Saturday, July 23, 2011

Even if you are not an anarchist...

(I probably won't write too much more about Reddit on my blog, and I'm sorry if it seems like I've been focusing too much lately on the subject of internet communications, but this is something I wrote in an attempt to help establish a more open and accountable subreddit for people interested in ideas about anarchism.  If you don't already have one... I hope you'll consider opening a Reddit account if only to subscribe to this forum.)  

This post is about intellectual honesty. As some of you may know, there has been a great amount of dissatisfaction with the style of moderation displayed in the r/anarchism subreddit. This has been a simmering issue for several months. Unfortunately, up til now, there has been little that could be done about it since r/anarchism associates itself with the basic name of the philosophy (even though, at best, it only partially promotes that philosophy). More to the point... the moderators are widely panned as hardly being anarchists at all. They ban sincere anarchists at a whim, they invite trolls from other subreddits by harassing those forums, and their primary method of communication consists largely of logical fallacy and obfuscation. In short... they are helping to give anarchism a bad name. Perhaps that's by design, perhaps it's due to a collection of personality disorders, but the bottom line is that the philosophy of Anarchism -- in it's historical & contemporary forms -- is not adequately presented on Reddit.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

A Critique of Google Plus: The Good, the Evil and the Ugly

Last night I was finally sent an invitation to try out Google+.  And, after a quick examination, I'm glad I didn't believe the hype.  Don't get me wrong... I was very pleased and excited to get my invitation.  It's just that, judging by the entirely uncritical response I'd seen from my online communities, I was almost convinced that it was actually going to be the best thing since sliced silicon.  The marketing department was working overtime to build up expectations about this product in a way that only Google marketers could.  And scores of diehard Google fans were more than eager to help them out -- regardless of how good the latest Google product actually was.  Anyway, deep down, I knew it wouldn't be everything that everyone was making it out to be. 

Friday, July 08, 2011

Reddit, Anarchism, Guerrilla Marketing & Racism

As an unrepentant news junkie I often peruse Reddit, submit articles for consideration, and contribute to various discussions on that website. And, in general, I like a lot of the stuff I find on Reddit -- from the mundane (r/starcraft & r/poker), to the profound (r/TrueReddit & r/BadCopNoDonut), and everything in between (r/ That said... Reddit has some persistent problems which I feel reflect negatively on the whole site. Some of these problems you may care more or less about, and maybe all the problems aren't of equal importance, but these are some of my thoughts about Reddit which I hope might make the site better.

The r/Anarchism Subreddit is NOT an Anarchist Community.

I know that not everyone reading this is an anarchist (and may hardly have anarchist leanings at all), but the things is... many of those who post in that subreddit (including the moderators) are hardly anarchists either! This leads to a situation where people who may be curious about the philosophy could stumble upon the r/Anarchism forum and thereby become misinformed and/or turned off by the ideas they see presented there. This may very well already be the reason why some people would never consider themselves anarchists!

Some of you might think that I'm making much ado about nothing, as if the subreddit were entirely inconsequential, but the fact is that r/Anarchism is a forum which ranks very high when doing a basic Google search for the term "anarchism." So... I'm suggesting that it is actually influential about what some people think about modern anarchism. Those who value honest discussion (whether they are anarchists or not) should therefore take issue with an "anarchist" forum which actually does very little to promote the philosophy.