September 19, 2013

Blog hiatus and troll emergency issues

I'll go into hiatus for some days or weeks. I have not been blogging too much as of late and feeling guilty about it but today I really don't care anymore: 90% of the last comments have been made by banned individuals which I deem trolls for a number of reasons (including racism and homophobia but mostly just being annoying pricks) and some other who is quite borderline. 

That takes a toll on me: instead of reading what I like my blog to motivate, interesting comments and discussions, I just read very annoying and often offensive junk, being forced to delete comments one by one and what not. Naturally it takes a toll on me and the flu of four days already I'm going through does not help my patience either.

I will consider it for the rest of the week but most likely I will end up finishing my already planned migration to WordPress. After all this open source blogging platform offers better troll-control tools (and does not allow state governments to censor individual blogs, something that Blogger does, kinda reminding our state slavery every day with state codes after the raw blog address for everyone outside the states).

By the moment in any case comment moderation is on. If you are not a Nazi or a total jerk or both (and that includes already banned individuals, of course), your comments will appear as soon as I read them.


  1. Hope you feel better, soon. I wish you luck on the new platform, and thanks for paying attention to what I am trying to contribute.

    1. Thanks to you and the many other commenters who actually contribute with a lot of interesting stuff. I'm just feeling a bit exhausted and need a break.

  2. Hope you get your enthusiasm back - very interesting stuff.

  3. Hi Maju,
    I rarely if ever comment on your blog, however I read it regularly, and I wanted to show some support. I really appreciate your insights as much as I do your being a refreshing voice in a disturbingly homophobic and ethnocentric milieu.
    Don't let trolls and bigots get the best of you, I am looking forward to reading your new blog. Perhaps I'll have more to contribute at some point.

  4. As a long time quiet observer to your blog, I have to say, though the subject matter is far from my area of expertise, I find that this constantly unfolding narrative, as to where we as a species have been, can only be retold reliably through the study of the haplo groups dispersal across the globe. I'm highly doubt it will ever be anywhere near a complete narrative, but appears to suggest a previously unknown history that no one could have guessed at.

    I don't think you get enough positive feed back from daily/bi-daily readers such as myself. Please keep writing as a centralized location for this sort of information is practically non-existent outside the confines of your blog--- and those other bloggers who will go unnamed are no where as balanced in their opinions as you.

    I encourage other long time lurkers to lend their support.


  5. As a long time reader and first time poster, I need to say that you, Maju, provide a very valuable service to those of us who do not consider this to be our area of expertise. Though there are other blogs that publish similar material, I have always found there to be an underlying agenda in how they present the data.

    With each new dataset, interpretation and even sometimes with the conjectures in the study, a new piece of our narrative of where we have been as a species gets brought to the light. I do not believe we'll ever get the complete picture or even nearly so, but from my perspective these studies have provided more insight into our past than any history written by the victor has ever supplied.

    I encourage other mute readers to this blog to post, lending their support. When it comes to feedback to any website, it seems that the vast majority comes from those who avidly support or wish to debase something. Those in the middle, who in the end end up being the majority, rely on blogs such as this for intellectual stimulation and need to be heard from----- and the primary reason is that for the majority of us, this is not our area of expertise. As a result, we don't feel we can add much to the conversation.

    .... but we are the audience more so then those who wish to agree or attack your every post.

  6. I believe that the study of this subject area is a vital and emerging field that suggests a more complete and vastly more complicated narrative than the one that we read in our history books.

    I am a first time poster, but like many read this blog daily. People who post comments typically can be separated into two groups; those who avidly agree or wish to debase an idea. Those of us in the middle, whose eyes are being opened by these daily presentations, are rarely heard from.

    I encourage those mute readers to post the positives they have taken from experiencing this blog—as Maju has no way to know that you are there unless you speak.

  7. I believe that the study of this subject area is a vital and emerging field that suggests a more complete and vastly more complicated narrative than the one that we read in our history books.

