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What Now For The Blogs?

Big Tent Democrat's picture

[Thanks to Big Tent Democrat for agreeing to guest post. --lambert]

It surprises many people to know that I supported Barack Obama over Hillary Clinton in the primaries. I considered the two to be identical on the issues (except for health care, where I felt too ignorant to take a position on which of the two positions was superior) and preferred Obama because I believed him to be more electable. Weak tea for many people I imagine, but that was my view of the race.

Why does this surprise people? Because I have been extremely critical of Barack Obama since 2005 and was before, during and after the Presidential primaries. To some people, support requires blind devotion and adulation. It does not to me. But in many was, that is irrelevant. Because I am not a Democrat because Barack Obama or Hillary Clinton or FDR or JFK inspire me. I am a Democrat because the Democratic Party comes closer to my personal views and values than the other viable political party, the Republican Party. I tried to express my approach in this post from December 2007:

As citizens and activists, our allegiances have to be to the issues we believe in. I am a partisan Democrat it is true. But the reason I am is because I know who we can pressure to do the right thing some of the times. Republicans aren't them. But that does not mean we accept the failings of our Democrats. There is nothing more important that we can do, as citizens, activists or bloggers than fight to pressure DEMOCRATS to do the right thing on OUR issues.

And this is true in every context I think. Be it pressing the Speaker or the Senate majority leader, or the new hope running for President. There is nothing more important we can do. Nothing. It's more important BY FAR than "fighting" for your favorite pol because your favorite pol will ALWAYS, I mean ALWAYS, disappoint you.

In the middle of primary fights, citizens, activists and bloggers like to think their guy or woman is different. They are going to change the way politics works. They are going to not disappoint. In short, they are not going to be pols. That is, in a word, idiotic.

Yes, they are all pols. And they do what they do. Do not fight for pols. Fight for the issues you care about. That often means fighting for a pol of course. But remember, you are fighting for the issues. Not the pols.

Lambert invited me to discuss what the blogosphere should do now. My short answer is that it should do what it should have been doing before - fighting for the issues each particular blog believes in through the mechanisms it feels are most effective. The short answer is to do what is most effective to advance the cause of the issues you believe in. Let me give you an example of an issue I do not believe in but know that many of you do - fighting against trade agreements. I am a free trader - a supporter of NAFTA, CAFTA, the WTO etc. Most of you are not. When Obama backed off of his positions on renegotiating NAFTA, I was pleased so I was not going to criticize him for it. Indeed, when he demagogued on the issue in Ohio during the primaries, I felt confident it did not express his true views. I was unconcerned and confident he would abandon those views after Ohio. And he did. I have no complaints. But a lot of you should. You should be blasting Obama on the issue.

By contrast, I thought Obama would not back off of his opposition to the FISA Capitulation bill. Now that he has, I have been criticizing him severely. You see, I am fighting for the issues I believe in. And so should you... That is my vision of what the blogosphere should be. And what it should have been throughout.

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Submitted by lambert on

So...

What happened?

[x] Very tepidly voting for Obama [ ] ?????. [ ] Any mullah-sucking billionaire-teabagging torture-loving pus-encrusted spawn of Cthulhu, bless his (R) heart.

First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they fight you, then you win. -- Mahatma Gandhi

tnjen's picture
Submitted by tnjen on

...got squelched in favor of fandom. It wasn't just blogs either but forums and even online magazines that had comment sections. How do we maintain an even hand? A lot of blogs gave in to the authoritarian power they had to go in one direction. That's not so bad if it's a single owner blog but when it's a diverse community crushing dissent has serious consequences.

PB 2.0 - Supplement the wonk!

BoGardiner's picture
Submitted by BoGardiner on

And feelings.

And not qualifications or issues.

Or evidence.

The direction it took could be explained rather well by evolutionary psychologists and sociobiologists, who I expect will one day dissect it at length.

Submitted by lambert on

... is because posters there, very much including BTD, were offering something that very few other places in the blogosphere offered.

The question is, what did they offer?

And why did the rest of the blogosphere not offer it anymore?

Personally, I'd say -- borrowing the term from VastLeft -- that they weren't truthy.

I'm not sure that sociobiology is the way to explain that....

[x] Very tepidly voting for Obama [ ] ?????. [ ] Any mullah-sucking billionaire-teabagging torture-loving pus-encrusted spawn of Cthulhu, bless his (R) heart.

First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they fight you, then you win. -- Mahatma Gandhi

vastleft's picture
Submitted by vastleft on

I was a little surprised that your leading thrust is that we should hew closely to issues of personal interest.

I was expecting the topic here would be about the health of the blogosphere and the need to change, upgrade, or replace it, to get something different and better.

Maybe my expectations were just off -- is this not about PB 2.0?

Though in some ways -- especially on voting records -- I don't have any problem with people suggesting similarities between the final two Dem candidates for president in '08, the notion that all pols suck equally is IMHO dangerously reductive.

"Everything is everything" and issues-only focus become carte blanche for not caring about dimensions like dishonesty, hypocrisy, truthiness, unfair play, and low-quality media coverage and prevailing wisdoms.

Your record during this campaign speaks for itself -- you've called bullshit on many such matters IIRC, not confining yourself to an issues-only view.

To me, again my apologies if I'm mistaking the topic you're intending to address here, PB 2.0 is about recognizing that and how truthiness and groupthink destroyed the integrity of the citizen journalism movement that was so valuable in documenting and helping fight against Bush's sins.

FrenchDoc's picture
Submitted by FrenchDoc on

it is the structure of PB1.0 that allows for truthiness and groupthink to dominate rather easily (the whole clusterf!@#k unfolded over a matter of weeks).

So, in addition to substance, PB2.0 will have to deal with structure as well. The hub model (a la DK) needs to be reconsidered as it lent itself so fast to the evil twins of truthiness and groupthink + lynch mob mentality, and a great ability to spread the most ridiculous rumors.

Submitted by lambert on

... It's almost as if slower propagation might have its virtues. Like slow food.

[x] Very tepidly voting for Obama [ ] ?????. [ ] Any mullah-sucking billionaire-teabagging torture-loving pus-encrusted spawn of Cthulhu, bless his (R) heart.

First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they fight you, then you win. -- Mahatma Gandhi

FrenchDoc's picture
Submitted by FrenchDoc on

is that it cannot last long... people run out of steam before long. I think we can see the exhaustion in Pb1.0 already... hence the quick discouragement at the first signs of BO's sellouts.

That's another thing we might want to emphasize... we can fight for issues over the long term with new evidence, new elements, new arguments.

Truth Partisan's picture
Submitted by Truth Partisan on

Although BTD may applaud the professional approach, in part what happened was that Obama's campaign hired bloggers and used volunteers to post pro-Obama pieces and anti-other-candidate comments in many places.

Hey BTD, good to see you. Love your work.

Submitted by lambert on

I think what you say is quite plausible, but that's not the same as saying you've given evidence for it.

[x] Very tepidly voting for Obama [ ] ?????. [ ] Any mullah-sucking billionaire-teabagging torture-loving pus-encrusted spawn of Cthulhu, bless his (R) heart.

First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they fight you, then you win. -- Mahatma Gandhi

BoGardiner's picture
Submitted by BoGardiner on

A friend of mine who's awaiting his account approval on Corrente is trying to follow this discussion at his home, but he's seeing a version of the site that's hours old. So only subscribers can read Corrente in real time?

Submitted by lambert on

Pages are cached so that in very high traffic periods the server doesn't have to build each page for each user.

I reset the cache to refresh much more often -- that's why your friend is seeing old pages; they were cached. Tell them to refresh their browser every 5 minutes or so.

[x] Very tepidly voting for Obama [ ] ?????. [ ] Any mullah-sucking billionaire-teabagging torture-loving pus-encrusted spawn of Cthulhu, bless his (R) heart.

First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they fight you, then you win. -- Mahatma Gandhi

DCblogger's picture
Submitted by DCblogger on

I am more an more convinced that blogosphere is ill suited to electoral politics and much better on messaging and issues. Atrios remains one of the best bloggers precisely because he sticks to push back on media madness and stays away from primaries.

Open Left remained sane during the whole pie fight because it is chiefly about issues.

FireDogLake has done fastastic work on FISA precisely because it plays to blogosphere's strengths, as a rapid response to disinformation and to mobilize citizens in a quickly shifting situation.

Except for local bloggers, most candidate blogging winds up being my candidate and better than yours nayh nayh.

Submitted by lambert on

The "ill suited to electoral politics" argument is good, but I don't see why it's true.

Yes, on Atrios, and the real fiasco of the "War Room" video only happened after he came out in favor of one candidate (although he had been visibly tilting before).

[x] Very tepidly voting for Obama [ ] ?????. [ ] Any mullah-sucking billionaire-teabagging torture-loving pus-encrusted spawn of Cthulhu, bless his (R) heart.

First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they fight you, then you win. -- Mahatma Gandhi

Submitted by lambert on

... though for now you'll have to make do with us!

[x] Very tepidly voting for Obama [ ] ?????. [ ] Any mullah-sucking billionaire-teabagging torture-loving pus-encrusted spawn of Cthulhu, bless his (R) heart.

First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they fight you, then you win. -- Mahatma Gandhi

Caro's picture
Submitted by Caro on

I believe that we need to work harder to build on what has proven itself to be the truly reality-based community, the community of blogs that didn't fall for the Obama shtick, whether they said they'd be voting for him, as you did, Armando, or not.

But to become a real force, we can't continue to all be separate and doing our own thing without supporting each other. We could drive traffic to each others' sites and raise (that is, lower) our Technorati scores by linking to each other more. A LOT more. And we could do a much better job of promoting ourselves as a group, with the help of the professionals among us.

Why aren't we doing that?

Carolyn Kay
MakeThemAccountable.com

Submitted by lambert on

... thinking of ourselves as a network, and acting that way. Ad hoc linking won't do it, I don't think.

Although I grant this begs the question of who gets to join the network. Anyone who isn't FITH is a pretty good litmus test, but is it good enough?

[x] Very tepidly voting for Obama [ ] ?????. [ ] Any mullah-sucking billionaire-teabagging torture-loving pus-encrusted spawn of Cthulhu, bless his (R) heart.

First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they fight you, then you win. -- Mahatma Gandhi

BoGardiner's picture
Submitted by BoGardiner on

"[TalkLeft was] offering something that very few other places in the blogosphere offered...

And why did the rest of the blogosphere not offer it anymore?...

Personally, I’d say — borrowing the term from VastLeft — that they weren’t truthy."

What do you see as the origin of truthiness, Lambert?

