March 22, 2013

Comment moderation again

I have decided to banish TerryT from the comments section. He's just manipulating all I say and throwing insults and accusations. I have been extremely patient for many many years but I have really grow tired of all that almost every day. There is another person (guess who) just one step from going down the drain.

In consequence, I have decided to moderate comments for a week or so, establishing that way a buffer of comfort for myself. 

The list of people banned from commenting in this blog (from memory) is:
  • German Dziebel - cause: smartass trolling
  • Octavià Alexandre - cause: smartass trolling, personal attacks
  • DDeden - cause: some sort of mental problems apparently
  • Onur - cause: stubborn use of racist-like language under a varnish of "scientific terminology". Unbanned "on probation" Sep. 6th 2013 (original reason of bane edited after controversy).
  • TerryT - cause: smartass trolling, personal attacks, insistently putting words in my mouth that have nothing to do with reality, abusing without any consideration my dedication to this blog, etc.
Sorry for the inconvenience to all readers and commenters of good will, who are the vast majority.

22 comments:

  1. I'd probably get arrested if I wasn't moderating the comments at my blog. Some of the crap that gets posted there is unbelievable.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Well, thankfully I haven't got that kind of problems here. My problem right now is people being disrespectful, specially towards myself (for some reason some believe that free comment means that the blog author can be insulted and annoyed beyond all common sense), manipulating my words and thought till it has absolutely no relation to what I actually said, and extremely lengthy almost-daily comments one after the other mostly beating dead and long-ago-eaten horses (instead of respectfully agree to disagree and, if they wish, publish their own blogs with their own thoughts on whatever they wish).

      I can imagine what kind of stuff you mean but guess that I have lefty reputation and a clear anti-hate-discourse warning in the comment section that protect me from most of it. If anything of that gets through it ends quickly in the spam folder (because I check my blog or mail daily almost without exception).

      Otherwise I do likely lively fresh discussion, so I would prefer to be able to ban offenders individually or set under moderation dubious ones selectively, while allowing the bulk of commenters, who are generally just a delight to hear of (this must be said). This has me wondering if the Wordpress system is better (I am pretty sure that you can moderate/ban individual IDs separately) - of course they can always create new accounts but it is a quite useful method.

      Delete
  2. For reasons I don't understand (cultural founder effect? generations of island isolation?) the non-constructive antagonistic style argument is endemic in NZ. Even people born in Scotland (the original source for much of NZ's european population) often find Kiwis difficult to deal with to say the least. My strategy is the same as your's, I eventually break off contact with people who repeatedly antagonize me. Almost all of my friends here were born in Eurasia or the Americas. For the record, I have no knowledge of TerryT except from your blog,

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I would not dare to generalize on any population based on just a single individual. The only other "Kiwi" I've ever met was in a trip to Turkey and she was very nice. Also NZ has a reputation of being more progressive and "peacenik" than its larger neighbor, Australia, for example. But, well, I just want to emphasize that peoples and nations cannot be collectively earmarked because some individuals act this or that way.

      On at least one occasion someone told me something like: I've never met any Basque but since I know you I really hate Basques... What is a total nonsense. One is very much in his/her right not to like me but extending that judgment to a whole people on just one experience is obviously unfair and not intelligent.

      But I guess you know at least a dozen "Kiwis" to make such judgment... on that I can't say because in all my life I'm only aware of meeting two of them.

      What I can agree with is that stubbornly antagonistic, polemicist, persistent "intellectual trolling" is highly undesirable, not just for my emotions and patience but I imagine for most other readers who may find those "debates" as annoying as I do in most cases.

      A regular "troll" is easy to spot because of their blunt simplicity but "intellectual trolls" appear as and often are knowledgeable people. Their "crime" is to never know when to drop an issue: they always come back, they make little or no effort to see others' viewpoints and they never agree to disagree. And they drain your energies with their personalized confrontation, coming here as in a crusade, moved by some kind of blind faith on their own agenda.

      Let them write their own blogs and see how many people is interested in what they have to say. I lost my patience long ago: the straw (probably not worse than many previous incidents) broke the camel's back.

