The Internet is socially conservative

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Re: The Internet is socially conservative

Postby SpiderMonkey » Thu Jul 17, 2008 9:50 pm UTC

Jessica wrote:I'm sorry. Maybe I'm misunderstanding.
But it looks like you keep saying it's impossible to predict what humans will do, and yet you say that all people in the internet have a similar outlook, essentially predicting that human communities on the internet will do certain things.

Is that not a contradiction?


No, because I didn't say what you've claimed I said. I am not predicting what humans on the Internet will do, I am stating what they are doing. That is not prediction

SpiderMonkey wrote:We aren't water molecules. A water molecule only responds to the forces directly around it, and one water molecule under the same conditions responds the same as all other water molecules. If human behaviour could be modeled like fluid dynamics you could estimate the dates of wars in the next century. But we can't. We don't even know when (or if) the war with Iran will begin.

This is in direct contradiction with

SpiderMonkey wrote:Weather patterns aren't just hard to predict, they are impossible to predict

Either we can predict a fluid system or we cannot.


Congratulations captain nitpick, you've found a tiny crack in my semantics that doesn't in the least bit affect the validity of my argument. You win the Prize.

In the second quote, I clearly meant they were impossible to predict *perfectly*, and in the first quote I used the word 'estimate'. I'm sure you can figure out the rest.

Also, in response to your comments on human nature, how exactly do you describe psychology?


Psychology is not evolutionary psychology. Most psychology is about how people respond to stimuli. Whilst sometimes there are genetic factors involved, the idea that human behavior or character is controlled by your genes is utter rubbish and has been almost universally considered so since the fall of the Third Reich.

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Re: The Internet is socially conservative

Postby 22/7 » Thu Jul 17, 2008 10:07 pm UTC

SpiderMonkey wrote:
SpiderMonkey wrote:We aren't water molecules. A water molecule only responds to the forces directly around it, and one water molecule under the same conditions responds the same as all other water molecules. If human behaviour could be modeled like fluid dynamics you could estimate the dates of wars in the next century. But we can't. We don't even know when (or if) the war with Iran will begin.

This is in direct contradiction with

SpiderMonkey wrote:Weather patterns aren't just hard to predict, they are impossible to predict

Either we can predict a fluid system or we cannot.


Congratulations captain nitpick, you've found a tiny crack in my semantics that doesn't in the least bit affect the validity of my argument. You win the Prize.

In the second quote, I clearly meant they were impossible to predict *perfectly*, and in the first quote I used the word 'estimate'. I'm sure you can figure out the rest.
The point to all this is to say that, depending on the way you look at it, we are the same as a fluid system (in terms of predictability). I don't intend to get into a free will argument with you, but there is certainly some evidence to support the supposition that we do indeed simply react to outside stimuli, and you're stating as fact that we don't, that free will is a very real thing. I'm sorry, but it's something that cannot be proven at this point (or any time in the foreseeable future) anymore than the existence or non-existence of a god. When you say we can't perfectly predict a weather system, you're actually quite correct, but the qualifier that should be mounted to that statement is "yet".

Psychology is not evolutionary psychology. Most psychology is about how people respond to stimuli. Whilst sometimes there are genetic factors involved, the idea that human behavior or character is controlled by your genes is utter rubbish and has been almost universally considered so since the fall of the Third Reich.
Again with the blanket statements that we are to take your word for. Of course most people believe in free will, I am a bit of a free will agnostic, but the theory that we could predict a person's actions given enough information about that person and the situation they are in is not completely unfounded. The only real difference between us and that drop of water in the ocean could be that we respond to forces that we don't currently describe with vectors.
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Re: The Internet is socially conservative

Postby frezik » Thu Jul 17, 2008 10:14 pm UTC

SpiderMonkey wrote:Perhaps you are an exception, or more likely the things you've changed your views on are not fundamental to the community.


What "community" would that be? As far as the Internet as a whole goes, you can find individual communities on almost anything you want. You can find Internet communities made of (in the greatest contradiction ever) luddites who think we should return to living in caves. If you change your opinion on a fundamental subject, it's easy enough to find another community that agrees with your new stance.