See, to me, truthiness is only a symptom of the problems, not the source problems themselves.

Submitted by brucedixon on

that tells you the so-called blogosphere, or more broadly the intertubes themselves or any other new technologies are some kind of singular engines of democracy and human enlightenment, or make anything necessarily different just because they exist. The intertubes are just another technological toolkit.

In our case, the marketeers have grabbed it, and are off and running to make sure they can track every interaction and datamine everything so they can rig every moment of our waking lives to making them money. Same with the cops, for their reasons.

The telecoms are always looking for ways to pursue their historic business model of cherry picking and redlining, making broadband scarcer and slower for most people than it needs to be (that's why the US is seventh or twentieth in broadband penetration, and waaaaay behind the rest of the developed world in broadband speed) and unavailable except at premium prices to many in inner cities, small towns and rural areas.

Your mistake is that you bought into "the internet changes everything". It doesn't, never has and never could. Technologies do not determine the course of history. Not the invention of the broom, or moveable type or the slave ship or any of that. All were important, mind you, but none were the actual engines of history. Give up the notion that the existence of the interubes "changes everything" and has within itself the stuff to make us all better, and take two aspirin, and you'll feel better. I promise.

It's just another set of tools, and just another battleground, like all the others, in which we have to fight for the commons, and for our own interests against the ruling greedheads.

Bruce Dixon
www.blackagendareport.com

"If you want that good feeling that comes from doing things for other people, then you have to pay for it in abuse and misunderstanding" Zora Neale Hurston, from Moses, Man of the Mountain

Bruce Dixon
www.blackagendareport.com

Submitted by lambert on

Not me. It changed some things.

What I'm interested in is exactly what happened to the commons. The media critique was part of the commons, and it got pissed away by PB 1.0 (though YMMV on the individual blogger, clearly there was a major systemic collapse). Why? And what to do next?

Oh, as far as the commons: One could look at the assault on net neutrality as the equivalent of the enclosure movements in England in the 18th C. Is that what you had in mind?

[x] Very tepidly voting for Obama [ ] ?????. [ ] Any mullah-sucking billionaire-teabagging torture-loving pus-encrusted spawn of Cthulhu, bless his (R) heart.

First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they fight you, then you win. -- Mahatma Gandhi

tnjen's picture
Submitted by tnjen on

...by individuals. If we're to have a commons and an individual owner of a community site (like Kos) there has to be a commitment to allow diversity, criticism, and dissent within the bounds of the progressive or democratic spectrum.

PB 2.0 - Supplement the wonk!

Submitted by lambert on

"Get your own blog" is all very well when things are starting out, but when the power curve has done its work, and there are a very few at the top and a long, long tail, things change. Not a moral judgement, just how things always are....

[x] Very tepidly voting for Obama [ ] ?????. [ ] Any mullah-sucking billionaire-teabagging torture-loving pus-encrusted spawn of Cthulhu, bless his (R) heart.

First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they fight you, then you win. -- Mahatma Gandhi

vastleft's picture
Submitted by vastleft on

... to think the internets or the blogospheres are a panacea.

They were, however, a useful place for refining and influencing opinion in the face of the full-scale media meltdown. In this campaign, once-valuable sites turned into hell-holes, and they spread truthiness on the left that was fully comparable in dishonesty as that which the right has spewed and consumed lo these many years.

I don't think you had to be a total dupe to find it a little surprising how (near-) fully, rapidly, and terribly that happened.

Submitted by brucedixon on

but there is a notion pretty widespread in this society that technology drives societal change. It's almost an unspoken assumption, though an incorrect one, You don't have to be a fool to be fooled on that score. If nobody here admits to believing that, well so much the better.

Then there is no question as to "what went wrong" at all.

What the internet has been for a little while is a kind of battleground, like lambert says, in which we are forced to fight to establish a piece of the commons.

The smart marketers, whose job it is to get people to consume things not necessarily in their own interest, the guys who sell us SUVs with commercials of people driving underwater and up the sides of buildings, these guys have run the presidential campaigns for decades now. Those marketing firms have grown to include internet marketing teams --- Fox owns MySpace, remember, and we got what we got--- another product sold to us on false pretenses, and many of ordinary folks turned into viral marketing drones, meatbots, zombies doing the bidding of their handlers closing the sale, using our own personal email lists to raise money for Obama. Obama meatbots disseminate the message, howl in unison at deviations therefrom, and put little thermometers on their MySpace pages to track how many of their contacts have donated.

It's not any kind of catastrophic failure if you expected, as you say, that the new medium changes nothing by itself. But if you think history is a battleground betwseen social forces in part over the fate of the commons, then it all makes a kind of sense. Slick marketers are slick. That's why it's a trillion dollar industry, and they used the internet and their study of manipulative psychology to sell a candidate under false pretenses the same way they sell everything else. How could we expect them to do anything else?

Bruce Dixon
www.blackagendareport.com

"If you want that good feeling that comes from doing things for other people, then you have to pay for it in abuse and misunderstanding" Zora Neale Hurston, from Moses, Man of the Mountain

Bruce Dixon
www.blackagendareport.com

vastleft's picture
Submitted by vastleft on

If you had the slightest grasp on reality, it was (if unpopular in mainstream circles between 9/11/01 and Hurricane Katrina) pretty easy to be a whole lot more insightful than Bush and his proponents.

Choosing among centrist Democrats required somewhat more finesse, and the weaknesses of once always-right bloggers suddenly were there for all to see, if only they would, which generally they wouldn't.

BoGardiner's picture
Submitted by BoGardiner on

The network idea sounds a good one. I'm assuming the advantages would be a clear mission statement, objectives, code of conduct, etc, that a blogsite would be expected to adhere to? Is that the idea?

Also, how important is the Technorati score?

goldberry's picture
Submitted by goldberry on

I had been saying that for months before I got thrown off the Cheeto. The place was crawling with operatives like nits on a baboon. I emailed Markos about it and he told me I was being paranoid. So either he was incredibly naive or he was in on it. I choose the latter. Not only that but the site itself became like one gigantic focus group where opposition research could be carried out.

The longer I live, the more I come to realize that there are some people who will not succumb to BS. I don't know what makes these people different but I *did* notice that as time went on, the quality of the writing at DKos became poorer as did reasoning skills. It happened rather rapidly but maybe it was there before during the Dean era when I wasn't blogging there. I don't know if it is youth or just an influx of the kind of people who would have become Hare Krishnas 20 years ago.

And maybe that is a reality that we have to come to grips with. Bloggers are smart, but maybe not as smart as we thought. They are still human and their emotions are no less malleable than a freepers. It just takes a different set of trigger words and social dynamics.

Come together at The Confluence

Come together at The Confluence

Submitted by lambert on

I think for many of us, being thrown off Kos by the OFB was a formative experience. What I noticed:

1. Coordinated messaging, down almost to shift changes.

2. No depth of argumentation -- at most two exchanges, and then it was "you're a racist" (or whatever) and they were off

3. Focus on conversion narratives.

Now, if I were doing journalism, I'd say that was suggestive, but not evidential. I'd really want a link or a cite, and for all the rumors, I haven't seen any such.

OTOH, I'm also running a site, so if I'm doing "intel" in defense of the site, I'd say "Dots connected!" and take action...

I do think that defending PB 2.0 against such assaults is important and if we were writing a requirements statement that would be part of it.

This is quite different from BTD's "write what you believe" stance, which is a baseless, necessary, but not sufficient.

[x] Very tepidly voting for Obama [ ] ?????. [ ] Any mullah-sucking billionaire-teabagging torture-loving pus-encrusted spawn of Cthulhu, bless his (R) heart.

First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they fight you, then you win. -- Mahatma Gandhi

goldberry's picture
Submitted by goldberry on

Wasn't Bill Moyers involved in the creation of the corporation for public broadcasting? There must be a history of the insspiration, charter, standards, means of funding, etc. Why not recreate that but modernize it?

Come together at The Confluence

Come together at The Confluence

Submitted by lambert on

PB 2.0 as a legal entity.....

My metaphor as been the NFL, in that large market teams partially support small market teams, for the good of the league. I do think we need to get away from the site/traffic model.

[x] Very tepidly voting for Obama [ ] ?????. [ ] Any mullah-sucking billionaire-teabagging torture-loving pus-encrusted spawn of Cthulhu, bless his (R) heart.

First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they fight you, then you win. -- Mahatma Gandhi

DCblogger's picture
Submitted by DCblogger on

The “ill suited to electoral politics” argument is good, but I don’t see why it’s true.

I can't articulate it, but I think it has to do with the fact that you can't see who you are talking to. It is easy to forget there is a person on the other side of the screen.

In local politics if you are active you get used to the idea that this years opponent is next years ally. So there is less bridge burning. Sometimes that can be bad. That is how Lieberman won, because too many people were used to him and had been through many campaigns with him. Most of the time it is good.

Obama's inexperience showed in the scorched earth primary. It was sickening the way he successfully projected on the Clinton the very tactics he was using. Now he is paying the price. Now many Democrats, in some cases people who have been active for decades, don't want anything to do with him.

That is part of the reason I don't think blogs are great for electoral politics, the lend themselves to scorched earth tactics far too easily.

Submitted by lambert on

Because surely, when you start connected dots, people who really, really need to be scorched, like insurance executives, are part of the problem....

[x] Very tepidly voting for Obama [ ] ?????. [ ] Any mullah-sucking billionaire-teabagging torture-loving pus-encrusted spawn of Cthulhu, bless his (R) heart.

First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they fight you, then you win. -- Mahatma Gandhi

Submitted by brucedixon on

Campaigns are time-limited exercises in which the shot callers generally direct the drones to either convince somebody with an exchange or two, or tell 'em have a nice day and move on to someone else you maybe can convince.

It's about racking up the numbers. In a campaign, the way it's run, you generally don't trust drones to do the convincing. Just the closing and counting.

But on issues you don't have the clock ticking, so many hours till the polls open. You can take the time to convince people. Also issue politics are more decentralized than a campaign with its messaging machinery. That's the difference.

Bruce Dixon
www.blackagendareport.com

"If you want that good feeling that comes from doing things for other people, then you have to pay for it in abuse and misunderstanding" Zora Neale Hurston, from Moses, Man of the Mountain

Bruce Dixon
www.blackagendareport.com

goldberry's picture
Submitted by goldberry on

Can speech really be free if it has a price tag associated with it? I think the answer is no. The person who holds your paycheck controls your speech.
OTOH, blogging costs money. Technology is not free and CPB style netword still needs to fund itself so that it can experiment beyond the blog to more interactive, less keyboard bound means of communication. Plus, some people are really good at this intertubez thingy and should be paid to do it full time (with bennies). The problem is, what is a good business model that will take advantage of the commons but not the advertisers?