    I am a first time poster, but like many read this blog daily. People who post comments typically can be separated into two groups; those who avidly agree or wish to debase an idea. Those of us in the middle, whose eyes are being opened by these daily presentations, are rarely heard from.

    I encourage those mute readers to post the positives they have taken from experiencing this blog—as Maju has no way to know that you are there unless you speak.

  8. Thank you guys from coming out of the lurking zone. I is very much appreciated, I must admit. I know from the stats that this blog has about a thousand daily readers (or more precisely: visits) and I do not expect most of them to comment, sincerely. It'd be nice but it would also be a bit nightmarish to read even cursorily a thousand comments every day, admittedly. XD

    The issue of trolls seems to be one of being able to ban certain individuals who clearly overstep all red lines. There are some very few individuals who seem to believe it is their right to spam this blog with whatever crosses their mind, as if this was some kind of open forum or whatever. It is my personal blog (I write 99.9% of the content and I manage it all alone) and I enjoy having feedback, often very informative and stimulating, and I don't mind having a disagreement as long as it is not particularly offensive (I have principles and I don't like to have them stomped on too aggressively) or extends for infinite time in circular arguments.

    So I hope to be able to do that soon. By the moment some days of rest. Thanks again for your solidarity. :)

  9. Hi Maju,
    Big thumbs up for the shift to Wordpress. I have been quietly lurking lately as many things (lithic assemblages, teeth) are way beyond my expertise. The European based material are interesting, but again, my geographic competencies are in the Americas/Pacific Rim. Also many formerly controversial topics (Clovis NOT first, OOA early) are now so well established as to be the assumed consensus. Enjoy your holiday, and I look forward to the new blog.

  10. I don't think its a good idea to have unmoderated comments.

  11. Agree with the gist above. Rarely have commented here, but enjoy reading your blog. Please continue, when you feel up to it. I prefer a blog with moderated comments, as it raises the level of commentary greatly.

  12. I support the others here, dont let some trolls manage to stop your blog. I dont disagree with you always and you not with me but I appreciate your comments and feedback even I dont always agree with them. Nothing is as good as a founded second point of view within the context of the subject!

  13. Thanks again to all for your support and comments.

    To be honest, I like a fresh space for discussion and that's why I do not like to pre-moderate, which may delay the comment from appearing many hours, even days maybe, and what I would like instead would be the ability to ban individuals if they go too far for my likes. Normally most people know where to stop and I do not even mind some off-topic if the matter is interesting and the deviation not abusive in terms of extension and such, but there are millions online and definitively some do not know that "no means no", as they say. Ultimately I have the last word about who or what is posted here: I can make a zillion rules but these are just guidelines in the end, both for me as moderator and for the commenters who wish to ignore or abuse the lack of regulation. The issue is that ultimately this is my space; open, sure, but only up to where I get really annoyed. My limits may not be those of others, just the same that my blog is not that of any other.

    In general I tend to be quite tolerant and patient, I believe, but when someone does not acknowledge your ultimate authority, you need a weapon, and that weapon should be individual banishment, after all that's also a reason why I do not accept anonymous comments.

    And that's not possible with Blogger tools unless I perpetually implement pre-moderation, what I do not like. I am not yet sure if WP allows for the kind of individually-targeted moderation I want or if I would need to implement some other gadget like Disqus.

    So I'll be taking one or two weeks off to chew on all that and relax.

    Thanks again.

  14. Hi Maju

    I have been reading your blog for a while now. I find it very informative and the level of analysis impressive, whilst maintaining objectivity and balance. It has become an almost daily ritual to visit the blog for new posts.

    I hope that you continue to post as long as you enjoy it. Your blog is a breath of fresh air compared to other blogs that tackle similar topics which are extremely biased and quite frankly pander to bigoted, irresponsible individuals. Two thumbs up from an avid Filipino reader.