Overall, I agree with Hammer. You seem to keep changing what you're talking about with every post. I'd guess that you might be on to something, but you haven't yet codified internally what it is, or you're not quite sure how to express it consistently. Both are prerequisites before a useful discussion can take place.
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Re: The Internet is socially conservative

Postby SpiderMonkey » Thu Jul 17, 2008 10:28 pm UTC

22/7 wrote:The point to all this is to say that, depending on the way you look at it, we are the same as a fluid system (in terms of predictability). I don't intend to get into a free will argument with you, but there is certainly some evidence to support the supposition that we do indeed simply react to outside stimuli, and you're stating as fact that we don't, that free will is a very real thing. I'm sorry, but it's something that cannot be proven at this point (or any time in the foreseeable future) anymore than the existence or non-existence of a god. When you say we can't perfectly predict a weather system, you're actually quite correct, but the qualifier that should be mounted to that statement is "yet".


We can never predict a weather system, because the universe is not deterministic. That is scientific fact.

As for free will - if it doesn't exist and our actions are predetermined, then we are capable of predicting the future and thus avoid undesirable outcomes, and free will is back. Thus the non-existence of free will is a contradiction.

Again with the blanket statements that we are to take your word for. Of course most people believe in free will, I am a bit of a free will agnostic, but the theory that we could predict a person's actions given enough information about that person and the situation they are in is not completely unfounded. The only real difference between us and that drop of water in the ocean could be that we respond to forces that we don't currently describe with vectors.


We are also many orders of magnitude more complex than a water molecule.

What "community" would that be? As far as the Internet as a whole goes, you can find individual communities on almost anything you want. You can find Internet communities made of (in the greatest contradiction ever) luddites who think we should return to living in caves. If you change your opinion on a fundamental subject, it's easy enough to find another community that agrees with your new stance.


You have missed the point. These communities, despite superficial differences, follow an overall social norm. I have stated this many times now.

Overall, I agree with Hammer. You seem to keep changing what you're talking about with every post. I'd guess that you might be on to something, but you haven't yet codified internally what it is, or you're not quite sure how to express it consistently. Both are prerequisites before a useful discussion can take place.


I'm forced to keep moving the subject because people keep attacking from different directions. Fluid dynamics wasn't my choice of topic, as should be obvious from reading the thread. I have been entirely consistent from the start, and that would be clear if you actually read the thread. This is another problem with Internet discussion; expecting stock arguments, few people read what you say properly. They just pick up on keywords and start formulating a response.

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Re: The Internet is socially conservative

Postby 22/7 » Thu Jul 17, 2008 10:39 pm UTC

You're being insulting. Just because something is clear to you doesn't mean that you've explained it well or that it should be clear to someone else. Also, you don't know whether or not someone read the thread, so don't assume they didn't simply because they're not willing to take your word for something, especially when they disagree with you.
We can never predict a weather system, because the universe is not deterministic. That is scientific fact.
You keep saying things like that. Would you please provide something to substantiate such a claim? I'm actually much less interested in this one than the "that's not how science works" statement, but even a claim like "the universe is not deterministic" is going to put quite a bit of a burden of proof on your shoulders.
Totally not a hypothetical...

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Re: The Internet is socially conservative

Postby Hammer » Thu Jul 17, 2008 10:41 pm UTC

Why the hell are we talking about the weather and deterministic systems in terms of whether the internet is socially conservative? If this thread doesn't pick a direction that is in some way relevant to the OP pretty soon, it's going to get locked.
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Re: The Internet is socially conservative

Postby SpiderMonkey » Thu Jul 17, 2008 10:47 pm UTC

Hammer wrote:Why the hell are we talking about the weather and deterministic systems in terms of whether the internet is socially conservative? If this thread doesn't pick a direction that is in some way relevant to the OP pretty soon, it's going to get locked.


It isn't by my choice. And I think I've been insulted far more than I have insulted others here.

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Re: The Internet is socially conservative

Postby Hammer » Thu Jul 17, 2008 10:51 pm UTC

SpiderMonkey wrote:
Hammer wrote:Why the hell are we talking about the weather and deterministic systems in terms of whether the internet is socially conservative? If this thread doesn't pick a direction that is in some way relevant to the OP pretty soon, it's going to get locked.


It isn't by my choice. And I think I've been insulted far more than I have insulted others here.

Yeah. How about everybody stop being insulting and insulted and discuss something? :)

Perhaps restating the discussion point would help.
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Re: The Internet is socially conservative

Postby SpiderMonkey » Thu Jul 17, 2008 11:17 pm UTC

Very well.