Come together at The Confluence

Come together at The Confluence

Submitted by lambert on

OTOH, I'd be loathe to sign away, say, Amazon books.

If we want people to join a network, we don't want to add disincentives...

[x] Very tepidly voting for Obama [ ] ?????. [ ] Any mullah-sucking billionaire-teabagging torture-loving pus-encrusted spawn of Cthulhu, bless his (R) heart.

First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they fight you, then you win. -- Mahatma Gandhi

tnjen's picture
Submitted by tnjen on

...and one I have no answer for. :) Subscription as Lambert suggests or minimal adverts to cover server costs. Google ads and other auto generated ads don't really make a site as beholden to advertisers as the more profitable directly sold ads but it is tempting to start running analytics and watching what posts/posters make the revenue rise. Ultimately, I think we're more reliant on site owners being benevolent dictators than any of us would like. I run a local political/community forum and I hate the fact that I'm the one in charge and I'm paying completely out of pocket with no ads -- even with no real money on the line it's still tempting to huff up and kick people out when they disrespect you and you're the owner.

PB 2.0 - Supplement the wonk!

Edgeoforever's picture
Submitted by Edgeoforever on

Some of the bloggers embraced the mainstream media in the hope of part of it. mediums aside, it's the typical case of corruption of idealism at work.
I have a feeling that for some of the bloggers it became a power trip to be part of the wolf pack rather than watchdogs - on the outside looking in.
As Bruce Dixon said here, we are talking of a different medium - not necessarily a different world altogether.
The so called mainstream media has done its best to be present on the internet - so the mere fact of writing on blogs is hardly edgy.
It all goes back to that old source of relevance: integrity.

Not Your Sweetie
http://edgeoforever.wordpress.com/

Submitted by lambert on

The way I read Milgram, sociologists please correct, is that anybody can lose their integrity, given circumstances. It isn't like good and evil are matters of "us" and "them."

So, the issue is how to design a system that supports integrity. Some power, but not too much... Some money, but not too much.... And so on.

[x] Very tepidly voting for Obama [ ] ?????. [ ] Any mullah-sucking billionaire-teabagging torture-loving pus-encrusted spawn of Cthulhu, bless his (R) heart.

First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they fight you, then you win. -- Mahatma Gandhi

FrenchDoc's picture
Submitted by FrenchDoc on

Pb1.0 indeed operates with clear leaders (authority is important in Milgram's experiment)

there is a lack of accountability (which is a feature of the Internet... would you insult people that way if it were a face to face encounter?)

add to that self-righteousness of a religious fanatic nature

and a structure where a lot of people come with these 3 ingredients... it's a toxic mix.

Submitted by lambert on

... surely such a mix is not unknown in previous history. Is there a solution? At least a temporary, provisional, one?

I can see that "flattening" the readership power curve some would de-fuse authority somewhat.

But what about the lack of accountability? How can there be accountability and anonymity at the same tim e?

And as far as fanatacism... How to detect before its too late?

[x] Very tepidly voting for Obama [ ] ?????. [ ] Any mullah-sucking billionaire-teabagging torture-loving pus-encrusted spawn of Cthulhu, bless his (R) heart.

First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they fight you, then you win. -- Mahatma Gandhi

FrenchDoc's picture
Submitted by FrenchDoc on

- Leaders... I think a horizontal networking structure takes care of that problems, rather than hubs with frontpagers who set the tone or refuse to restrain the pack.

- Accountability: I think, in a flexible network would come from mutual checking... we gave VL an infinite amount of !@#$ for his endorsement of BO, but we also explained why we thought he was wrong... some good discussion on leverage came out of that (+ some of us offered him irresistible rewards :-) )

And the network does not have to reward "bad behavior" whereas the hub did.

Removing the reward structure and presenting evidence of bad behavior to the people who engage in it tends to be efficient.

- the first signs are indeed the end of objectivity in viewing a potential leader as unfallible.

But constant critique, with evidence (AKA linky goodness) and good analytical tools (like those from the social sciences ;-) shameless plug) would work well too.

tnjen's picture
Submitted by tnjen on

Stop thinking in French -- you'll get yourself into more trouble. ;)

PB 2.0 - Supplement the wonk!

Truth Partisan's picture
Submitted by Truth Partisan on

links, Lambert?

Sorry about the way the links are posted here below--there's still a new problem with my posting of embedded urls...

There are a lot of links out there about the Obama campaign's blogging approach, including on this blog and from the Obama campaign.

That's why I was considering it general knowledge.
Here's some links on the Obama campaign on their use of internet technology and their blogging team--if you want more, let me know.

Here's the on-going effort: http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2008/jun...

Here's on some internet techniques the Obama campaign has used:
http://www.itwire.com/content/view/19066...

Here's on co-founder Facebook's Chris Hughes, a huge hire:
http://online.wsj.com/public/article/SB1...

And then there's this: "Becky Carroll, national director of Women for Obama...said the Obama campaign's outreach to women has grown through the primary season to now number 30,000 core organizers and surrogates, who actively recruit online..."(and other activities.)
http://www.azcentral.com/news/articles/2...

Submitted by lambert on

... so let me clarify what I'm asking for.

Any modern campaign that doesn't have an Internet outreach program would be derelict and so -- since we are all agreed that the Obama campaign has been flawless -- the Obama campaign had one. And that's what your links show (unless I missed something).

However, what many of believe -- yet for which, no evidence other than our own experiences has been produced -- is that there was a coordinated, funded online effort by the Obama campaign to use trolling tactics to purge all the major sites and most media properties of [not Obama] supporters.

Now, since Axelrod's day job is corporate Astroturfing, it would seem a very natural thing for him to use such tactics.

But so far, no evidence for this has been produced.

That's not the same thing as saying that PB 2.0 needs to be defended against such assaults; indeed, Bruce Dixon is pointing to the same idea from the angle of "marketing."

[x] Very tepidly voting for Obama [ ] ?????. [ ] Any mullah-sucking billionaire-teabagging torture-loving pus-encrusted spawn of Cthulhu, bless his (R) heart.

First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they fight you, then you win. -- Mahatma Gandhi

Submitted by lambert on

... signalled by "we are all agreed," an obvious untruth....

[x] Very tepidly voting for Obama [ ] ?????. [ ] Any mullah-sucking billionaire-teabagging torture-loving pus-encrusted spawn of Cthulhu, bless his (R) heart.

First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they fight you, then you win. -- Mahatma Gandhi

Big Tent Democrat's picture
Submitted by Big Tent Democrat on

I was a little surprised that your leading thrust is that we should hew closely to issues of personal interest.

I was expecting the topic here would be about the health of the blogosphere and the need to change, upgrade, or replace it, to get something different and better.

VastLeft, I think I am giving you MY vision of what I think the blogosphere should be - to wit, people being true to their views and the facts.

If you can convince more people to follow your views than I, presuming we differ on an issue, more power to you. to me, the biggest problem is lack of integrity to our true value and views.

That is the reform I believe in for the blogosphere. A commitment to the truth - to what you truly believe and to what is true as fact.

Vast Left further writes:

[T]he notion that all pols suck equally is IMHO dangerously reductive.

It would indeed be dangerously reductive and I would never say that. SOME pols respond to the views that you might adhere to for any number of reasons. some will not. Indeed, as I wrote, I am a democrat because I believe only democrats will be in any responsive to my views. John McCain does not care what I think (and perhaps neither does Barack Obama) and will not alter his positions to court me. some Dems will. some Dems won't. I will support the Dems who support the positions I support. I will support other Dems when supporting them forwards issues I care about, even if they may not share my views (think control of the congress, etc.)

But I am sanguine - I know what pols are and what they care about the most - getting elected and reelected. nothing else comes close for them. And in some ways, that is their job, It is OUR job to make getting elected or reelected dependent on them catering to us.

Vast Left further writes:

“Everything is everything” and issues-only focus become carte blanche for not caring about dimensions like dishonesty, hypocrisy, truthiness, unfair play, and low-quality media coverage and prevailing wisdoms.

I disagree. Understanding the pols are not committed to the truth does not mean we should nopt be. Indeed, I say quite clearly that my commitment is always to the truth, whether I like it or not.

Finally, Vast Left writes:

To me, again my apologies if I’m mistaking the topic you’re intending to address here, PB 2.0 is about recognizing that and how truthiness and groupthink destroyed the integrity of the citizen journalism movement that was so valuable in documenting and helping fight against Bush’s sins.

I think that my post IS about that. I think my highest value is to the truth. I think one of the things I am saying that perhaps you do not accept is that the blogs were fundamentally not committed to the truth - nor where they committed to issues. this is what led to what you call "truthiness" - I call it dishonesty and so called "groupthink" - which I call collective dishonesty.

First principles - why did the blogs become "truthy" and "groupthinky"? My thesis is it was because they came to value the pol over the truth, the truth of the core value or position and the to the truth as fact. that was the central problem.

And that is what destroyed the credibility of the Left Blogs during the primaries.

vastleft's picture
Submitted by vastleft on

I felt that the original post was focused on the issues ethic to the exclusion of the truth ethic, but now we're on the same page. Thanks!

Submitted by lambert on

That lambert is the only one with manners around here is pretty fucking frightening ;-)

[x] Very tepidly voting for Obama [ ] ?????. [ ] Any mullah-sucking billionaire-teabagging torture-loving pus-encrusted spawn of Cthulhu, bless his (R) heart.

First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they fight you, then you win. -- Mahatma Gandhi

goldberry's picture
Submitted by goldberry on

And one of the things the PB2.0 founders have to watch out for is that success doesn't inflate their egos. That is really hard when everyone is praising what you write. But one of the sure ways to compromise someone is to flatter them until they start to believe their own press. It becomes like a drug. What happens when the flattery is withdrawn? We must all be on our guard.

Come together at The Confluence

Come together at The Confluence

Submitted by lambert on

Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?

Everybody's ego inflates. The inflation, I would think, isn't on any "objective" scale, but relative to past hits. If you get 2 hits a day after having 1, I'm betting the ego inflates double, right? Same as 2000 after 1000....

[x] Very tepidly voting for Obama [ ] ?????. [ ] Any mullah-sucking billionaire-teabagging torture-loving pus-encrusted spawn of Cthulhu, bless his (R) heart.

