Logic and raison d’être

This is a personal and highly opinionated take on OoL and recent events. It does not reflect the joint opinion of the admins.

The logic behind and the raison d’être of this blog

This blog was set up to debunk humbug in whatever form it occurs but very early, it addressed itself to all matters freedom related and so all writers have pretty well had that as the template, leaving other matters to their own blogs. I think no writer went outside that template but obviously a certain topic got certain other types, whom I referred to as obsessed, a bit hot under the collar and wanting to restrict which kinds of a assaults on freedom could be written about and which could not.

Essentially, the choice of topics at OoL has been governed by the principle – if it’s topical and iniquitous, then it gets debunked. If it may not seem topical but a causal link is established, then it is topical. Establishing that causal link can be hotly contested in itself.

Ofttimes it will be une bête noire which mainstream consciousness has not yet latched onto but which is nevertheless doing its damage behind the scenes, e.g. Chatham House and Common Purpose [post by Ken at OoL later today].

So should the CP-word or the CH-word not be mentioned at all, on the grounds that certain people don’t like discussing the topic? Or should the blog be kept wide open and as long as writers and commenters can stick to the thread and present arguments, as well as adhering to our “one blog rule”, then anything else is OK?

Similarly, the peerless Julia M continues her one woman campaign against PCishness. Should she desist because people are sick of reading about PC atrocities on the minutiae of everyday life? Or should she continue because that is her bête noire?

And the very nature of ad hominem has been discussed. Different people have taken umbrage at imagined ad hominems which might just have been commentary on things they wrote, rather than them as people and we’ll probably never agree on it.    For example, to say someone’s talking shite is not actually ad hominem, as long as that person can show evidence how shite is being talked.

Twisted logic

Which is not to say there’s not a certain perverse logic in desisting from tackling topics. That perverse logic states that:

1. Yes something is wrong;
2. You will have little effect because though the bête noire continues on rampantly, readers themselves are tiring of your message;
3. Therefore you should stop attacking wrong.

There is another interesting logic which says:

1. It’s much better to be nice to people and use soft words because they’ll respond to you better;
2. Unreasonable people have no interest whatever in niceness and softness except as a smokescreen for what they’re up to, i.e. they use feelgood words to describe their iniquities;
3. Therefore it’s best not to mention anything wrong these people do because to do so might be not nice and not couched in soft language.

The shelf life of a blog

As the incorrigible Bucko has shown, [previous] blogs often have a shelf-life. OoL was always a project and projects only work if people support them.   It also takes admin time to keep the thing running.  Both Julia and I are under great RL pressure at this time and it’s hard enough keeping our own blogs running.

Everyone knows that another admin was not able to continue and I’d say some of that might include him being under considerable time pressure and having other RL directions as well.

So – what should OoL do?   Fold?   Julia was not of the opinion that it should, as she saw it as still serving a good function as one of the few multi-author blogs remaining where comment truly is free but I was of the opinion that unless we had some of our writers start to write again, it might be pushing the brown stuff uphill.

I think she was right and I was wrong on this.   As the posts which do go up have shown, there are still a lot of readers out there and the stats, which certainly dipped after the withdrawal of one group of readers, show that many others are still reading.  And as Julia says, she worries not a jot about stats but about getting the message out.

She’s right on that too.  I don’t give a damn at my own place whom I offend and I quite nourish obscurity.  As long as the thing is being said and presented, then the prime directive is being fulfilled.   Blogs I admire where the blogger is only interested in saying his piece and to hell with it include such people as Prodicus or Britain Today.   If they were to give it away, it would be terrible for the sphere at this time when we need a large aggregate set of voices.

And you’ll have noticed various guestposts going up.  It will be interesting to see how that is received.

So for now, steady as she goes for OoL and let’s see what happens.  Personally, better to have too many blogs on freedom than too few.

12 comments for “Logic and raison d’être

  1. Greg Tingey
    January 20, 2013 at 9:28 am

    NO
    Do NOT fold.
    As you know I profoundly disagree with some of your posters, most often JH, because, in my opinion a christian (or any OTHER religious believer) cannot actually be a libertarian, & JH because his/her refusal to accept science is pathetic.
    However, even from the (to many of you) “left” stance that I appear to take, there are many concerns which bother me & a lot of people like me.
    The overweenning interfering power of the state to nanny in things which are no concern of theirs. The un-necessary restrictions, jobsworthing & posturing by officialdom, petty & large affects everyone, & needs addressing.
    Also even IF CP are a menace – they may be, but I suspect they are not quite as bad as you fear, there are others, the cartels of manufaturers & guvmiont, heading in the direction of a corrupt-corporate state, whcih also concerns people like me.

  2. January 20, 2013 at 10:42 am

    JH because his/her refusal to accept science is pathetic

    That’s actually diametrically opposite the truth because I’m profoundly pro-science, anti- pseudo- science.