I am arguing that the Internet as a discussion medium, whilst seeming liberal and even radical by offline political standards, is extremely conservative by own its standards and hostile to new ideas. I've taken a lot of stick for saying this...

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Re: The Internet is socially conservative

Postby Hammer » Thu Jul 17, 2008 11:21 pm UTC

Honestly, I find much of the internet hostile in general, regardless of the newness of the ideas.

Some people argue for entertainment. It seems to be a contest where whoever moves least from their original point wins. And winning matters.

Others are interested in the topic of argument itself. They want to explore it from top to bottom and follow it to other topics.

The mixing of these two is ... interesting sometimes. And, yes, I know there are more than two kinds of people on the internet. :)
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Re: The Internet is socially conservative

Postby Jessica » Thu Jul 17, 2008 11:25 pm UTC

I'd say that any given community is hostile to ideas which it deems as "wrong". But, that for all communities on the internet, there exists a community for which that idea is not seen as "wrong".
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Re: The Internet is socially conservative

Postby frezik » Thu Jul 17, 2008 11:40 pm UTC

SpiderMonkey wrote:I am arguing that the Internet as a discussion medium, whilst seeming liberal and even radical by offline political standards, is extremely conservative by own its standards and hostile to new ideas. I've taken a lot of stick for saying this...


Restarting as well . . .

The Internet has been largely adaptable to new situations when it needs to be. Social norms based on technical limitations (such as not posting sizable images for dial-up users) have mostly gone away as technology improves. Other old rules that were once taken as gospel (like not changing default HTML link colors and format) have been removed over time for no technical reason. Overall methods of debate haven't changed, but they're also based on rules that have existed for centuries.

While you may characterize some of the above as "socially conservative", I wouldn't consider this statement a criticism, either, just a statement of fact.

There are some free will/determinism threads around, though I don't think there are any specifically addressing chaos theory. I'd like to continue that discussion separately if you're willing.
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Re: The Internet is socially conservative

Postby niolosoiale » Thu Jul 17, 2008 11:46 pm UTC

Ok I'm going to take a stab at this one.

First of all, ignoring everything in the thread except for the initial post, what you seem to be saying is that you are discontent with online communities because, despite how innovative they make think they are in the context of "pushing boundaries" or (for lack of another qualifying phrase) "liberal" they are, you seem to believe they are all "socially" stagnant and conservative because every online community effectively functions the exact same way.

You also seem to say that the offline human society has been progressing or not remaining stagnant with far more fervor than the online one. This is evidenced by saying that the "social norms" of the online community are effectively based on the "norms" of the 90's-raised angst ridden teenagers who "hate the man" for no reason but that of it being fashionable to "hate the man".

So I'll start by working with these two statements. Firstly, despite the intellectual foundation, mechanical reliability, or mental/emotional stimulus that leads online communities to function the way they do, the fact of the matter is that people who effectively find common ground with other people will come together and develop their own little society that inevitably, yes inevitably, will function strikingly similar to the other little societies. This is especially true in the context of online societies because online societies are derived from the same offline society, if you look at the entire society of people in the world as a whole. Its undeniable. Online societies are a subgroup of real world people. They will function almost exactly like a real world society with exceptions that essentially all come from two basic factors: anonymity, and diversity.

These two factors of anonymity and diversity truly define internet culture for what it is. We interact online the way we do under the context of circumstantial anonymity. We are shielded from the opinions of others by the fact that what you are reading can be of as little consequence to you as you like to a point. That point being that if you read/hear/see/feel/touch/smell something, you have changed the informational content of your brain, and thus you have changed the way you think at a very foundational level. You can play Princess and the Pea and hate the pea all you want, but you can't escape it. Additionally, anonymity will dictate one's behavior because with anonymity comes both a perceived and concretely founded ability to skirt consequence for one's behavior. If you take the shock collar of the dog, he might be afraid of walking outside the underground fence that triggers the shock collar for a while, but eventually they will push the boundaries when they find the consequences have changed from negative to netural or otherwise. In the case of online societies, to take the shock collar off a kid and put him on the internet quite often leads to almost instantaneous rebellion against offline social norms and boundary pushing.