First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they fight you, then you win. -- Mahatma Gandhi

Big Tent Democrat's picture
Submitted by Big Tent Democrat on

I sense a feeling that egos was at the heart of the demise of the credibility of the blogs. As a card carrying egomaniac, I argue the reverse - it was the lack of valuing one's self, one's own integrity and one's own views, that led to the demise of the Left blogs as sources of truthful expression.

If folks had thought more of themselves and less of their favored candidate then they would have been true to the facts and true to their issues and values.

Submitted by lambert on

Meaning that the rather savage mockery by some -- definitely not lambert, no no no no, his ego-free-ness is Zen-like in its purity and intensity -- might have reinforced the "lack of valuing one's self."

OTOH, it's quite possible matters had reached such a point that nothing anybody outside a rather small in group said would have made any difference anyhow.

Basically, hmmm. Insightful comment, BTD, and from what I'm told about the Village it rings true.

[x] Very tepidly voting for Obama [ ] ?????. [ ] Any mullah-sucking billionaire-teabagging torture-loving pus-encrusted spawn of Cthulhu, bless his (R) heart.

First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they fight you, then you win. -- Mahatma Gandhi

goldberry's picture
Submitted by goldberry on

Sort of along the lines of "keep your friends close and your enemies closer". I think the blogs were compromised by print journalists and flattered. They eventually got subsumed into the same milieu. Jeez, I gotta stop hanging out here. I sound like a pretentious liberal. Where's my Obama button?

Come together at The Confluence

Come together at The Confluence

vastleft's picture
Submitted by vastleft on

You get a free arugula latte with every French phrase you use here!

FrenchDoc's picture
Submitted by FrenchDoc on

Where are my lattes?? I've beed frenching around here for weeks now!!

BoGardiner's picture
Submitted by BoGardiner on

It's hard to discuss the blogosphere without looking at the unprecedented closeness between the mainstream media and the blogosphere during the primary.

The Nielsens have just come out, and shown that the cable news shows' ratings went through the roof by adopting Fox-like agenda-driven talking heads discussing the gotcha soundbite of the day. They quickly learned the bloggers were glad to oblige this insatiable need for nightly material. The bloggers thrived on the power and attention. A vicious circle was created, because the bloggers represented the young white male techy demographic the networks most coveted, so they expanded this practice into the mutual masturbation it became.

vastleft's picture
Submitted by vastleft on

And I'm pretty sure she was right, he was actually talking to a "heartland" arugula farmer, so it's been a quasi-misnomer for the real issue of Obama's Fan Base hitting everyone else on the head for failing to measure up to their conception of a good Democrat, a Creative Class cultural elite.

And as Anglachel has pointed out, a lot of us Hillary supporters are "creative" types, we just don't play hipper-than-thou identity politics about it.

BoGardiner's picture
Submitted by BoGardiner on

That does explain it. And yet I've heard it repeated on cable news several times more recently. More truthiness.

Yeah, I'd presume most of us here are more creative class than blue-collar, but correct, we don't pound our chests about it.

Truth Partisan's picture
Submitted by Truth Partisan on

please hold the latte.

What worked--if anything--at stopping the problems?

amberglow's picture
Submitted by amberglow on

and not for presidential stuff--they should never be for specific candidates, unless those candidates are proven good and firm on those issues that matter.

--Congress and state houses should be the focus--Presidents are not movable and are never listening unless it's election time.

amberglow's picture
Submitted by amberglow on

reiterate your support for a candidate that does not agree with on the issues you say matter most to you.

Constantly reaffirming your support for a candidate is not helping you with the issues--it's helping the candidate.

Stating that even tho your candidate is wrong on the issues that matter to you --and ignoring all dissent -- you still support them, actually hurts those issues and makes them less important than the candidate.

BoGardiner's picture
Submitted by BoGardiner on

We MUST know ourselves better to manage ourselves better. The network must address all these human drives and cultural factors:

Human psychology:
--Disinhibition stemming from anonymity of the Internet, with resulting & "road rage" syndrome
--drive to peck on those lower in the pecking order
--drive to be cool, creating vulnerability to peer pressure
--drive to believe oneself morally superior to most others
--drive to reduce cognitive dissonance between beliefs and actions
--youth drive to seek thrills by pushing the envelope,
--youth drive to test authority

Cultural factors:
--too superficial a familiarity with progressive values due to 8 years of Bush
--desensitization to character attack due to cable news show trends and talk radio.
--media ubiquitousness of GOP tactics of personal destruction
--Americans' contempt for older women, unlike many cultures which revere them.
--power imbalance between men and women

All these are the underlying causes of truthiness.

Truth Partisan's picture
Submitted by Truth Partisan on

but--I'm not sure I agree with your premise, Lambert. I believe that the Obama volunteers and hires were trying to recruit people (which is covered in the last link.)

They were sometimes bad at that--and ended up calling names and scaring good questioners away. But wasn't the idea just to make the Kool-Aid purer?

cenobite's picture
Submitted by cenobite on

See NARAL and Joe Lieberman.

I'm not sure what the answer is, but I think any organization of people can be co-opted from the inside and pwned, like the Blight in A Fire Upon the Deep. (If Drudge rules the world of political journalism, then Vernor Vinge rules the world of internet professionals.)

amberglow's picture
Submitted by amberglow on

we've seen most if not all of them value access to candidates/Congress more than tangible progress on the chosen issues. (something many online falsely thought they would have w/Obama, too)

Big Tent Democrat's picture
Submitted by Big Tent Democrat on

Actually, there is a perfect example of what I am talking about. NARAL failed to value its own mission, to forward reproductive rights, in order to be PERCEIVED as having some power.

Its pursuit of the perception of power, in a ham fisted a stupid way that actually created the opposite perception I must say, has weakened its credibility, and thus its influence.

Indeed, NARAL is an interesting case study of what is now happening to the Left Blogs, as Obama humiliates them day after day by abandoning the "progressive positions" they were sure he represented.

Perhaps I am on the wrong wave length of what this discussion was intended to be about, but I really think these first principles are important.

To state it differently, I think Blogs 2.0 should consider their actions through the prism of integrity - to their values, views, issues and the truth. Are they being true to those points with their actions? If not, then they have to reconsider what they are doing.

Submitted by lambert on

As you say, BTD:

I think Blogs 2.0 should consider their actions through the prism of integrity - to their values, views, issues and the truth.

Except I would have thought that PB 1.0 would have done a lot better than it did, especially on the media critique. I really want to understand the failure, so as to avoid it.

Also, everybody has human weaknesses and failings and may lose their integrity (see Milgram). So, how can we arrange matters to support them so they are less in danger? (Just like the Framers set up checks and balances so that "ambition could counteract ambition," where the desire to make others your slaves was the failing they wished to guard against.)

[x] Very tepidly voting for Obama [ ] ?????. [ ] Any mullah-sucking billionaire-teabagging torture-loving pus-encrusted spawn of Cthulhu, bless his (R) heart.

First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they fight you, then you win. -- Mahatma Gandhi

amberglow's picture
Submitted by amberglow on

universal healthcare, and many others--things that a majority of all Americans want--get even more marginalized when they're seen as "blog issues" or "online" or as part of some "liberal base" a candidate is free to move away from when they're moving right ("to the center").

i don't see any help for that tho.

Submitted by brucedixon on

is face-to-face activism, as opposed to this intertube stuff. You don't just blog about the war. You get in contact with the folks who picket the local marine recruiter, you get yourself (and antiwar vets) invited to schools to do presentations, whatever.

and the other help for it is to fight for democracy in the mass media.

Bruce Dixon
www.blackagendareport.com

"If you want that good feeling that comes from doing things for other people, then you have to pay for it in abuse and misunderstanding" Zora Neale Hurston, from Moses, Man of the Mountain

Bruce Dixon
www.blackagendareport.com

amberglow's picture
Submitted by amberglow on

beyond just protest alerts tho.

more things like those "carnivals" that used to happen online (whatever happened to those anyway?)--with strong offline components too, i guess--or something.

and more practical tools/tips/resources to take offline too-- to leave lying around at work, while you commute, etc.

Submitted by hipparchia on

meeting offline is terrific. i've traveled to a handful of cities now, and met up with bloggers and others i first met online. the problem with that is that it's too damned expensive [in both time and money] for most of us to engage in.

which is much of the attraction of the blogosphere for me. i can do this coalition-building, opinion-bouncing, brainstorming stuff with hundreds of like-minded people, or people who might be persuadable to my views, all from my dining-room table.

probably dumps less co2 into the atmosphere too.

so yeah, we need to come up with some way to impress upon the politicians that we're real people, with opinions and votes and dollars.

Big Tent Democrat's picture
Submitted by Big Tent Democrat on

I disagree. I subsume nothing. Consider my principle - I want all my actions and writings to forward my views and issues.

In this election I have two choices - Obama and McCain. I think there is no doubt that there is a much better chance that Obama will forward my issues than McCain.

At the same time, there are actions that would so violate my principles that COULD lead me to NOT support Obama and abstain from this election. I'll grant you that Obama is flirting with that territory for me. I am considering abstaining.

But, I am not there yet. My calculus still tilts towards supporting Obama.

In the meantime, I am true to the truth, when Obama lies, I will say so and have. When Obama flip flops, I will says so. When Obama fucks up, I will say so.

I did for Clinton, Kerry, and even my favorite political figure, Wes Clark.

I feel comfortable with what I have done and what I am doing.

amberglow's picture
Submitted by amberglow on

today to all who disagreed with him and are angry about his unConstitutional FISA lies/flips/stances -- without any comment on it at all -- is not really holding people accountable or "saying so"

-- you just gave him a platform to lie to us some more, and did not at all show that it was lies, bs, and spin.

goldberry's picture
Submitted by goldberry on

Before I left, I was starting to compile a list of the first users to rec a pro-Obama diary. They had such a lock on the rec list that I called that period of time "The Rec List Hostage Crisis". It was all Obama, all of the time, non-stop, 24/7. But I was having trouble keeping track of it all. Nevertheless, I think the answer is in the recommends. I suspect if you used simca on the recs for that period of time, you will see certain names pop up again and again. Now, that alone wouldn't necessarily tell you anything. But if it is true that Axelrod (and don't forget Trippi did this too) had operatives on the blogs, you would expect them to have user ids that are clustered and they would have joined after Axelrod took over the campaign but before Obama mania got off the ground. Now, even that might not be enough. Maybe their history of trollrating is important as well. But the thing that would really give it away is the timing of the recs on a diary. Are the same people always quick on the trigger? They probably did this using groups on google and yahoo and used an email blast to trigger the recs when a new diary appeared. I could go on about certain issues that got Kossacks foaming at the mouth, like the Kyl-Lieberman thing, because certain diarists would not let up.
I don't know. Maybe it can't be proven. All I know is what I experienced and my feeling is that it was too well engineered and carried out to be coincidence.
Come together at The Confluence

Come together at The Confluence

Submitted by lambert on

What is Simca?