  15. I stumbled upon your blog many months ago and mostly everyday I check for posts. And often I do additional research in order to understand the controversies raised.
    The breadth and depth of the links in your political blog blows me away.
    I had to stop reading Razib, because of the bigotry, especially directed toward Afro-Americans. And he is not very sensitive toward women either.That scientists (or the active commenters of such blogs) could be so uninformed, biased and profoundly arrogant was a surprise to me. A naïve thought, I know. Scientists come from the same society (I write as an American) as the rest of us and have been exposed to the same divisive ideas. Thank you for your sensitivity, Maju and know that your writing and your ideas are very much appreciated. In solidarity from an American reader.

  16. I do love this blog, your blog,
    It is among the very few ones I deem worth reading,
    take offenses and idiotic comments as a proof you are a competent and worthy person.
    Do not give up, please.

  17. Hello Maju,

    I've been reading your blog now and then since, I don't remember how, came across it. I'm quite far from being an expert in the stuff you write about but I find it very interesting and really enjoy reading it.

    I hope you can sort the troll issues out soon.

    zorionak zure lana.
    (I don't have a clue about Basque language and I suppose Google Translate don't make it any better)

  18. Dear Maju,

    Not the commenting type myself, I do appreciate your blog very much. Perhaps you could consider making September (or what month you like) your annual break. I think or hope so, most of us would understand and you would't have to feel guilty (please don't) about it.

  19. Well, thanks again to all for your sympathies. I am just taking a much needed break. I'll probably be back in a week. I must say that I don't feel "guilty" but sometimes just overwhelmed by the annoying stubbornness of a handful of disruptive people.

    "zorionak zure lana."

    Actually it'd be, just for the record, "... zure lanagatik", where "-gatik" means "because of" ("why?" = "zergatik", i.e. "because of what"?) Google translator sucks but the intention is what matters, so thank you.

    "I had to stop reading Razib"...

    Yeah, I can understand that very well. He's anyhow friendly enough to help with papers and such, what I do appreciate, but, sure, the overall reactionary indoctrination tone (including multifaceted bigotry under a "scientific" pretext) is pretty much unbearable. Even ignoring that, most of the time he's not really that interesting anyhow, although there are some exceptionally interesting entries. Is still follow him but most of the time is like not well explained, not really interesting, to much loaded. Often I simply do not look at all because I do not understand what he means with his strange titles, which is what I see first in my feed, full of private clues, so I don't feel attracted to even click and read further. I guess I may miss something now and then but mostly not much.

    I can't but agree, even if sin of narcissism - meh, I can always say you coerced me with your "flattery" ;) -, that a blog like this one, with all its limitations, is much needed in the Internet. But I hope you can understand that I'm just a middle aged man doing this just for hobby and that the mere time I dedicate to process, even cursorily, all the feeds, never mind to write something minimally coherent about what I feel most interesting among them, is sometimes taxing. Sometimes I must falter, especially when a few aggressive people, who (for some mysterious reason) feel overly entitled to use the comments section as their personal blog in ways that do bother me quite a bit.

    But I promise I will be back. No worries. Just give me a little time to rest.

    Thanks again, guys. I know that most of the readers of this blog are simply great people.

  20. Hi Maju

    Hope you sort out troll issue and start your new Wordpress blog soon. Don't let few people bring your spirit down and harm your good work

  21. Dear Maju

    Very good work!

    I´m Portuguese and I´m surprised with the pre-neolithic continuity amount for Portugal (probably because the studies that I have read overlook many things or just because this country isn´t really well studied and that´s never taken into consideration before make important conclusions).
    But I have questioned myself all the data, since some things simply just don´t fit.
    Your study, on the other hand, confirms some of my suspicions (even more than I expected, to be honest).
    I´m just curious, from where did you got the modern sample results (for Portugal)?

    Thanks in advance.

    Best wishes,


  22. Hi Luis,

    Hope you're having a good break from blogging and wishing you well.



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