As far as diversity is concerned, the internet has made it easy for people who would never meet each other in the real world come together. What is hilarious about your comments towards the stagnant nature of online communities is that the only reason they are "stagnant" is because they quite often will drown out people who come and disrupt the status quo. Trolls and the like are squashed because they don't agree with the community. However, just like the real world, an outsider or rebel inside an online community can cause quite the amount of social "evolution" or progress. This goes back to my statement about how what you read changes how you think whether you like it or not. So if that person can change a lot of people's way of thinking, they can disrupt the status quo pretty effectively. The thing is, online communities are self-healing. Typically the disruption of the status quo usually ends in a separation of the group into two more more groups. While the sub groups may have a common ground in origin and maybe even some of their ideas, they are, in and of themselves, a totally "new" social community. (Quotes on the "new" to emphasize the fact that in the context of real-world society, no online society is "new".) But tying this back to the first sentence in the paragraph, the online community as a whole evolves continually as people who are different from each other interact and seek to create their own little communities. The foundations are the same but the level of specialization that can be achieved is astonishing. How many online communities can an individual belong to utilizing the power of aforementioned anonymity? How many more groups can you have?

Quite frankly, the anonymity of the internet alone is what allows boundaries to be pushed, people to be divided/ostracized/abused, and in general, create an ever-evolving culture as more and more communities are created by people seeking a way to find people they share that common ground with. They often find common ground with people they would never meet in the offline world. This creates a uniquely diverse community and that diversity lends itself to the continual evolution of the online community as a whole through very real social conflicts in an online environment which protects those who engage in the conflicts from many of the consequences of being an outsider.

To wrap this up so I can go eat... you might think that the online community is stagnant and conservative, but the fact of the matter is that it changes/progresses/evolves far more rapidly than you might subjectively experience because you are but a grain of sand on an immense beach. Interestingly, both the online and offline cultures of the world function nearly the same, they just have different contextual rules and variables that make them very different. Unfortunately for you, this is inevitable. And for fuck's sake, even if an online community seems stagnant, just think of how complex the overall online community really is. One little change in the perpetually moving sea is hard to notice. It all just looks like a big body of water.

So your closing paragraph that states internet discussion is far from a gold mine of new thinking and debate just seems absurdly wrong from a purely mechanical stand point. When you introduce new information in to your brain, you change the way you brain thinks. That is new thinking. It doesn't have to affect your decisions on a consequential level, but it does change the way you think. If I tell you the sky on a clear day is actually more red than blue, you don't have to believe me and it doesn't make you wrong. But you will forever live with the idea in your mind that someone else thinks the sky is red. So by default, the internet is the ULTIMATE gold mine of new thinking. And I guess this thread isn't enough evidence of how much of a gold mine for debate it is. I can't help you there.

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Re: The Internet is socially conservative

Postby Indon » Thu Jul 17, 2008 11:59 pm UTC

Spidermonkey, I'd like to give a shot at summarizing your point in its' entirety, as clearly as I can:

What Indon Thinks SpiderMonkey Is Trying To Say wrote:I believe that people would gain much more from seeking more intellectual conflict on online forums, and I feel an insufficient number of people do this. It is my impression that the reputation of the internet involves free and open discussion, but because individuals are not actively engaging in finding and discussing differing viewpoints, the medium does not seem to be living up to this reputation.

Furthermore, even when people engage in intellectual discourse, various factors seem to combine to make that discourse largely ineffective for deciding and propagating ideas.

I propose that we discuss possible causes for this phenomenon, and ways that we could improve the frequency and effectiveness of intellectually engaging online communication.
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Re: The Internet is socially conservative

Postby Ari » Fri Jul 18, 2008 3:47 am UTC

SpiderMonkey wrote:Very well.

I am arguing that the Internet as a discussion medium, whilst seeming liberal and even radical by offline political standards, is extremely conservative by own its standards and hostile to new ideas. I've taken a lot of stick for saying this...


I think the internet is diverse enough that in any given internet discussion there's usually going to be one person who is incredibly hostile to any given idea. While people with similar ideas do tend to form cohesive communities together, there are plenty of disagreements within the community on factors that don't unify them. Xkcd brings together people with analytical and technical interests, but there's still plenty of subdivides there- liberals and conservatives, men and women, console fans and PC fans, linux and windows, whatever... And we manage to still survive talking with each other on matters relating to this without degenerating into name-calling, even if sometimes we reach disagreements that just can't be breached.