I think another one would be content analysis of user+comment text+timestamp -- I think that would show how the talking points rolled out. I always had the picture they were all working together under the lights in a huge warehouse in Omaha. Probably even the shift changes would show up ;-)

As an "intel" analyst, I agree with you 100%. As a quasi-journalist, I'm more skeptical.

[x] Very tepidly voting for Obama [ ] ?????. [ ] Any mullah-sucking billionaire-teabagging torture-loving pus-encrusted spawn of Cthulhu, bless his (R) heart.

First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they fight you, then you win. -- Mahatma Gandhi

BoGardiner's picture
Submitted by BoGardiner on

by the Obama campaign.

Level 1 -- 1 enthusiastic person gets several IDs
Level 2 -- Several enthusiasts get together and confer to organize it just a tad more
Level 3 -- Many campaign volunteers get together and organize it on their own...
Level 4 -- ... with some managerial encouragement...
Level 5 -- They get paid for doing other work, with a wink and nod to their "real work"
Level 6 -- Staffers openly paid to manipulate blogs.

Anything short of Level 6 would be hard to document.

But PB2.0 should work on the assumption it's all happening to defend itself.

With campaigns this vastly wealthy, one should probably assume the worst. (While not stating rumor as fact, of course.

Submitted by brucedixon on

It's a fight. Lots of cash on and under the table. erious business for high stakes.

Bruce Dixon
www.blackagendareport.com

"If you want that good feeling that comes from doing things for other people, then you have to pay for it in abuse and misunderstanding" Zora Neale Hurston, from Moses, Man of the Mountain

Bruce Dixon
www.blackagendareport.com

Submitted by lambert on

Staffers covertly paid to manipulate blogs.

That's what I think happened, though I can't prove it. And we have to design against that. As Bruce says, it's a serious business.

[x] Very tepidly voting for Obama [ ] ?????. [ ] Any mullah-sucking billionaire-teabagging torture-loving pus-encrusted spawn of Cthulhu, bless his (R) heart.

First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they fight you, then you win. -- Mahatma Gandhi

FrenchDoc's picture
Submitted by FrenchDoc on

Big hubs will lend themselves easily to massive attacks. They make for a big fat target that won't move.

We need a decentralized structure, a network of sites / blogs that sign on to a common set of values and agree to be held accountable for them, through constructive critique... some sort of PB2.0 manifesto or credo that all would post.

that way, instead of one big fat target, you have smaller, mobile targets, impossible to pin down all at once.

GD, I love the Confluence, but I imagine your spam filter is working overtime! Because you're a major hub on non-BO blogging, you make for an easy target. you should not be alone in that position.

Submitted by lambert on

is what BTD is recommending. He's right!

Necessary, but not sufficient!

[x] Very tepidly voting for Obama [ ] ?????. [ ] Any mullah-sucking billionaire-teabagging torture-loving pus-encrusted spawn of Cthulhu, bless his (R) heart.

First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they fight you, then you win. -- Mahatma Gandhi

FrenchDoc's picture
Submitted by FrenchDoc on

if we agree on values and ethos:

1. how do we maintain these substantially?

2. How do we maintain these structurally?

(incentives are important but I will only offer the irresistible ones to VL)...

Again, decentralization seems to be a partial answer... that way, more issues can get covered with more expertise, linky goodness and RL connections as well (Bruce Dixon's point about real life connections was important).

dotcommodity's picture
Submitted by dotcommodity on

I saw that too at cheetopia in March (I was late starting to read candidate diaries - I only read the eco kossacks).

I almost wrote a diary on the odds that if someone used the words antics, shrill and billary in a sentence, their UID would be in the 146,000's : ie, joined around Dec 07.

vastleft's picture
Submitted by vastleft on

Funny you should say that. The PUMA phenomenon kinda smacks of Lysistrata at some level, doncha think?

Obama expects us to put out for him, but some of us are saying au contraire.

FrenchDoc's picture
Submitted by FrenchDoc on

but you're right, beyond PUMA. The idea is that HRC supporters should join with no incentives offered beyond "we won't hate you as much"... that ain't enough.

cenobite's picture
Submitted by cenobite on

Once an entity starts making compromises to win a political contest ("it's wrong, but we have to do it to win, because we can't do anything unless we win"), that's when you need to consider that the entity has been co-opted.

Submitted by lambert on

... as that he doesn't even have to!

[x] Very tepidly voting for Obama [ ] ?????. [ ] Any mullah-sucking billionaire-teabagging torture-loving pus-encrusted spawn of Cthulhu, bless his (R) heart.

First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they fight you, then you win. -- Mahatma Gandhi

vastleft's picture
Submitted by vastleft on

Part of the Forer Effect is talking in circles, saying something for everyone. So, at some point in any speech or other communication, Obama will say something palatable, maybe many such things, amid the destructive panders, or vice versa.

See the canonical example (simulated):

Children are the future! Cotton candy is fun! Liberal heathens must stop hassling the GOP. Everyone’s getting a pony!

Submitted by lambert on

... but for speakers, we've got Arianna, WKJM...

And it's June 22. Anybody who went can post a report....

[x] Very tepidly voting for Obama [ ] ?????. [ ] Any mullah-sucking billionaire-teabagging torture-loving pus-encrusted spawn of Cthulhu, bless his (R) heart.

First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they fight you, then you win. -- Mahatma Gandhi

Big Tent Democrat's picture
Submitted by Big Tent Democrat on

I have a a post that asks a question related to this discussion, at least I think it is anyway. Tell me what you think.

Submitted by lambert on

... only action would count with me, meaning that for me, Obama's ethos has imploded, so it depends on what "embraced" means.

Anyhow, I want single payer, not mandates, so I've moved on from both of the Centrists, at this point.

[x] Very tepidly voting for Obama [ ] ?????. [ ] Any mullah-sucking billionaire-teabagging torture-loving pus-encrusted spawn of Cthulhu, bless his (R) heart.

First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they fight you, then you win. -- Mahatma Gandhi

FrenchDoc's picture
Submitted by FrenchDoc on

I've always thought, was stupid... new evidence or new elements might come up on any issue that justify a change of policy / views that should not be disparaged as "flip-flopping" but rather as "examining the evidence".

So, with respect to your TL post, I have less patience / respect for changes based on political pressure or convenience.

I think Jeralyn is trying to keep track of BO's positions on drugs, death penalty and other criminal justice issues... and apparently, it ain't easy. That's the problem, changing one's mind like that depending on whom one is pandering to is dishonest because it means that you can't be trusted on anything.

I know, pols are pols... but HRC never pretended to be a big bad radical... that much was clear.

When you change positions (I don't read minds) repeatedly (or people have to WORM all the time), it means pandering or not knowing what the f!@#$ you're doing... either way, it's bad.

Submitted by lambert on

... that VL keeps drawing attention to.

In a way, it's a lot like the idea in On Bullshit: The liar cares what the truth is, but the bullshit artist doesn't ("we create our own reality").

[x] Very tepidly voting for Obama [ ] ?????. [ ] Any mullah-sucking billionaire-teabagging torture-loving pus-encrusted spawn of Cthulhu, bless his (R) heart.

First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they fight you, then you win. -- Mahatma Gandhi

Submitted by hipparchia on

he's been using that number for ages, it's not a flipflop, and there needs to be good way of keeping track of that.

not so much as a measure of how many times or under what circumstances he panders/tailors his message, so much as a way of demonstrating how much [or not] an issue appears to be one of his core principles.

need to keep track of all the mccain statements too, as a way to try to divine what he really means.

failing that, at least you end up with a readily accessible archive of a candidate's promises that perhaps you can us as a bribe/bludgeon after they've been elected.

Caro's picture
Submitted by Caro on

Big Tent Democrat said:

why did the blogs become “truthy” and “groupthinky”? My thesis is it was because they came to value the pol over the truth

But much of what I saw was based on Clinton hatred, not valuing Obama. It was as though I was back dealing with the Bushbots of 2000.

In my life experience and what little history I've studied, what has become apparent is that almost every organization that starts out with a worthy cause eventually becomes totally engaged in perpetuating the existence of the institution. The original cause gets lost altogether.

There's only one organization I can think of that has not fallen into this trap, and it is Alcoholics Anonymous (and some of its derivatives). AA was founded by an extreme egotist, Bill Wilson, but he realized that the organization couldn't be a cult that worshipped him if it was to survive long term. So he built a structure that put the individual groups (standing AA meetings) at the top of the organization, with a very weak central body.

Bill wrote a set of traditions that anyone wanting to structure a lasting organization that follows its own principles through thick and thin should read. Here's a link to a page that has both the short and long versions. These traditions were written for a bunch of strong willed people as a way of keeping their individual egos in check, for the greater good.

I've written two proposals that might be of interest to those contributing to this topic, but neither is meant to be all inclusive or didactic. If you have some time over the long weekend, you may want to dig in. Both were written a couple of years ago, so the current events are out of date, but the ideas are still valid, I think. Don't take any of it as a be-all and end-all, though. Instead, take the proposals in the same spirit as those attending an AA meeting--take what you want, and leave the rest.

11/14/07 - Progressive Media Strategy, Updated

6/4/06 - Progressive Subscription Service

Carolyn Kay
MakeThemAccountable.com

Submitted by lambert on

Why the heck didn't I think of that? Thanks, Caro.

[x] Very tepidly voting for Obama [ ] ?????. [ ] Any mullah-sucking billionaire-teabagging torture-loving pus-encrusted spawn of Cthulhu, bless his (R) heart.

First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they fight you, then you win. -- Mahatma Gandhi

vastleft's picture
Submitted by vastleft on

http://www.amazon.com/Starfish-Spider-Un...

I didn't agree with everything in it, but it makes an excellent case about the power of network models.

In it there's a story about Apache Indians, who operated in a hard-to-defeat leaderless way. The only way to beat them was to give them a little property, which made the pwned. Kind of compares to the ego, clout, and financial benefits that accrued to the A-listers, afterwards, the whole dynamics of the pure network system went bad.

I was bemused that the quotations on the back of this book about leaderlessness were mostly from CEOs. However, I should note that the book does conclude that hybrid organizations -- somehow both leaderless and led -- are often the best.

