internet creeps (a response to the blogging "cold war" of ommision)
Copied below is my response to the "Deboycott Me!" post over at Agent Swarm blog run by Terrance Blake (HERE). In support of Terry don't let your voice go unheard. Encourage him to blog more at his new and productively improved place of blogging, Xenoswarm.
Gosh no, you shouldn’t stop blogging. Remember, not only you but folks like Jason Hills (of the blog Immanent Transcendence) and the gang, have been dodged *for years* – and I am not sure why anyone would be oblivious to those very easy-to-find critiques through Google. In fact, Google any of the names, critiques, arguments involved, and you are the *first person* who comes up! Even in academia.edu! So what you are saying has an impact, believe me. But, actually, that isn’t besides the point. I think the go-to defense these days is now something like,
Troll: “Hey, YOU, you *troll*, you are critiquing my work with pretty good arguments online. You’re a troll!”
Blog: “Ummm, why don’t you address my arguments?”
And of course, you’ll never get a response. Cowards won’t address you directly. I’ve learned that long ago.
I won’t pretend to offer arguments here, only to call the show as I see it. If that’s offensive to anyone, then folks don’t have to read beyond this point.
The fact is, there are only a handful (and by that I mean literally two or three) officially approved interlocutors in this game who – for political reasons – aren’t listed as “part of” the club so it looks like there *is* a club. Yet when it comes to critique from outside of the club (or better, “the tribe”) sadly not you, nor I, nor Jason, nor anyone *except* those approved will get response. But, that’s just a rhetorical strategy of running if you keep engaging them. You’ve done everything you’ve been asked to do: “Oh, oh… Well you haven’t read my books.” Or, “Oh, oh…Well you have to publish it first.” One excuse after another. You’ve jumped through every single hoop they’ve put in front of you.
Now that these *goons* and *kingpins* (yes, that’s what they are) can no longer stand up to the heat of the kitchen, i.e. the critical voice of blogs (ironically how they made their claim to fame to begin with; they just can’t stand competing voices of critique in a democracy), and now that the publications are there (Theoria, anyone?; Mute magazine anyone? Cosmos & History, anyone?) – the last resort seems to be to hide in one’s own vanity publishing shops of *books*…it now has to be *books*…and why? Oh, well that’s easy: the thought is, because if you aren’t in the academic fold then your critiques couldn’t possibly follow anyone there. But look at the publishing houses they are using. I am just left shaking my head. You could easily publish in any of those houses, which is why “you-know-who” has to stand guard over at least one of them. I’m surprised he hasn’t grabbed more. Actually, that would be too obvious.
Of course, then they had to go the route of attacking the weakest argument link in the chain (Galloway) *again* (didn’t that happen *last year* or even further back…my God) saying that they did so only because it was a major publication. Right. I think Pete Wolfendale had a 70 some page critique that has for a year or two now gone unanswered, your Theoria piece, unanswered, your 100 Theses piece, unanswered, and so on and so on and so on. Hell, you won’t appear in any “forthcoming” book answering criticisms, trust me. It’ll be an intentional slight by omission (and I’ve done that to THEM when it’s counted, in return. They’ve hit me, like they do you, by omission plenty of times, but when a bully hits me I immediately hit right back, just as hard if not harder). It’s all just an excuse, Terry, for someone to hide.
Ah, to boot, by the INSANE TROLL LOGIC involved, yes, on their behalf, they can just resort to saying, “You are a troll!” Please. As if the “You are attacking me personally!” line wasn’t enough. They say one thing, do another. Look at the now famous “re-writing of the abstract” move to include you-know-who; the massive threads over at AUFS (several of them); the Jussi Parikka debacle (remember that?), the ridiculousness that’s shown *time and time and time again* that these people can’t be trusted and are self-serving, sociopathic *monsters*. The slight against Caputo was the straw that broke the back for me: totally unnecessary and uncalled-for dickishness to extremes that I’ve never before seen. So that was it for me. Seriously. No need for that, but it was said. So the fact that they are monsters is pretty well established. And it’s just too easy for any of those fools to hide behind a keyboard because I’ve already established that *none* of them – NOT ONE – would behave that way to someone’s face (another rhetorical strategy: *chuckle* “We aren’t like this in person!”). Of course not. *Smile.*
You can only push around so many graduate students, you can only badmouth so many people behind their back, you can only intentionally ignore so many folks who are trying to engage you, all purposefully for so long, before your true colors show. So, newsflash blogosphere: the word is out about these creeps. And that’s what they are: internet creeps.
What this boils down to, and please take this seriously, is that the folks in question – and this isn’t trolling because it’s not opinion, it’s fact – are losing their power essentially because their fad is passing and good arguments and critiques – such as yours – will never be answered. BUT, on the other hand, at least your critiques stand. There is no longer prop-up support afforded by mere enthusiasm available for the other side. So you win. This has been true, for, oh gosh, I’d say at the very least two years now. No one hardly even cares about those guys anymore. It’s passé. What’s more interesting is the insane troll logic they play to folks who still think that they matter. They don’t. I mean, if you have to publish an article convincing yourself and the world that what you do “still exists” – then there is a problem. When that happened I knew that it was “game over.” And we move on.
Don’t stop blogging, but don’t stop fighting back to what essentially comes down to as bullying, either. You have SO much more to do than worry about folks who not only are bad philosophers and couldn’t get a position off the ground after the wave of faddishness washed over, but who also still cling to the hope that someone, anyone, would take such bad philosophy seriously by turning to publish books through vanity houses so it *seems* like they have something rigorous to say. Please. So lame. And so boring. I mean, if anything, publishing that way is more like trolling than calling people out on a blog.
Terry, just do your own thing. Cream rises to the top. You have a great following, your blog is awesome and alot of folks read it. Most importantly, people take what you say seriously. Your brand has “trust” – which the other side doesn’t. There’s a reason big players like Mackay, Brassier, etc. etc. (never mind small time players: you, Hills, me, Oyama, basically the entirety of P.E.S.T.) have “nothing but contempt” for them. But we’ve all moved past them long ago because, well, they have nothing important or substantial to say. As I just read the other day, “it’s not even worth trying to comprehend rigorously.” So let them – all whatever 12 of them – go play the violin for each other. I hardly think that the world is listening.
Keep blogging. Do your own thing. You have much more interesting and well argued *philosophy* to offer.