May Open Thread VI

Readers may be interested in a new Meta-Forum that’s been brought to my attention:

From a quick look, the software is based on poliscirumors, which is head and shoulders above commenting on WordPress blog posts. The admins also seem responsive to concerns about privacy (though of course, as with any new site it may be wise to take precautions). I hope the site takes off.


71 thoughts on “May Open Thread VI

  1. One of the Meta-Forum admins here, thanks for the plug! The site is loosely inspired by poliscirumors (though the software is our own). We encourage everyone here to come and try out our site. The site is still a work in progress, so there may be some teething issues, but quite a lot of functionality is already in place — come along and see for yourself.

    In one of the threads on the forum, someone asked about our privacy policy. Here is what I said:

    We have no political agenda at all. What we’d like is to open up a space for free discussion about philosophy (we admire the spirit of the metablogs, but find the format unconducive to sustained discussions).

    As for personal information: the IP address of each post is recorded because we want to be able to block spammers etc. No other identifying information is recorded. We will not release IP addresses to any third parties or use them for any purpose other than what’s necessary for the harmonious running of the site. You are of course welcome to use Tor or a VPN; we’d suggest the latter, since it will work better with our nickname system.

    We also have a nickname system (again, inspired by poliscirumors) which we think will allow for sustained yet anonymous engagement. Each user is randomly assigned a semi-persistent nickname from our database. This is handled by a cookie stored on your computer, which can easily be disabled or deleted in the usual ways by e.g. using incognito mode to browse the site. (Of course, if you don’t allow the cookie, you won’t be able to keep your nickname.) Your nickname can be reset at any time via the “Give up _____” button at the top right of the site; however, the cost of doing so is that you will lose your previous nickname, which will return to the pool.

    We hope our site will be the place to go for discussion of philosophy and the profession. We’re very much open for suggestions and would be grateful for any feedback.

    1. And here speaks Stalin’s deluded toady bureaurat: no, of course you can say whatever you want, we’re just going to tidy it up into nice neat packages, do a little tone policing and keep a little track of who’s saying what to who. It’s no good, mrs toady– the cheka will come and you’ll give them up or join them in the gulag (you’ll find out it it’s inclusive or later).

        1. What what? I expect you’re one of the earnest fools who hasn’t accepted the starkness of the choice, what with your ‘hang on a minute chaps, these guys may exaggerate a bit but their heart’s in the right place and they’ve got a point about the wage gap/whatever’. No its not and no they haven’t . There is no compromise with social justice. Either you repudiate it in all its evil ways or you become just another useful toady to the totalitarians,

  2. But you have to read a table and stuff. It’s too nerdy and neat. Also it’s not working, the links to topics are broken. A set of sprawling comments is better.

  3. Nice work, Blanchards. You exploit the vulnerabilities of the simple and hard to read format of a blog you don’t like, and now philosophy has its own version of polisci rumors. Who could have seen this coming?

    1. It was long overdue. Soon everyone will be secretly reading the metaforum, and the virtue signalers will be ruthlessly excoriated in a very public forum, as they deserve.

        1. I think a blog like this works best when it is virtually unmoderated. I haven’t been deleting any comments except for spam (including disruptive posting like the recent ant infestation). I’ve only ever edited one comment in order to remove someone’s personal information. I don’t have any hard and fast rule for where to draw the line, but if you want to propose a standard for moderation that you think will work better, feel free.

          1. Certainly it’s hard to come up with moderation standards that cut at the joints. But one might go by clear cases. And posting photos with no other purpose than to mock and embarrass someone seems like a clear case of something worth deleting. Do you agree? And if not, why not?

  4. My favorite pictures are where it dresses up as a woman and beats actual women at local races. I can’t believe that the other competitors would allow this kind of bullshit. It’s absurdly unfair.

  5. The Meta Forum is becoming an SJW paradise with all the downvotes on the naming-and-shaming thread. Fuck you, Meta Forum!

    1. Does it matter? Unless I’m missing something, the votes do nothing (as opposed to e.g. Reddit where downvoted comments are suppressed).

  6. If someone makes a public spectacle of itself, posting pictures of its doughy man body in women’s booty shorts (along with a dozens and dozens of absurd videos, images, and tweets), then that person is fair game. It is now a public figure and should expect to be treated as such by the brutal tabloid that is the meta meta meta blog. . . . .

    I’m surprised that the picture was removed. It was mean, but that was the point. It’s a finger wagging clown. (note: I didn’t post it. I merely laughed at it. I wish I could take credit for the montage.) Why not get rid of the link too then? Oh well.

    There’s still gender trender for making fun of the new Kardashian inspired crusade.

    1. Just a reminder for those who weren’t around, Rachel McKinnon has a history of posting about herself to the metablogs and then complaining about “harassment”. Attention is what they feed on. Don’t engage. Ignore.