    • Greg Tingey
      January 20, 2013 at 3:49 pm

      Oops, my bad – typo+brain-fart there … I THINK I meant AKH ….

  3. AlexB
    January 20, 2013 at 10:44 am

    What I take issue with is that on certain topics you sound like an alarmist conspiracy nut. It might be your approach more than the substance of your posts, I don’t know. I struggle to read those posts and usually give up.

    You also come on too strong with religion. I’m not saying you shouldn’t hold those beliefs, and I’m not saying you shouldn’t be free to express them. But you do have a tendency to beat people over the head with them. It feels like an attack on those who don’t share your beliefs. People react badly. This isn’t necessarily an attack on your faith.

    Obviously, Greg doesn’t count. He is attacking your faith. He attacks everyone’s faith. At least he does so with all faith’s equally. If this post is because of Greg, you need to stop taking his words to heart so much if it is causing you this much anguish.

    So yeah. Don’t stop, just work on your presentation and try to get a better balance with faith matters. See how that goes for a bit.

    • Greg Tingey
      January 20, 2013 at 3:50 pm

      Faith is DEFINED as: “belief without evidence”
      What is the point of such emptiness & unreason?

    • January 20, 2013 at 5:14 pm

      This was, in part, behind my decision to call it a day. This place was set up to discuss liberty, so freedom of religion was, is and should be a perfectly sensible topic. But, yes, I did feel that I was being beaten about the head by religion. And, yes, it did alienate me.

    • January 20, 2013 at 5:58 pm

      When was my last post which was religious? If there’s an issue in the news, it’s addressed. My point is that certain people are paranoid about this.

      Now as to the charge of conspiracy nut – there is material about Common Purpose, yes. Is Ken a conspiracy nut, Brian Gerrish or Mona in comments?

      Witterings from Witney now has one up about Agenda 21. Is he a conspiracy nut? Just how many issues can be called conspiracy nut? No one here’s doing Icke or Jones, they’re just quoting facts and figures.

      Some might say that believing the State is not your friend is conspiracy nut. I call it an attempt to rob us of freedoms. Many Tories call libertarians conspiracy nuts. You see what I’m getting at here?

  4. January 20, 2013 at 6:16 pm

    Some points:

    I still read this blog, though partly out of morbid fascination.

    I used to comment but I gave up commenting because my views were sometimes ridiculously misrepresented or (to be as charitable as possible) wildly misconstrued, so commenting became pointless because it repeatedly drew me into being attacked for views that I did not hold and did not express, which just became silly. I saw the same thing happening to others, and have seen them complaining about it too. It is impossible to converse meaningfully if thoughts are attributed to you that you did not express and do not hold.

    The blog seemed to me to have lost its way because it became over-dominated by James’s views on religion and conspiracy. Anyone is perfectly free to hold and promote such views, and they are interesting to read and consider, but they just became relentlessly repetitive while at the same time specific questions challenging them were simply never answered.

    Many comment streams just descended into childish abuse, from both sides (a feature of many comment streams everywhere, sadly).

    In my opinion, if it is to flourish the blog needs to accept and invite posts related to freedom but from all parts of spectrum of thought, and it needs to change from seeming to just be the same few writers agreeing with each other all the time, while being frankly rather rude to any commenter who dares to challenge them (though some commentators can be rather too quick to be rude too).

    I offer these views with considerable trepidation that they will soon be misinterpreted as having meant something completely different (again).

    I wish the blog well, but to be well it needs to change, I suggest.

    Andrew (aka Don QuiScottie)

    • January 20, 2013 at 6:31 pm

      Yes but Longrider and your good self, DQS, were the main antagonists in it and so your take on it must be viewed through the same filter my comments or LR’s are.

      Frankly, the notion that my posts were “religious” was tosh. Rubbish was spoken about one particular religion and so it needed addressing. When that was done, we moved on. Pat Condell addresses rubbish in Islam – is he a religious nut? Many people address the government – are they anarchist nuts?

      A religious nut is someone who tries to convert someone – that’s never been the case with me – I couldn’t give a s*** what you believ. When you talk rubbish though, I’ll jump in and that’s all this ever was.

      LR and you misrepresented me on this. In your case, being a leftist, you have political reasons to do this as well. You know very well that this stick has been going on a long, long time at my blog because I had the temerity to attack pseudo-Science, which I called Science with a capital S.

      So let’s be honest about where people are coming from here and just how neutral and innocent they are. This has a longer history than meets the eye.

  5. January 20, 2013 at 6:37 pm

    Thanks for taking the time to comment, DQS. All the very best.

  6. Old Codger
    January 20, 2013 at 9:19 pm

    I am a relative new reader and find the posts always interesting and sometimes challenging. Some subjects are new to me, some support what I have read on other blogs/believe and some oppose. Often they case me to think.

    Keep going please.

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