Big Tent Democrat's picture
Submitted by Big Tent Democrat on

I chose to comment on it in the thread. I hope that is not considered verboten now.

It was a long statement and I did not want to clutter it with my thoughts.

amberglow's picture
Submitted by amberglow on

--you gave him an unobstructed platform and visibility to his lies and his vow to continue spying on us no matter what people think about it.

You tell me how stuff like that helps on FISA or any issue -- or calls candidates out -- in any way at all.

amberglow's picture
Submitted by amberglow on

we already get this kind of shit when the regular media allows candidates and officials and their surrogates to simply come on and lie and spin to us.

Simply repeating that online ever is a big big mistake, and is not at all about the issues--it's about the candidates and whatever shit they want to push down our throats.

We saw this campaign cycle that numerous lies, spin, and statements were taken as truth from Obama and posted without a critical eye or any factchecking or callingout -- but not ever ever from Clinton or Edwards or anyone else--look where we are now--partly as a result of that.

No politician's statements should ever be posted without at least some attempt to actually ascertain what they're selling us or lying to us about this time--there's still not enough of that regarding Obama.

amberglow's picture
Submitted by amberglow on

and others read blogs is not that we immediately dive into the contents and comments or methodically work our way thru each and every post on a site --we skim the front page to see what's new there and what issues or topics things are about first. I had already seen and read Obama's lying sack of bs on FISA so why read it again -- especially if there's nothing pointing out whether any of it was true or not? or adding any value at all?

it's like when you read a newspaper or magazine or anything online or off with multiple items immediately visible -- you look at the headlines before you settle in to read any one thing thoroughly.

jackyt's picture
Submitted by jackyt on

Adherence to which seemed missing during the primaries on most (so-called) A-list sites. (!Does Not Apply here or at TalkLeft; Jeralyn is especially vigilant at scrubbing abusive and dishonest posts.)

The overwhelming problem is the jury-rigging of discussion, whether by denigrating "unacceptable" opinions or outright banning them. Another problem is limiting exposure of events and incidents to only those that support one point of view. In short, what I saw happen to PB1.0 was the supplanting of an open forum with hard-sell, underhanded, used-car sales tactics.

I have no idea how to mandate intellectual integrity, or even good manners. But, for my part, I scrub offenders from my bookmarks. They get no traffic from me. Of course, I now have a very short list of sites to visit; no TV news (network or cable); and even the New Yorker is on my sh*tlist.

Were it not for this site, TalkLeft, Confluence, Anglachel's Journal, Daily Howler, and a very few others I'd have no idea of anything, anywhere, except here in my tiny little microcosm.

Oops, I'm late for an production meeting with the plants!

gqmartinez's picture
Submitted by gqmartinez on

I've been trying to say progressives needed to be for something, rather than merely against something. No one listens. I've been saying it since 224. With Bush out of the way, more or less, the hatred had to be directed elsewhere, to anyone who wasn't an Obamaphile and mostly Hillary and Bill Clinton and their supporters. If you didn't support Obama, you were the enemy.

Being against something so deeply leads to a dangerous fundamentalism that was obvious in progressive blogs to me for years. I browsed DailyKos one time on my own initiative and knew it was not a friendly place for real debate. (Sure I went and rec'd posts, but that was to help out friends.)

But, one has to be weary about "for fundamentalism" as well. You can be so gung-ho for the God of your choice that you're willing to kill innocent people.

Only tyrants rig elections.

FrenchDoc's picture
Submitted by FrenchDoc on

We definitely need to define what we substantially stand for, beyond electoral politics.

Truth Partisan's picture
Submitted by Truth Partisan on

Proposal 1:

1. Ethical Blogger's Code

blogs sign on to it; posters must sign too--standardizes things like no hate speech, name-calling, etc.

Blogs can be individuals but this would give standards for bloggers to get USED TO and strengthen us as a group supporting free speech but objecting to harassment, etc.

Big Tent Democrat's picture
Submitted by Big Tent Democrat on

Gotta run now.

I'll come back to answer queries later.

Submitted by lambert on

There are a ton of great ideas on this thread. Thanks for sparking the discussion.

[x] Very tepidly voting for Obama [ ] ?????. [ ] Any mullah-sucking billionaire-teabagging torture-loving pus-encrusted spawn of Cthulhu, bless his (R) heart.

First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they fight you, then you win. -- Mahatma Gandhi

Truth Partisan's picture
Submitted by Truth Partisan on

You mean telling the truth?
Asking the media NOT to just recycle press releases?
Requiring reporters to read and think and report the facts??

YES!

amberglow's picture
Submitted by amberglow on

otherwise everyone online is giving up whatever value and power -- and trust -- they have -- if they really do care about the issues more than a candidate. I've lost trust in many voices online because they gave up that critical eye entirely when it came to Obama. And some are still doing it--

they -- like the regular media -- simply passed on all Obama's attacks and lies as truth during the primaries -- and now are all shocked and disillusioned??? It's a crock of shit -- and useless -- and has damaged all talk of issues -- let alone progress on them.

We don't need more Russerts, who the administration used as their easiest sucker to push lies and horrors on us.

gqmartinez's picture
Submitted by gqmartinez on

Slightly semantic, but I think it's important to distinguish the difference. Universal health care, to me, would be a concept. Single payer is an issue and a way to achieve UHC. It's not the only way to get there even if it is, to many, the best. But the concept of UHC should be straight forward.

The goal of PB2.0 should be more philosophical, IMO, than practical. PB2.0 should aim to change the narrative so that people of both Dems and GOPers start to agree on the same ends, though perhaps differing on how to get there.

The conservative movement was successful in changing the entire direction of the country because they had a very simple set of concepts: small government and individual liberty. The conservative movement failed when Norquist, Armey, DeLay, Gingrich, Rove tied the conservative movement completely to the GOP.

PB2.0 is destined to fail, IMO, because we are stuck in a paradigm that should be obsolete: that Democrats are inherently better than the GOP. Sorry, Lambert, but your tagline is the epitome of what's wrong with PB1.0 and PB2.0. A movement should be Party Invariant to be successful. If you cannot satisfy Party invariance, you won't be a successful movement. That's my postulate.

Also, why does PB2.0 have to be so damn short-sighted? We should be looking many years down the road without being constrained entirely by the structures of today. "stopping the bleeding" is not a goal for a movement, its reactionary and leads to tepidly endorsing the current system. It took years to end slavery, give women the right to vote, pass civil rights. They had to lay general concepts down and fight for the concepts to change the entire political landscape.

I don't see PB2.0 really discussing a philosophical agenda.

I just had a few minutes so I'm rambling, I know.

Only tyrants rig elections.

amberglow's picture
Submitted by amberglow on

my goals are practical--real tangible practical progress on helping people and stopping horrors and crimes and bankrupting of the whole country. I think most people have practical goals and they're all about tangible, relatable issues -- and not at all abstract.

gqmartinez's picture
Submitted by gqmartinez on

But do you not think there are any fundamental principles to your practical goals?

Only tyrants rig elections.

amberglow's picture
Submitted by amberglow on

the principles are expressed and made clear thru the actions taken and the things said and done in service to the goals.

it's one of the big problems i have with Obama-- his actions never matched his words (which were supposedly him expressing his principles, now mostly all left under the bus), and his words (his stated principles) never were made real by any past or current actions supporting them and making them flesh.

when it comes to issues that government and politicians must implement or stop, stating principles doesn't make that happen--actions do. Like running on ending Iraq, as Congress did in 06 -- they stated their principles (ending Iraq, stopping Bush's horrors, acting as opposition) and didn't mean any of it at all or do any of it at all.

gqmartinez's picture
Submitted by gqmartinez on

I'm teleological by nature so I agree with outcomes. Though in my age, I'm battling strict deontological structures.

However, I think a more fundamental problem I have with Obama is his blatant and intentional dishonesty*. I don't see his words as meaning anything at all since he violates a fundamental principle which suggests nothing he says can be taken at face value. So, I have a hard time considering his rhetoric v reality to be pertinent. Like Bush, nothing he says matters to me.

* I think there is unintentional dishonesty as well. People shouldn't be punished or thought less of for that if its not habitual.

Only tyrants rig elections.

amberglow's picture
Submitted by amberglow on

their rhetoric and how it matches or doesn't with actions taken.

His intentional dishonesty on these issues tells me he doesn't have principles about them or underlying them at all, and that these issues don't matter to him. I take what they give--whether talk or deeds--and judge.

There is no way for any politician to state or show fundamental or even lesser principles except thru their actions for me.

Like--i knew and trusted that Hillary would help on healthcare even if it wasn't full single-payer. Why? Because she already had worked hard on it for years in the face of enormous opposition. Her principles were cemented by the reality of her actions for ages -- the principles underlying it were already clear, and the importance and focus she gave to it and would give to it if given power. I don't need her to state her principles so much i need politicians to do their damn jobs and make things happen.

gqmartinez's picture
Submitted by gqmartinez on

Politicians are different from movements. My vision is such that we have certain principles that Obama, Hillary and even McCain would be advocating for a significant chunk of what we want. We won't get that advocating specific candidates. We need to advocate our principles to all.

I think my granulation of concepts and issues is not well described. Issues would be, for me, incomplete pieces of legislation or specific candidates. Concepts are what leads people to start writing the legislation in the first place. I'd rather argue about how we are going to pay for UNC than whether or not UHC is a good thing.

Only tyrants rig elections.

amberglow's picture
Submitted by amberglow on

once you do that, you are talking about making the sausage and not about principles--unless your principle is a balanced budget instead of UHC. Talking about funding anything is all about politics/govt and not about underlying principles.

UHC is a good thing and the majority of Americans already want it--the principle is already established and desired.

FrenchDoc's picture
Submitted by FrenchDoc on

:-)

Seriously, you're absolutely correct when it comes to the concept / issue distinction.

I would hope that PB 2.0 would provide concepts (I hate to use "frame" because that's not the idea and the "concept" of "framing" has been used and reused beyond recognition) for the critique of BS pertaining to issues we care about and want to fight for (for me, that would cover anything related to social justice).

The challenge for PB2.0 (sorry to bring that up again) is to indeed provide substantial, concept- and evidence- and reality-based critique.

But also to find the right structure to do so.

Submitted by lambert on

That is a very nice idea.

As for my sig, "????" is in there exactly to have a space for more than two ideas....

[x] Very tepidly voting for Obama [ ] ?????. [ ] Any mullah-sucking billionaire-teabagging torture-loving pus-encrusted spawn of Cthulhu, bless his (R) heart.