      1. And I guess it’s your super special psychic powers that give you knowledge about who in particular is posting comments on these blogs? Or are you secretly tracking IP addresses somehow? Perhaps you could enlighten us about how you came by the knowledge that RM has posted stuff about herself on the metablogs. Or you could just stop making shit up about people.

        1. At a previous iteration of the metablog the site owners reported that the posts attacking and defending RM all came from the same IP address at the College of Charleston. When this was pointed out the person obsessed with RM stopped posting — for a while. But I’m guessing you already know that.

    2. The post linked to above is pretty nuts in many ways. The point is that this is become widely known. I’m curious as to how the odd video is getting so much attention?

  7. Ludlow Leydon-Hardy McKinnon Leiter Ludlow Leydon-Hardy McKinnon Leiter Ludlow Leydon-Hardy McKinnon Leiter Ludlow Leydon-Hardy McKinnon Leiter Ludlow Leydon-Hardy McKinnon Leiter Ludlow Leydon-Hardy McKinnon Leiter Ludlow Leydon-Hardy McKinnon Leiter…

    Jeez, don’t you guys get tired of this? These miscreants feed on attention.

  8. Nice link! It’s sad to watch the sexually immoral tear each other limb from limb.

    Imagine if they all came clean and turned from darkness and chose life instead; then they wouldn’t have to spend all their time arguing over social media about whose form of sexual perversion deserves the most sympathy and glorification.

  9. I wasn’t endorsing the content of that link. I was just noting it to make the case about how it has become some kind of public figure.

    1. How do you think Brian Leiter ought to write posts on his personal blog? You should start your own blog and write critical anti-Trump posts. Be the change you want to see in the world!

      1. He shouldn’t write anti-Trump posts at all! There’s enough of that already. If anything, he should be the one countering the hate. The voice of reason!

        1. I know metabros have been encouraged by Leiter’s opposition to Hypatia and the like, but it’s dumb to think that he wouldn’t oppose Trump.

      1. I suspect people will utilize whichever blog is best-suited for anonymously speculating about their colleagues’ sex lives, mocking them, and pontificating on their career prospects.

        1. 11:56,

          And yet, you’re here posting too! I don’t know what we’d do without your powerful example of how we could all be better spending our time if we were only a bit more like you…

  10. I guess they got the president they deserve:

    “Among the changes he announced:
    The start of mandatory diversity and cultural sensitivity training for all faculty members. (This measure was adopted with the agreement of the faculty union.)
    The creation of an equity/multicultural center.
    The hiring of a vice president or vice provost who will focus on equity and diversity issues. (The search for this position had already been started.)
    Adoption of a new policy where every official event at the college will start with an acknowledgment that Evergreen State is on land stolen from Native Americans.”


    So who was filming? Were they proud of being part of this important protest?

    And what happens during “mandatory diversity and cultural sensitivity training”?

    1. But by ‘white supremacist’ they just mean *racist* (and by ‘racist’ they mean: *white person*)…but they have no new term that means what *we*mean by ‘white supremacist’…so…I can’t tell whether they are speaking English and think that the Klan stole their video, or they’re speaking PC-speak and think that just some ordinary schmuck of a white dude stole it.

      1. Nice analysis. Sounds about right. I have no idea what they mean. I don’t think they do either. Now they are saying that the cops are “targeting” trans, disabled, etc students. “Hey. Go get that fucker in the wheelchair. Push that shit over. Fuck that dirty cripple.” They seem to have some idea that they are in a battle against forces of pure evil, white devils that don’t want to stay off campus during the race rapture day of absence.

        1. (Laughs and laughs!!!)

          I think those are probably the words these idiots have in their heads when they replay the scenes. That’s what’s so funny!


    “There are several lessons that American professors can draw from these three events:

    1) Never object to a diversity policy publicly.* It is no longer permitted. You may voice concerns in a private conversation, but if you do it in a public way, you are inviting a visit from a mob or punishment from an administrator.

    2) Do not assume that being politically progressive will protect you (as Weinstein and the Christakises found out). Whatever your politics, you are eventually going to say or do something that will be interpreted incorrectly and ungenerously. Your intentions don’t matter (as Dean Spellman found out at CMC.) This is especially true if your university offers students training in the detection of microaggressions.

    3) If a mob comes for you, there is a good chance that the president of your university will side with the mob and validate its narrative (as the presidents at Yale and Evergreen have done, although the presidents at Middlebury and Claremont McKenna did not).

    4) If a mob comes for you, the great majority of its members will be non-violent. However, given the new standard operating procedure (which I described in a recent Chronicle article entitled “Intimidation is the New Normal”) you must assume that one or more of its members is willing to use violence against you, and you can assume that many members of the mob believe that violence against you is morally justifiable.”

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