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Things I love to hate

From time to time people get distressed by what they read on blogs. And there is much to be disturbed about when swimming in the sea of opinions, frustrations and outpourings as anyone who’s gone wondering on the intertubes can attest.

the_problem_with_wikipedia.png

But I digress. William Heath has had a rough moment online – he came across something that bugged him.

We love the blogosphere; it’s full of great ideas, insights and humour. The boring bits are dull, of course. But there’s a distinct part of it that bugs me. I think I call it the “Blogosphere of Hate”.

[...] This crystallised in my mind when I got drawn (via the Spy Blog I think) to someone called “Not a Sheep” who’d written a post about New Labour and immigration. The post turns into a laundry list of people and things that non-sheep hates.

That’s it. That’s what bugs me. I’m not interested in the things people hate, and I dont think we have much to learn from people who are motivated by hate.

A commendable sentiment and perhaps I would be a better person if I could say the same about my feelings about some issues and people. I must admit my blogging started out of frustration and overwhelming hatred of what I have seen happening in politics. As the venerable Instapundit says about blogging: It beats shouting at TV.

There were no lofty visions of learning from or educating others. At the very start, it was simply a pressure valve, a pub rant (or cafe debate if you are a continental) spilling out into the cyberspace. Of course, I would like to think that things have evolved since then but for the purposes of this post, blogging certainly was not great busyness (to unkindly bastardise the Quaker principle William quotes in his post).

So let me count the ways… there are (types of) people I hate, not just institutions – for start all the communists, also those who consider socialism anything but a collectivist life-and-soul-destroying dystopia, I hate people who wear t-shirts with pictures of mass murderers such as Che or with symbols of evil a la red star or hammer & sickle. Oh and I hate most politicians as a self-selected group of people who routinely encroach on everyone’s autonomy and mess things up along the way.

Yes, hate is a strong word and I should use it with caution. However, I insist that there are times when it is appropriate.

Finally, I do not see the blogosphere as a place (‘bookosphere’, ‘emailosphere’ anyone?), it is people talking, communicating, publishing, distributing, lazying about, wasting time, creating, connecting, saying great things etc. Just like most human activity, it can be seemingly or genuinely wasteful. Out of that, blobs of real value float up to the top. Occasionally.

That reminds me, I especially hate people, and there is plenty of them around, who try to impose their order or standards on all this, wanting to ‘keep‘ just the good bits, and ‘protect‘ us from the bad ones. It just don’t work like that.

34 comments to Things I love to hate

  • I think the problem moonbat, arises from those that hate and do nothing to fix what they hate. The blogoshpere is full of those who think that simply venting their hatred on their blog will spur someone else to go and do something about it. Its like prayer without the need for a big beard in the sky.

    The other problem is the fact that we’re expected to want to be spoon fed with facts and information rather than have to go to the effort of filtering the crap out for ourselves.

  • Adriana – my blogging started out of frustration as well, as well you know (because she helped me do it). It’s true; it DOES beat shouting at the TV (or radio or whatever). But it would drive me nuts if there wasnt always a constructive alternative or an improvement – a “wouldnt it be better if” – to make it something more than venting spleen. I’m not sure where the rehearsal of unbridled hatred leads us, but I have an uneasy feeling it’s not a good place.

  • Giles

    Here’s the original link for the cartoon – worth following just for the image ALT text when you put the mouse pointer over it…

  • Pa Annoyed

    It’s a curious paradox, putting up a blog post saying how you hate it when people blog about the things they hate. It’s like the one about whether you should be tolerant of intolerance.

    What do we learn from it? What do we gain? I presume William isn’t proposing we do anything about it – this isn’t like putting up a sign “No Hate – By Order” – so the idea is presumably just to moan about it. About how sad it is that people should be able to look at this marvellous world and not like every bit of it.

    Hatred is a part of what is, and if you truly believe in universal love, you have to learn to love hate too. Hatred is a love of its object’s opposite – of what might be; of what should be. Without such striving for change, the world of love would be a fluffy, fuzzy, lotus-eaters’ stasis. It would become a hippy-filled nightmare.