First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they fight you, then you win. -- Mahatma Gandhi

campskunk's picture
Submitted by campskunk on

@ lambert: behold Simca. for serious numbercrunchers. the sweet part is the multivariate analysis - to test goldberry's hypothesis, you group diaries by who recommended them, and then get the times and names of recommends for the "obama talking points" diary cluster. compare it to the variance in other diaries, there's your P value. just a few clicks of a mouse.

http://www.umetrics.com/default.asp/page...

@ goldberry: kos lied to you if he told you they TRed you off the site. they didn't - your last comment wasn't hidden (the mark of the Autoban™ is that it it's hidden). you were disappeared via administrative termination with extreme prejudice, and anyone you told you differently - even kos - was lying.

interesting titbit: the only time kos ever mentioned "offsite coordination" was in reference to hillary supporters. and there were what - 12 of us? we were probably coordinating from a phonebooth. this sgt. schultz selective attention indicates to me that the fix was in - not that i expect him to be honest about it. he can't afford to be honest.

Caro's picture
Submitted by Caro on

The most interesting thing to me about anonymity is that it was originally intended to keep the first 100 members from being inundated with personal appeals for help, once the Big Book was published.

But Bill W. realized early on that it was a good way to keep egos in check. To this day, you'll hear people say that they went to rehab, or that they're recovering, or whatever, but they don't say anything about AA itself, because it might sound as though they're trying to speak for the organization.

No one speaks for AA as an organization.

Carolyn Kay
MakeThemAccountable.com

gqmartinez's picture
Submitted by gqmartinez on

can you be accountable if you are anonymous?

Only tyrants rig elections.

gqmartinez's picture
Submitted by gqmartinez on

You have both the sweetened aspect of creamy peanut butter, with the gritty, less processed chunks of peanuts.

In politics, to me, this is the electoral (which includes bond measures, etc., as well as candidates) process. C'mon, politics can be fun and fighting for ideas in a specific implementation is as well--the creamy part. But we need to be reminded of where the creamy sh*t comes from: the peanuts.

PB2.0 should be a fusion of the two, with more importance going to the crunchy part. If you get a bad bunch of sweetener, you can replace it and still have the base: the peanuts. If you through everything into one vat and just get the creamy sh*t, than you've ruined your entire stash.

I've been advocating for a multi-level structure. You can include specific issue/candidate campaigns, but every now and then we'll find something wrong with specifics. We need a way to reign that in.

Only tyrants rig elections.

Submitted by hipparchia on

obama would have to come out strongly for hr 676, and sound like he really means it [no, i'm not sure at this point how i would evaluate 'sounds like he really means it'], to get my vote. it's my last remaining progressive issue, s i've given up on all the others happening within the next 4 years.

i'm not a purist, i don't mind at all if he does so as a cave-in to political pressure. the whole purpose of having a representative government is for these people to represent me, since i'm not going to be there to speak for myself.

i take that back, sorta. the other way he could get my vote is to convince me he really is a stealth fdr clone. again, i'm not sure right now what would actually convince me of that, but that's definitely the kind of president i want.

amberglow's picture
Submitted by amberglow on

(and rights and future justices, etc, too)-- "Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama says "mental distress" should not qualify as a health exception for late term-abortions, a key distinction not embraced by many supporters of abortion rights.

In an interview this week with "Relevant," a Christian magazine, Obama said prohibitions on late-term abortions must contain "a strict, well defined exception for the health of the mother."

Obama then added: "Now, I don't think that 'mental distress' qualifies as the health of the mother. ..."

FrenchDoc's picture
Submitted by FrenchDoc on

Are you trying to make me throw up my dinner?

Obama: he'll make you vomit 2% less than McCain.

Truth Partisan's picture
Submitted by Truth Partisan on

1. Ethical blogger code
2. More infrastructure for networking
3. Long term goals and vision
4. Stated shared principles
5. Impartially structured critique of media

What else? What's wrong with the above?

badger's picture
Submitted by badger on

BTD that the bottom line is issues and the problem with PB1.0 has been the way issues are dealt with. I'd also agree that integrity is a big part of the problem with how issues are handled.

The walkaway point for me was when people like Ferraro, Clinton, and most especially Krugman were regularly and continually villified. Part of it was the willingness to see anyone who disagreed with Obama as the enemy, and part of it was a characteristic of the blogosphere that's bothered me for a long time: ignorance.

Somebody above said they saw the fanboy thing going on with respect to personalities but not with issues - I strongly disagree with that. I see it happening all the time.

A simple example: to reduce CO2 levels to some target level by 2030, a lot of people on the environmental side advocate (among other soutions) replacing incandescent light bulbs with LEDs. In energy terms this makes sense - in the real world it's probably impossible. There isn't enough of of the stuff needed to make LEDs (gallium, indium) around to replace every lightbulb, or even last until 2030 at current (much less increased) usage. It not only won't work, it can't possibly work. But I wouldn't advise confronting a zealot with that information.

That kind of thing is epidemic in issue discussions, and it's that kind of ignorance that leads people to cheer Obama and dis a Krugman or even a Ferraro or Bill Clinton. Whether you like or agree with Krugman, Ferraro or Bill, you're a fool to disrepect and ignore their knowledge in areas like economics or politics. We should be about finding out who's right, not fighting for our side against "the others".

I see it in the issue areas I know something about. I probably don't notice it as much when I do it myself in areas where I'm ignorant, but I can't believe it's only in the few narrow topics where I'm well-informed that others are so poorly informed (and damned proud of it).

It seems to me that what we should be about first is where we want to go - like the stupid "Where do you want to be 5 years from now?" job interview question, we ought to know first and foremost what we want the world to look like 5, 10 or more years from now. Certainly there's bound to be some disagreement, but I think among liberals or progressives or leftists there's a fair amount of commonality about what things are problems and what the world would look like if the problems were solved.

And it's important first to think about that - the outcome, not the process for achieving it. The process is where people turn into fanboys for pet solutions (militant vegetarians, PETA are examples) or for personalities (Obama, Ron Paul, etc). If you're focused first and foremost on where you're going, then you have at least some idea who or what will take you there and who or what won't.

You don't need to be very smart or have any expertise to want people to have food, decent housing, medical care, jobs, education and all the broad areas where we mostly agree. You need to be more than really smart to solve even one of those problems, and most of us aren't.

So the second thing we need is a process for acquiring and evaluating knowledge. We need experts to participate, or we need to learn on our own, but we need a process where realistic solutions evolve, are tried and are evaluated and improved. That should be the political process in a democracy IMO, not bullshit about "hope" and "change" or "free markets" or even "free trade". Those are all processes, and they only have value if they get us what we want.

That was surprisingly easy some times at dKos. If I posted a diary about forest fires, I got comments from ecologists, fire fighters, rural residents, biologists and lots of people more knowledgeable than me. Even at the lower volume blogs there are people with professional or avocational knowledge in important areas - not to provide all of the answers, but to guide and inform the conversation. If those kinds of people aren't reading and posting, then we need to drag them here. We don't need any more pundits or punditry.

Anyway, I've rambled on long enough here, but I want to emphasize two points: it's about where we want to end up and it's about how we make the conversation about getting there as productive, informed and politically successful as possible. Anything else is just wanking IMO.

Submitted by hipparchia on

i agree 100%, on all of it: that there are issues-fanboys; that particular environmental issue; the vilification of krugman, ferraro, et al; and the absolute need for knowledgable and conscientious editors/arbiters who can and will point out which people know what they're talking about and which ones have no clue.

lambert's constant hectoring for linky goodness is a good start on that last one.

gqmartinez's picture
Submitted by gqmartinez on

I always liked Rawls because he didn't suppose to know absolutely what's right and wrong. Rather, he generated a system of Justice that was practical and principled.

Rawls tempered my Kantian, deontological tendencies with the more feel-good Millian sense of utility and even put in some of the practical cynicism of Hume and Hobbes. I don't claim to be an all-knowing individual at all. Utilitarianism can lead to a whole slew of problems which make it unacceptable to me. Practical outcomes are important, but can lead to mistaken understandings of fundamental principles.

I'd like to see more discussion of Rawls.

Only tyrants rig elections.

gqmartinez's picture
Submitted by gqmartinez on

I've been busy moving, finishing the degree and writing a thesis and paper, as well as looking for a job. I'm finished with all but the last so I have a little more time. If someone finds me a job, I'll have even more time.

BTW, that $30 would help pay for a date I have in the near future. Darn you anti-gas holiday people!!

Only tyrants rig elections.

Submitted by lambert on

[x] Very tepidly voting for Obama [ ] ?????. [ ] Any mullah-sucking billionaire-teabagging torture-loving pus-encrusted spawn of Cthulhu, bless his (R) heart.

First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they fight you, then you win. -- Mahatma Gandhi

Truth Partisan's picture
Submitted by Truth Partisan on

Let us have discussions of Rawls.

If we understand our own ideas about justice and fairness, then we won't be as fooled by rhetoric?

Platform ideas:

1. Ethical blogger code
2. More infrastructure for networking
3. Long term goals and vision
4. Stated shared principles
5. Impartially structured critique of media
6. Rigorous clear-eyed assessments of candidates and their actions
7. Discussions of what justice, fairness, etc. are

FrenchDoc's picture
Submitted by FrenchDoc on

We need something akin to the Millenium Development Goals based on the list that TP is compiling.

We create some nifty logos for each (any web designer around here?) and when we create posts, we label them accordingly, across blogs and sites.

Submitted by lambert on

1. Logos, IMNSHO, are way too impoverished a vocabulary.

2. Tagging achieves exactly the same thing, semantically, with the added advantage that tags are retrievable by search engines.

(TP?)

[x] Very tepidly voting for Obama [ ] ?????. [ ] Any mullah-sucking billionaire-teabagging torture-loving pus-encrusted spawn of Cthulhu, bless his (R) heart.

First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they fight you, then you win. -- Mahatma Gandhi

badger's picture
Submitted by badger on

along with some of the neo-Pragmatists like Rorty.

As to the "ends justify the means" problem with utilitarianism or philosophical pragmatism - it's a danger.

But we have our history and culture and its norms to provide some guidance, and we have to consciously make something like the 4th Amendment (in the FISA debate) part of our goals for what we want our country to look like. So when we evaluate choices in conversation (Rorty's term) or from the "original position" and behind a "veil of ignorance" (per Rawls), we check our means against things like the 4th Amendment as we go about achieving our ends.

That's part of the point I tried to make. It isn't just that wiretaps are a good way to catch terrorists - it's that the whole solution has to work in a broader context of first accomplishing what we want, but also doing within constraints like the Constitution, economic feasibility, the laws of physics and nature, and whatever else bears on it.