As for taking a lot of stick- we're just having trouble working out how you're substantiating your argument, and you're seeming to have trouble communicating it as well. We're a pretty challenging bunch in SB, and when something isn't clear, we're going to ask questions until it is. It's not intended as any sort of personal attack :)

While I think the internet retains much of the normal hostility to new ideas that you see day-to-day, I actually think that people are a bit more tolerant of new ideas here, so long as you can manage to come off as non-adversarial and know how to beat away trolls.
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Re: The Internet is socially conservative

Postby SpiderMonkey » Fri Jul 18, 2008 9:53 am UTC

I think the reason for confusion might be that I responded to each individual point with a point of my own, making the thread more complicated than it had to be and leading to abstract discussion about the nature of fluid dynamics. I shall not quote people anymore, but respond to what I see as the thrust of their argument, and you can correct me if I get it wrong.

Hammer: The kind of hostility you describe, where argument is essentially reduced to a stubbornness contest as you say, is exactly how teenagers argue. They lack social empathy (this is not just a bit of conventional wisdom; its been shown there are neurological changes during adolescence which temporarily reduce your capacity to see others point of view) and in their efforts to form an identity can be insecure and defensive. The fact that the Internet population is generally aging (established users grow up, and its become more accessible to older people. My mum, in her late 50s, has just joined facebook and even 5 years ago it would've been inconceivable for her to take part in any online community) yet the dynamic remains roughly the same is one bit of evidence for my argument.

Jessica: Its certainly true that all communities have their taboos, but my point is that the Internet community considers itself to be free of almost all social taboos whilst being blissfully unaware that it has introduced its own even more constraining taboos and these have stilted discussion

Frezik: I don't think the rules of Internet discourse draw that much from the old rules of public debate. You don't get flamewars in the Houses of Parliament, they can get pretty rowdy and take the piss sometimes (such as the entire house greeting the prime minister by yelling 'Yo Blair!' after that incident at the G8) but they don't turn policy debates into a string of increasingly vicious personal attacks. Nobody has ever demanded a country be chucked out of the UN for trolling, although if it were an Internet forum North Korea would almost certainly qualify.

Niolosoiale: Anonymity is a factor, sure - but if it were just that people would react in a much broader range of ways, dependent on their character. I personally stopped ringing doorbells and running away when I was about 8. Now, the remainder of your argument seems to take as given that information on the Internet tends to be new. But from what I have seen of the Internet, and have attempted to show, is that original ideas get drowned out by repetition of pepetual rehashes of the same stuff.

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Re: The Internet is socially conservative

Postby Indon » Fri Jul 18, 2008 4:23 pm UTC

I guess my attempt was so bad it didn't even merit a response... Aww... :cry:
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Re: The Internet is socially conservative

Postby SpiderMonkey » Fri Jul 18, 2008 4:28 pm UTC

Indon wrote:I guess my attempt was so bad it didn't even merit a response... Aww... :cry:


Your attempt was fairly accurate. The only thing I would add is that as a result of this aversion to genuinely new ideas, the Internet is pretty much frozen in time.

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Re: The Internet is socially conservative

Postby seladore » Fri Jul 18, 2008 4:49 pm UTC

I read somewhere that the rate of change within a population (of whatever parameter you want to measure - evolutionary change, or cultural shift, for example) varies inversely with the number of members of the population, and also inversely with the amount of 'connectedness' between the members.

This is why island populations evolve faster, and why the internet (as a huge totally connected network) evolves really slowly.

This is based on some half remembered reading from years ago, so I could be very wrong.

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Re: The Internet is socially conservative

Postby livelyness » Fri Jul 18, 2008 5:22 pm UTC

SpiderMonkey wrote:
But according to you (and I think this is one of the social norms I was talking about) then expressing an opinion and arguing means you aren't open to new ideas, and that is absolute rubbish. The concept that 'nobody knows anything' is sort of an Internet meme and one of the reasons why Wikipedia isn't very good. This relates to my central point, in that in the social network of that 90s teenager nobody really does know anything, so people having an opinion on something automatically seems like bullshit to everyone.

[


http://forums.xkcd.com/viewtopic.php?f=8&t=25232

Here you will find an example, one of hundreds, where people are openly debating, hearing both sides of an issue, and no one is ignoring the minority . no one is using racial, religious, or secular epitaphs, and only a very few are being in any way close minded.

also you are defining conservative as holding to the ideals of the previous decade. I would point out that in almost all cases anyone who holds to the ideals of the sixties is still very much considered a liberal and in fact the current ideas of liberal and conservative predate FDR. Isn't it a little early to be dividing the internet into Whigs and Torries?