    And I’d really hate that.

  • I hate whiney-ass people in power who want to tell me to keep my opinions to myself unless I am trying to make happy with *them*.

    And I hate people who try to limit my freedom to be disgusted with fascists, and to express that disgust publicly.

    And I also hate (and yeah, we all know hate is a strong word, but words ARE strong or we wouldn’t be pissing off those in power when we use them) the fact that the press is so busy playing with themselves in a corner while the socialists watch, that they don’t have time to be objective and fair.

    Liberals, leftists, and statists hate the internet because disgusted people everywhere are able to connect with other disgusted people everywhere. They hate that, but they believe that THEIR hate is pure and noble. There is a model for that….Paradise lost……

  • No fear of that Pa whilst there’s rambuctious gob-shites like me about…

    Ever read something by Gunther Stent (a UCal biologist) called something like, “The New Polynesia”.

    I blog ‘cos it’s fun. If it wasn’t… I’d still be screaming at the tellyvisualator…

  • I’m not sure where the rehearsal of unbridled hatred leads us, but I have an uneasy feeling it’s not a good place.

    If by that you means it might lead people into ‘energetic’ behaviour well outside the bounds of the normal give and take of politics (you give and the state takes)… well yes, that is exactly where I hope it leads as I think most (but not all) polite mainstream democratic politics is tantamount to voting for who gets to rape you. I am delighted to see people being a great deal less polite when it comes to that.

  • Pa Annoyed

    Nick M,

    I’ve heard of it. Something about there being no coming scientific singularity? I think the problem with that theory is the idea that we as a society do science because of its practical/economic benefits. Some do, but not all of us. (See? I can quote xkcd too!)

    No, there will be no end to conflict, no standing still. But having an occasional moan does you good.

  • Yeah, that’s right. Basically we just get comfy and quit. Things improve a bit – you know 3% better survival chance for cancer x than a decade ago but nothing dramatic actually happens. That cartoon hit just a lickle bit too close to home, you sod… But physics is the real deal and mathematicians… Well, they’re all just fecking around with abstractions aren’t they? So totally different from playing silly-buggers with silly-strings or large hardon colliders.

  • Pa Annoyed

    Nick M,

    Well, there’s another perspective that says doing mathematics is a physical computational process, and therefore a sub-branch of physics. The mathematics that it is possible to do is limited by the laws of physics – which is why quantum computation is of such interest. It might allow us to do stuff that is inaccessible to methods based on classical physics. And whatever people like Stent might say, when we can integrate minds directly with computers (either classical or quantum), it’s going to be big.

    But if we could predict future scientific revolutions, we’d already be there.

    I knew you’d like the cartoon! I thought of you when I saw it. <snigger>

  • Furthermore Pa… All of it, in a way, can be seen as a subset of psychology which is of course a subset of…

    Quantum Computing is going to be something else though. As far as direct neuro-computer links… I learned to touch-type for that…

  • Laird

    Don’t forget to roll your cursor over the cartoon for the throw-away line!

  • Pa Annoyed

    Touch-typing might be what it feels like. I think the big step will occur when it’s there all the time, so using it can move to the cerebellum. When learning any new skill, people are always clumsy at first. The cerebrum does it, which is an extremely powerful general purpose processor, but slow and painful. A lot of people give up right there. But once you pass the threshold it gets internalised, the cerebrum programs the cerebellum, and you get that blinding leap into unconscious speed and grace.

    Computers at the moment are only occasional – still in the era of the cerebrum. With net-accessing mobile phones, less so – but it’s still awkward to pull it out and look something up in the middle of doing something else. When it’s always there, and everybody gets enough practice at programming them to pass the threshold, the cerebellum will be able to take over and develop applications that we won’t even know how they work.

    I think the pessimists are right in saying it’s quite a bit further off than the optimists like to imagine. But they don’t seem to understand what ‘exponential’ means.

