Sunday, October 11, 2009


JSH: Usenet politics of social brutality

One thing I think is NOT news on Usenet is that there are people who live on the newsgroups—as in they post day and night, every day or nearly every day—who are socially brutal, as in they engage in vicious insults, try to figure out ways to verbally abuse other people as creatively as possible, and they do all of the above in plain sight, clearly with no sense that there is anything wrong with what they're doing.

The newsgroups have various negative labels, here are two: crank or crackpot

Supposedly you can attack anyone with one of those labels with a vicious glee I liken to thinking it's ok to beat up on homeless people.

Part of the justification, if any as somehow it's generally accepted that sadistic attacks are just Usenet normal, is that some people just don't get it. They have irrational and very wrong beliefs but refuse to accept what is scientifically accepted. And worse they insist on propagating their own often weird views, and they are themselves disruptive.

The argument then is that there is a social good in kicking someone verbally in the balls, if they are loud, irrational, annoying and refuse to accept basic science!

Well, an argument can be made for beating up homeless people: law enforcement would do that notoriously in some areas of the United States to drive out "undesirables".

It was considered a social good.

Some of you if you had traveled in such areas may have gotten an order to get out of town before daylight, or they'd throw you out.

Societies can decide all kinds of things are ok. Romans liked to see people eaten by lions (and other beasties).

But what kind of people LIKE beating up on other people?

Ever wonder WHY some people live on Usenet, posting day and night, attacking other posters with vicious insults?

Occur to you that it gives them pleasure?

If beating up on the homeless were an Olympic sport, do any of you doubt there would be takers?

I think some of you would be the first in line.

You barely need an excuse. Hurting people is your one true pleasure in life, and for anyone with a doubt of that assessment, they can read post after post after post over a period of YEARS to get your roadmap of sadism.

There will always be people with different views, and there will be disagreements between various groups or individuals about who is right and who is wrong. Disagreements can become vocal and angry.

But only some people—certain types of people—will cross a certain line. The politics of Usenet allow these people to feel good about themselves while they gain pleasure at the expense of others.

I'm merely emphasizing that is the the politics of social brutality.

No matter what your excuse.

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