      Delete
    2. Just for the record, I am a Kiwi myself as I am a citizen of NZ, but, like 1/4 of our population, I was born overseas. The Pakeha (NZ europeans who have been here 6+ generations) are an interesting cultural isolate. I often find myself in agreement with the travel writer Paul Theroux who described the Pakehas he met at Otago University in 1990 as "ignorant, assertive, and dirty". I thought the "chip on the shoulder" style of relating to people was perhaps rural Scottish until I got to know enough Scotland born Kiwis who were as baffled by relentless Pakeha passive aggression as I was.

      Delete
    3. So it's not all Kiwis but a subset of them... descendants of first European colonists. Interesting. I want to still imagine that there is enough diversity even among the Pahekas... but it's true that often cultural groups with relative isolation tend to develop peculiarities that are shocking to others (but "normal" to themselves).

      One of the issues with globalization and the Internet is that such peculiarities clash with each other for good or bad. For example, as Basque, and also because of my individual personality, I tend to like a modicum of private space (in rural areas people stop at the fence and, unless rather intimate or emergency, they don't go beyond that point even if invited). This is probably not an exclusively Basque trait (I can imagine it happens in other parts of Europe and elsewhere to some extent - after all the concept of private space is pretty much universal, with variants and degrees) but it may help to explain why I like people to remind that this blog, while open to all (or nearly all) for good faith debate, is after all my space and wish everyone to respect that and not become a burden (in terms both emotional and of time spent) for me. After all the time I spend discussing (and documenting) with someone like Terry is time that I could well spend in something else (be it my leisure, the blog or whatever else).

      Surely I also have vices and defects. Feel free to point them in good faith and with some care. Even if you can't overcome them, it's not bad to be aware of them. For instance I'd say I can be somewhat grumpy and overly critical...

      Delete
  3. I hate to defend myself, but in this case I felt a need to do exactly that, so I request you to publish this post.

    Luis, I do not understand why you are so quick in dubbing me racist. The fact that you can not find a plausible or concrete reason to call me racist must tell a lot about your self-appointedness on this issue. The terminology argument is not a reasonable argument because terms most of the time have no fixed meaning and must be evaluated based on the context.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. (Comment above exceptionally authorized).

      I don't know if or how much racist your are but your "racialist" language and your stubborness/insensibility about other's feelings made me ban you. Words do matter and lack of apologies or any sign of self-criticism regarding such delicate issues made me take the decision I took.

      "Hybrid" for people of diverse ancestry is not a valid term in my universe. A mule is a hybrid, a human is not (unless we're talking of admixture with Neanderthals or whatever). I asked you several times to drop it and you did not.

      Another sign of your, let's call it, "peculiar racialist discourse" was obvious when discussing African ancestry among West Eurasians. The first thing you had to say about it was "it's not Negroid" and then you came with the most unlikely tale of some South African skull being "Caucasoid", all that making me and others present in that discussion very uncomfortable because we can see that you are manipulating (consciously or unconsciously) the data and the terminology in favor of a white supremacist discourse, no matter how decorated with pseudo-scientific excuses.

      I don't want to have anything to do with that crap. So, unless you have changed your attitude, I don't want you commenting here. However if you say you are willing to behave more sensibly in these matters, I'm willing to give you another chance.

      Delete
  4. I don't know if or how much racist your are but your "racialist" language and your stubborness/insensibility about other's feelings made me ban you.

    Then why do you explicitly call me or my statements racist?

    "Hybrid" for people of diverse ancestry is not a valid term in my universe.

    But you are imposing that judgement "in your universe" to everyone and even claiming that your judgement is the worldwide norm today when in fact it is not. For instance, you claim that the word for hybrid is not used in Turkish to denote mixes of human races. That is not true. The word "melez", the Turkish equivalent of the word "hybrid", is commonly used in Turkish to denote mixes of human races. So, for instance, Barack Obama is frequently mentioned as melez (=hybrid) in Turkish and no one regards that as racist.

    Another sign of your, let's call it, "peculiar racialist discourse" was obvious when discussing African ancestry among West Eurasians. The first thing you had to say about it was "it's not Negroid" and then you came with the most unlikely tale of some South African skull being "Caucasoid", all that making me and others present in that discussion very uncomfortable because we can see that you are manipulating (consciously or unconsciously) the data and the terminology in favor of a white supremacist discourse, no matter how decorated with pseudo-scientific excuses.