  • I’m not sure where the rehearsal of unbridled hatred leads us, but I have an uneasy feeling it’s not a good place.

    William, I couldn’t agree more with you there. It is just that sometimes hate is the rational response to what people are doing to other people. I agree, unbridled hatred is ugly and pointless.

  • Giles, in a hurry to post this before catching the train, I have forgot to link through to the original cartoon. Will remedy in the post.

  • Bod

    “So totally different from playing silly-buggers with silly-strings or large hardon colliders.”

    Holy crap, Nick M, do you know just how difficult it is to swab Mountain Dew out of a keyboard?

  • Laird

    Do you really think that was just a typo?

  • Sunfish

    Nick M:

    That cartoon hit just a lickle bit too close to home, you sod…

    A mathematician, a physicist, and an engineer all walk into a bar.

    You’d think that two of them would have ducked.

  • A physicist and a mathematician from Boston attend a conference in California. In order to claim their travel expenses they have to write reports on their trip. They both see out of the ‘plane window a balck sheep whilst flying over Kansas.

    The physicist’s report contains the line: “I saw a black sheep in Kansas”. The mathematicians goes: “There exists, somewhere in the Midwest, a sheep, black on top”.

    ….

    Three libertarians don’t walk into a bar. They stand shivering outside waiting for the invisible hand to open the door…

  • Nick M,

    Descartes walks into a bar.
    The bartender says “Hey buddy, how about a drink?”
    Descartes says “I think not,” and then disappears.

  • I thought it was “I drink therefore I am”.

    And John Stuart Mill on half a lager shandy was particularly ill…

  • Russell

    I also hate Che, and so proudly wear this:

    (Link) “Communism killed 100 million people and all I got was this lousy shirt”

  • Pa Annoyed at says

    It’s a curious paradox, putting up a blog post saying how you hate it when people blog about the things they hate.

    There is no paradox. I just said it bugs me. I find hatred pointless.

    …and says

    I presume William isn’t proposing we do anything about it…the idea is presumably just to moan about it

    Well, I ask if it’s a better idea to ignore it, or to resist it.

    I think I’ll just ignore it in places I dont have to, need to or want to go to. And I’ll resist it in the places I have to or need to take part in or care about.

    So I guess that answers my own question.

  • Pa Annoyed

    William,

    My comment wasn’t entirely serious, as I didn’t think yours was, but if you’re interested in talking about it further, can I ask the obvious question and ask “why?”

    Why do you think hatred is pointless? And is it really the pointlessness that bugs you, or something else? Lots of activities can be argued to be pointless, do they all bug you?

    My other point was that hatred is only a mirror reflection of love; they are both merely words for the same sort of strong preference, seen from different perspectives. I presume love doesn’t bug you in the same way – but why not?

    I hate injustice. I hate cruelty. I hate suffering.

    Does that bug you? If it does, what does that say? And if, as I suspect, it doesn’t, is it possible that it is something else bugging you here that you haven’t yet recognised?

  • pete

    If you don’t like blogs don’t read them. What could be easier?

  • Pa Annoyed

    Pete,

    How do you know not to read them until you’ve read them?

  • Canker

    Hate can be very good. So long as you do something good with it (I do not rule out creative destruction).

    Canker

  • Ian B

    Pa Annoyed; in answer to your question, conscientious citizens ring up the government blog helpline at the Department Of Blogging, to ascertain whether the blog they are considering reading has socially acceptable content.

  • ThePresentOccupier

    Giving due credit to XKCD for the image would be an appropriate thing to do…

  • Yes, yes, hold your horses. Alas, embedding the URL from xkcd site doesn’t work with movable type (grrr) but you can click through to the original.

  • ThePresentOccupier

    I’ve heard about patience… Must set some time aside to learn it one of these days.

  • Indeed. Too much hate out there. Too many times, hate overcomes arguments. Kewl site.

  • drucker ram

    It was hilarious to see things that I hate people love. I just smiled and say have a good time with it.