imagined it should be. Focus your energies on like-minded individuals and forget about the dummies.

 


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#23
Marcus Geduld

Marcus Geduld
  • 228 posts

That is good advice!

With the greatest respect, I believe you're a little stuck in a conceptual box. It's certainly a box I get stuck in, at any rate: IF my goal is to convince everyone in the world, then -- yes -- I am going to wind up disgruntled and frustrated. In fact, if I think of discussions as debates, in which I have a goal of convincing, I will often wind up worse for wear. Often, it's hard for me to NOT approach conversations as debates.

But it's worth noting that there are other sorts of conversations. I'm not talking about touchy-feely ones in which everyone shares their feelings. I'm talking about conversations that don't start -- or that I don't enter with -- and iron-clad GOAL. I can walk into a room and think, "There are people here discussing 'The Godfather.' That's a film I like, know a lot about, and have strong opionions about." I am going to enter the conversation as a knowlegable person. I am going to make myself available in that way. I am going to see what happens. Maybe I'll get rejected. Maybe I won't. Maybe some people will reject me and others will accept me.


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#24
nathanm

nathanm
  • 2008 posts

When people say factually incorrect things like, "He hasn't offered any alternatives!" Then obviously aren't even paying attention.  These are people who won't navigate any further than the page they're on.  They aren't interested in doing even the most casual and lazy research they could do before sounding off.  Are 1700+ podcasts and a stack of books not enough material for them?!


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"The government always sneaks in when I'm half seized-over and purloins the very thread from my hanky!" - Joad Cressbeckler


#25
JamesP

JamesP
  • 3905 posts

I apologize... the last time I looked at the thread on metafilter, I saw an awful lot of sniping and snarky comments, none of which qualifies as "discussion."  You're right that questions about how things might be done without a state are about things that are real but they aren't really philosophical questions, especially if the question is asked without reference to the argument that was advanced.  I do apologize for the mischaracterization but I do want to be clear about what I was saying about the people who are causing the most distress.  Does that make sense?

Regarding the curiosity that was provoked in those that responded to you privately, that is pretty awesome and I think you should feel proud about that [:)]


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#26
Marcus Geduld

Marcus Geduld
  • 228 posts

That's cool, JamesP. I admit, it's hard to see the shrubs that actually want to discuss amid the many tall trees that want to jeer, humiliate, lash out and wrestly in the mud.

Hm. I think I may have mixed some methaphores there, but hopefully you get my point.


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#27
JamesP

JamesP
  • 3905 posts

That's cool, JamesP. I admit, it's hard to see the shrubs that actually want to discuss amid the many tall trees that want to jeer, humiliate, lash out and wrestly in the mud.

Hm. I think I may have mixed some methaphores there, but hopefully you get my point.

Dinosaurs lording it over shrews even as the skies darken from the impending impact of statism's asteroid...


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#28
Marcus Geduld

Marcus Geduld
  • 228 posts

You win.


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#29
Stefan Molyneux

Stefan Molyneux
  • 19755 posts

I did a response, unlisted so far, what do you think?

[View:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EFpV1so-eQU]


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#30
Marcus Geduld

Marcus Geduld
  • 228 posts

Stef, I am so thrilled you did that, even though I haven't watched it yet. (I will now.) I hope that the people on Metafilter will respond with the courtesy and thoughtfulness I know I'm going to see in your video. Of course, I'm sure 90% of them won't. But hopefully one or two will actually come over here with an open mind and look around.


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#31
Alan Chapman

Alan Chapman
  • 5097 posts

In fairness, I think 'views' and 'beliefs' was meant to be rhetorical and not derogatory.


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#32
Marcus Geduld

Marcus Geduld
  • 228 posts

Stef, that was am excellent video, including your accurate critique of what I said. I am very sorry that I misrepresented so many of your views. I hope you understand that, in my stupid way, I was trying to cut through the noise and get people to listen. I should never have espoused your "views" without having really paid close attention to your arguments. I was out of my depth, becuse the Anarchism/political part of FDR has never been the part that has most interested me. I should have just talked about the parts of FDR that I DID know.

In any case, great work. I hope at least one or two people listen rather than just jerking their knees. If no one on Metafilter does, at least the thread exists and the video exists. And other people can always read/watch them.


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#33
Marcus Geduld

Marcus Geduld
  • 228 posts

I did mean "views" in a rhetorical way. Or, a better way of saying it is that I was trying to use soft words. I was trying to be diplomatic.

However, I think Stef is quite right to call me on it. In the end, it's just mushy. Stef has the courage to say "I don't have 'views.' I'm right or I'm wrong."


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#34
nathanm

nathanm
  • 2008 posts

PWNAGE

I also learned a new phrase, "Stitch 'N Bitch"!  Cool.


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"The government always sneaks in when I'm half seized-over and purloins the very thread from my hanky!" - Joad Cressbeckler


#35
Alan Chapman

Alan Chapman
  • 5097 posts

I don't think that I'm stuck in any kind of box. I'm just being realistic.

Millions of people witnessed this on TV and were inspired. They're the same people with whom you're dealing on Metafilter.

Posted Image

 This too:

Posted Image

 


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