    Again, what has that to do with racism? Cro-Magnons are commonly classified as Caucasoid or Proto-Caucasoid and the Hofmeyr skull (=the ancient southern African skull in question) clusters with Cro-Magnons in craniometric analyses. That is why I called it Caucasoid. But maybe I should have called Cro-Magnons and the Hofmeyr skull Proto-Caucasoid instead.

    You can find nothing in what I wrote on this blog anything racist or White supremacist.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. "Then why do you explicitly call me or my statements racist?"

      Because as I have explained they do sound racist and I think that they express racist prejudice.

      "... you claim that the word for hybrid is not used in Turkish to denote mixes of human races".

      We are not speaking in Turkish here. My knowledge of Turkish is limited to a few words: merhaba, göreshere (?), etc., as is surely for most other readers. You never claimed before that your usage was driven by your native language's influence but instead you claimed it was "scientific".

      I asked you several times to drop the term but you insisted. In English and all the languages I am familiar with "hybrid" means primarily an individual that is product of the crossing of two different species, or sometimes also (in the specific field of animal breeding) of two different purebred variants.

      For example, Wikitionary says:
      1. (biology) Offspring resulting from cross-breeding different entities, e.g. two different species or two purebred parent strains.

      So by using it within the context of modern living humans, you are implying that Obama, in your example, descends from two different species or that Humankind is divided in purebred race. You are also favoring this purebred ancestry as "normal" or desirable above admixture. That is racism, regardless of whether you acknowledge it or not. Specifically it is racism against people of diverse ancestry.

      ... "the Hofmeyr skull (=the ancient southern African skull in question) clusters with Cro-Magnons in craniometric analyses".

      As I mentioned in the relevant discussion, the Hoffmeyr skull clusters with all kinds of modern skulls, including African ones (ref. graphs). Whatever the case this was not the main reason why you were banned, although it did not help your case either, as it reveals the kind of preconceptions and attitudes you have re. anthropometry and "races".

      The reason why you were banned was that I asked you repeatedly to drop the term "hybrid" in the context of modern human diversity and you did not. You were not willing to understand that your language was offensive for many people who do have diverse ancestry and also all of us with less diverse ancestry who feel empathy with them.

      You were required and you ignored the requirement, you were warned and you ignored the warning, you were therefore banned... don't cry me a river now.

      Delete
  5. Because as I have explained they do sound racist and I think that they express racist prejudice.

    That is not a valid argument. They may sound racist to you, but not to most people. For example, Terry Toohill expressed that according to him I and my statements are not racist and agreed with my usage of the term hybrid.

    We are not speaking in Turkish here. My knowledge of Turkish is limited to a few words: merhaba, göreshere (?), etc., as is surely for most other readers.

    You said: "You don't say of a Mexican or an Egyptian, for example, that (s)he is a "hybrid". Never. Not in Spanish, not in English and not in Turkish" (emphasis mine). Now I see that are retracting your statement about the use of the hybrid concept in Turkish.

    You never claimed before that your usage was driven by your native language's influence but instead you claimed it was "scientific".

    My usage is not driven by my native language but is indeed driven by the worldwide scientific usage. See, for instance, the Wikipedia arcticle on hybrid:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hybrid_(biology)

    "Population hybrids — result from the crossing of plants or animals in a population with another population. These include crosses between organisms such as interspecific hybrids or crosses between different races."

    In English and all the languages I am familiar with "hybrid" means primarily an individual that is product of the crossing of two different species, or sometimes also (in the specific field of animal breeding) of two different purebred variants.

    For example, Wikitionary says:
    1. (biology) Offspring resulting from cross-breeding different entities, e.g. two different species or two purebred parent strains.

    So by using it within the context of modern living humans, you are implying that Obama, in your example, descends from two different species or that Humankind is divided in purebred race. You are also favoring this purebred ancestry as "normal" or desirable above admixture. That is racism, regardless of whether you acknowledge it or not. Specifically it is racism against people of diverse ancestry.


    No, as the Wikipedia article I linked to above demonstrates, your definition of hybrid is more restricted than its definition and usage in biology, which includes interracial mixes. Also the term hybrid does not have the negative connotations you ascribe to it.

    As I mentioned in the relevant discussion, the Hoffmeyr skull clusters with all kinds of modern skulls, including African ones (ref. graphs). Whatever the case this was not the main reason why you were banned, although it did not help your case either, as it reveals the kind of preconceptions and attitudes you have re. anthropometry and "races".