We'll never be perfect or see every potential problem, but we'll have a process that can adapt to that and correct itself.

Truth Partisan's picture
Submitted by Truth Partisan on

Platform ideas:

1. Ethical blogger code
2. More infrastructure for networking
3. Long term goals and vision
4. Stated shared principles
5. Impartially structured critique of media
6. Rigorous clear-eyed assessments of candidates and their actions
7. Discussions of what justice, fairness, etc. are
8. Knowledgeable and conscientious editors/arbiters who can and will point out which people know what they’re talking about and which ones have no clue
9. System for linked posts on the above ideas across blogs and websites

What else?

Truth Partisan's picture
Submitted by Truth Partisan on

Great song.

Updated Platform

1. Ethical blogger code
2. More infrastructure for networking
3. Long term goals and vision
4. Stated shared principles
5. Impartially structured critique of media
6. Rigorous clear-eyed assessments of candidates and their actions
7. Discussions of what justice, fairness, etc. are
8. Discussions of what pragmatic, modern day politics can do and should not do about justice, fairness, etc.
9. Knowledgeable and conscientious editors/arbiters who can and will point out which people know what they’re talking about and which ones have no clue
10. System for tags on the above ideas across blogs and websites

What's right or wrong? Edits needed? What's missing?
(More songs?)

Submitted by hipparchia on

after all our consensus building, critical analysis, visions, and wishes of sugar plums dancing in our heads... some way to transfer it all to the various candidates, in a way that they'll sit up and take notice [cf obama's i don't read blogs]

Nadai's picture
Submitted by Nadai on

Most of the problems I saw on the blogs during this primary arose out of basic Human flaws; I'm unconvinced that we'll ever eliminate those to a substantial degree. That said, however, there are a couple of structural similarities among most of the blogs that didn't go completely crazy.

The first is strong control over what's posted. E.g., TalkLeft has only three frontpagers; reader-written diaries are not a big part of the site's content and the handful of people who write them had to get the blogmistress's permission first. Shakesville has a much larger number of frontpagers, but no unsolicited reader-written posts. The Daily Howler is entirely written by Bob Somerby.

The second is a willingness on the part of the blogger to moderate as ruthlessly as required. Jeralyn and BTD at TalkLeft delete abusive comments whenever they see them; Shakesville bans trolls fairly quickly and mocks them mercilessly first; Somerby doesn't have comments at all.

This level of control is time-consuming and emotionally draining, but it does prevent the lunatics from taking over. IMO, it's the only thing that does. Any structure that permits bullying will result in bullying. You can't eliminate bullies from the species, but you can slap them down hard.

Truth Partisan's picture
Submitted by Truth Partisan on

9. Knowledgeable and conscientious editors/arbiters who can and will point out which people know what they’re talking about and which ones have no clue

Nadai's picture
Submitted by Nadai on

but I think the blog owner also has to be willing to ban/delete early and often. Just pointing out that someone is an idiot doesn't eliminate the sort of thread derailment that makes useful conversation impossible. If anything, it encourages the readers to pile on. Mobs are a problem even when it's "your" mob.

Submitted by hipparchia on

though i didn't phrase it well.

editors might have to do some fact-checking [or keep a rolodex of experts to call on] and badgering of contributors for linky goodness.

arbiters [moderators?] would be tasked with wading through moderation queues, or issuing warnings to bullying posters, etc.

thankless jobs, both of them [thank you, lambert!]

having said that, i'd like to add that i'm very definitely on the side the fewer rulez the better; the more organic the structure, the better [evolution, baby!]; and please,

nothing even faintly resembling the troll-rating system at dkos. talk about a way to enable bullies...

orionATL's picture
Submitted by orionATL on

i think you know, from the day you came roaring into "the next hurrah" chasing some poor miscreant that disagreed with you,

that i have been an admirer of yours,

not necessarily for your sense of etiquette,

but always for your passion and your willingness to admit error.

in the matter under discussion here,

that of voting for obama or not, no matter what,

i think you are selling smoke.

peddling party unity snake oil.

your entire argument is based on the premise that:

"i have positions i value that obama will support better than mccain."

but that's all you say.

you don't provide evidence.

furthermore, you don't address the critical issue of obama's inexperience

which, even assuming he supported issues you value, which i think is a questionable assumption,

likely means he could not "make your issues happen".

example:

how COULD obama negotiate a different outcome to the fisa debacle when he has no clout and insufficient experience to deal with the senior senators who will authorize this abomination?

in my view, your position, btd, is no better than obama's

all the rhetoric of "belief" and of "hope"

but no evidence whatsoever for holding on to either the belief or the hope.

in my view, btd, you are selling trombones and democratic marching music, senor.

Truth Partisan's picture
Submitted by Truth Partisan on

ongoingly?

thoughts:
one time=press release and/or formal letter(s)
ongoingly=newsletter or annual letter

or a BBQ to which we invite all candidates and appropriate people?

Submitted by hipparchia on

if that doesn't win them over, it's hopeless. :)

multi-pronged and ongoing. might be that some of us are going to have to go undercover and work for some professional lobbyist big guns to learn their methods.

but it's not my area of expertise, so i'm open to suggestions on the how. the have to, though, i consider to be indispensible.

a thought: is pb2.0 a good way to recruit progressive candidates? train them? motivate them? [cf howard dean's dfa night school, etc

elixir's picture
Submitted by elixir on

allow the metamorphosis take place. The only way we arrived where we are today, is through painful growth. Focusing on issues is a healthier approach instead of the candidate play offs but I cannot fault any of us for becoming impassioned about this primary. Think about the past few primaries, were any of them as empowering, high pitched and meaningful as this one? I recall the primaries were a non-issue in 2000, and, unfortunately (at the time), Dean was sunk after Iowa. From where I sit this is the first primary in a long time where you have the party evenly divided over two exceptional candidates. I don't think we should apologize for recent activity.

I love this job!

SunnyLC's picture
Submitted by SunnyLC on

I'm a former librarian and I like to dig a little deeper...

Stop by my site and see what you think...

http://insightanalytical.wordpress.com

I was a contributor to Buzzflash (since 2001)...until they got completely over the top in their obvious, almost hysterical, hostility towards Hillary Clinton.

I've never been an Obama fan, but I do research, not hysteria.

Caro's picture
Submitted by Caro on

badger:

Some very good points. What you describe is what I hoped the blogosphere was or would become--a kind of college bull session where you can come to a better understanding of issues and ideas.

But understanding is only part of what's needed, since there are well-paid people on the other side trying to undermine every one of your issues. Think global warming, think Darwinian "theory".

So, to my mind, selling the issues has to be part of any effort to go forth. And meanwhile we have to remember and find ways to counter the vagaries of the human brain, which were covered in a recent NYT oped:

Your Brain Lies to You (by Sam Wang, associate professor of molecular biology and neuroscience at Princeton, and Sandra Aamodt, former editor in chief of Nature Neuroscience, authors of “Welcome to Your Brain: Why You Lose Your Car Keys but Never Forget How to Drive and Other Puzzles of Everyday Life.”

The brain does not simply gather and stockpile information as a computer’s hard drive does... A false statement from a noncredible source that is at first not believed can gain credibility during the months it takes to reprocess memories from short-term hippocampal storage to longer-term cortical storage. As the source is forgotten, the message and its implications gain strength... Even if they do not understand the neuroscience behind source amnesia, campaign strategists can exploit it to spread misinformation. They know that if their message is initially memorable, its impression will persist long after it is debunked.

Psychologists have suggested that legends propagate by striking an emotional chord. In the same way, ideas can spread by emotional selection, rather than by their factual merits...

Consumers of news, for their part, are prone to selectively accept and remember statements that reinforce beliefs they already hold.

Carolyn Kay
MakeThemAccountable.com

Caro's picture
Submitted by Caro on

gqmartinez said:

"can you be accountable if you are anonymous?"

Well, of course, the availability of anonymity is one of the things that has made lying and bullying so easy on the intertubes. But the point to be taken is the part where no one person speaks for the organization. Where money and egos don't get involved in the central organization itself, even though we definitely need to figure out ways to get better pay for us individually. And benefits, too.

Carolyn Kay
MakeThemAccountable.com

Submitted by lambert on

The idea that nobody can speak for the organization.

Now, how to reconcile that with the idea, that I also like, of being a network like CPB, I don't know.

And I also think, again, that a business model is key. I return, again, to the model of the NFL.

[x] Very tepidly voting for Obama [ ] ?????. [ ] Any mullah-sucking billionaire-teabagging torture-loving pus-encrusted spawn of Cthulhu, bless his (R) heart.

First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they fight you, then you win. -- Mahatma Gandhi

Submitted by lambert on

I'm no expert in sports or sports economics. That said, I had the idea of revenue sharing in mind. (Not the NFL properties model, though that might be a good one, too.)

It's different from the site/traffic model because the league is valued in and of itself; large markets help small markets.

[x] Very tepidly voting for Obama [ ] ?????. [ ] Any mullah-sucking billionaire-teabagging torture-loving pus-encrusted spawn of Cthulhu, bless his (R) heart.

First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they fight you, then you win. -- Mahatma Gandhi

Truth Partisan's picture
Submitted by Truth Partisan on

nice details...I'm not sure what you mean though since the article is mainly about revenue sharing. My confusion comes from the fact that we here at CW don't generate money by ads or subscription. Are you now supporting the NFL model for increased revenue and benefits, like Caro?

Or are you saying that we should share intellectual and public relations resources?

Or both?

An Intellectual Stadium, yes!

Submitted by lambert on

I'm not supporting, per se, but I am saying that this is something to think about; a league of teams, at a high level of abstraction, is like a network of sites. I don't know how AA handles these things, and that might also be something to look at.

[x] Very tepidly voting for Obama [ ] ?????. [ ] Any mullah-sucking billionaire-teabagging torture-loving pus-encrusted spawn of Cthulhu, bless his (R) heart.

First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they fight you, then you win. -- Mahatma Gandhi

Truth Partisan's picture
Submitted by Truth Partisan on

We may very well be able to generate shared principles. Should we? The reason for doing this would be that we would then be able to be strong in the face of temptation--the easy press release, the candidate's fan pressure, etc., right?

What about having regular meetings and sharing experiences and support? (That would be cool with all of us and the other blogs.)
On-line or telephone (more privacy, except from government employees)?

And would there be assigned blog roles, like rotating hosting, public relations this month, etc., (kinda of like a book club? Or the EU? Or the United States?) or us just all doing our own thing?

What would be our shared purpose?