    As this is a side issue in my ban and accusation of racism by you, I won't dwell upon it further.

    The reason why you were banned was that I asked you repeatedly to drop the term "hybrid" in the context of modern human diversity and you did not. You were not willing to understand that your language was offensive for many people who do have diverse ancestry and also all of us with less diverse ancestry who feel empathy with them.

    See my above answer on the hybrid issue.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. "For example, Terry Toohill expressed that according to him I and my statements are not racist and agreed with my usage of the term hybrid".

      He retracted, at least in practice: he dropped that usage altogether. Whatever the case he's not any good example IMO.

      "You said: "You don't say of a Mexican or an Egyptian, for example, that (s)he is a "hybrid". Never. Not in Spanish, not in English and not in Turkish" (emphasis mine). Now I see that are retracting your statement about the use of the hybrid concept in Turkish".

      Polemizing here, I see. It's not really important and, if you can't see it, then it is YOUR PROBLEM.

      "My usage is not driven by my native language but is indeed driven by the worldwide scientific usage. See, for instance, the Wikipedia arcticle on hybrid".

      Wikitionary says otherwise. In any case, I do not accept it and it is clearly offensive. If some "scientists" (or whoever) thinks that way, they will find the doors of this blog closed for them. Neither I nor the readers of this blog do not have to withstand such abuse.

      The issue is that you don't want to accept that your language, which you could easily change, is offensive to others in such a key issue as race and racism. I do not see any sign of retraction, repentance or any intention of amendment, so the ban stands.

      Delete
  6. Luis, I do not expect you to lift the ban on me. I only want you to change your statement on the cause of my ban in a way that does not accuse me with racism and to explain that change. I do not expect any apology from you; a change of cause statement and an explanation of the change are enough for me.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. IMO it is racism or at the very least lack of sensibility towards the very much serious issue of racism. I see no reason to change it.

      Delete
  7. Luis, your opinion is your opinion. You are free to believe what you want. But if you are going to accuse someone with racism, you should offer more than your subjective opinion. As you know, this is a serious and sensitive issue.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. My judgment is the last word in this blog.

      Delete
  8. If you are sensitive about racism as much as you claim, you should be sensitive about differentiating between what is and what is not racist and careful to not accuse people with racism based on weak arguments. From what I see in your behavior towards me, I doubt you are cognizant of the sensitivity of the matter. This blog may be yours, but that does not give you the right to freely make accusations, much less accusations of racism, according to your like. I am not your toy. I am a real person with real feelings. I am shy when it comes to defending myself, that is why I have been reluctant to address your false accusations against me until this day. But you have so much exasperated me with your false accusations that now I feel a need to address them.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Last statement on this matter: I banned you for racist behavior after several warnings. That is the fact.

      Whether you see yourself as racist or not is your problem not mine. But I don't see anything in what you say that let me reconsider the ban nor think that its causes have been amended in any way.

      You can cry a river but I don't see any change at all. The terminology you used (and no doubt you'd use again) is very clearly racist and hurtful, the way you covet racialist terminology without any kind of caveat or care is borderline racist. The way you entrench yourself around all that without any sign of self-criticism, apology or amendment does not help at all.

      You feel hurt? What about all those people of diverse ancestry and/or strong anti-racist sensibilities that you hurt? You don't care the least, it's obvious. You have no right to present yourself here as the victim when you were behaving like the proverbial elephant in the china shop and refused once and again to change your behavior.

      You broke all the china and even the shop but, hey, who cares!, right? What matters is the elephant's feelings only, right?

      Nope.

      Delete
  9. Using the term hybrid to denote interracial mixes is racist according to you, not according to the general norms, and it is even a scientific usage. That is the fact. You are unable to find anything racist in what I wrote on this blog, and I am now thinking even of taking legal action for the damages against me.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Onur unbanned under promise of trying not to step on other race-sensible toes. Ban reason edited to be more accurate.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Luis, I do not wish to enter into the same debate with you. Just know that I do not accept your accusation that my language was racist-like.

    ReplyDelete

Please, be reasonably respectful when making comments. I do not tolerate in particular sexism, racism nor homophobia. Personal attacks, manipulation and trolling are also very much unwelcome here.The author reserves the right to delete any abusive comment.

Preliminary comment moderation is... OFF (keep it that way, please)