Finally, you say the internet doesn't work as a melting pot of ideas because of some limiting structure, but i present to you the open source movement.

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Re: The Internet is socially conservative

Postby Indon » Fri Jul 18, 2008 8:54 pm UTC

SpiderMonkey wrote:The only thing I would add is that as a result of this aversion to genuinely new ideas, the Internet is pretty much frozen in time.


I wouldn't add that, for the same reason I wouldn't use the words 'conservative' or 'liberal' to sum up your point - because I think that is one of the reasons why communication, and not just on the internet, is so inefficient.

Evoking an emotional response does not make people think. Doing so is not part of a communication process. Emotionally charged language obscures the point, every time. It's just fine if your objective is to specifically get people emotional - like with an inspirational speech, or advertising or propaganda.

But when you want to change people's minds, or even just get them to think, you need to communicate with the intent that you be understandable, not emotional.

So things people should avoid:

-Words charged with strong connotations. If someone describes a political position and it is identical to fascism, for God's sake, do not call them a Nazi. If you want to talk about how communication appears to be inefficient, don't call it 'conservative' or imply that it's 'like a teenager'. Nobody's going to listen to what you say if what you say has more emotional content than intellectual content.

-Similarly, be careful with your analogies for the same emotional content. People who disagree with you are just going to write off your analogy (because no analogy is accurate) as being wrong, pointing out obvious flaws, while people who agree with you will be noncritical and unquestioning - all because again, your communication has more emotional content than intellectual content.

Speak clearly and concisely. Don't use jargon that your audience might not know, unless you explain beforehand. Be frank and factual (not emotional). And if someone doesn't understand you, act as if it is your fault - after all, if you're the one talking, clearly you're the one with more desire to communicate effectively.

Basically, these are kinds of things that aid all communication, not merely on the internet. It's just that most people don't know them, and those that do often don't use them (I'm guilty here).
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Re: The Internet is socially conservative

Postby TheAmazingRando » Sat Jul 19, 2008 11:54 pm UTC

I'm another person whose views have been radically changed through internet debate. Meaning, I went from being a close-minded, strongly conservative young-earth creationist to being more liberal, on many issues, than most of the people I come in contact with. I don't think that I'm an exception here: I was incredibly close-minded, I was absolutely cemented in my beliefs, I was sure that I could prove anyone wrong because I didn't believe that it was possible that I could have been wrong. Yet, somehow, I was changed radically, and open-mindedness in a debate was something that I learned from online discourse, not something that I brought to it as an anomaly. The fact that I know the people I'm communicating with are real people and that I, as a real person, did a complete about-face on some of my most deeply held views, gives me enough faith in the internet as a means of valid intellectual communication. I've seen a lot of close-minded people, but not to any greater percentage than people I've seen in real life, and I've seen a lot of open-minded people too. I think a lot of the peculiarities of internet discussion are due to inherent properties of the medium of text: you have a long time to think things through and structure points, almost like an essay. Since it's static, there's less urgency, which means discussions don't get heated in the same way, and people may be less perceptive. It's a lot easier to talk through individual points and explain yourself when you're standing in front of someone and speaking in real time, because you can address individual points as they come up rather than writing up a post covering multiple points and waiting until they happen to reply.

I have to say, though, that I've never been on any forum I considered worthwhile that banned people for disagreeing. I've seen well-respected and well-liked members of (generally) very liberal forums who were strongly conservative, and didn't hold their punches or keep silent on issues. People could be tearing each other to shreds in political or religious topics, and having good-natured, friendly conversation with each other in others, or even offering personal support and encouragement. The only thing I've ever seen people banned for, majority and minority alike, was mean-spirited personal attacks, or frequent violation of stated forum rules. Some moderators can be overzealous, and let their opinions color their judgement, but I don't know that you can ever fully escape bias, and my experience with moderators has been strongly positive, agreeing or dissenting.

Maybe we've frequented different corners of the internet, but your experiences don't match up with mine. I'm not saying mine are representative of the internet as a whole, but who is to say that yours are either?

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Re: The Internet is socially conservative

Postby space_raptor » Mon Jul 21, 2008 5:37 pm UTC

As a wise man once said: Large communities suck. Link

The problem with the internet is that it is essentially one of the largest communities of all time, and that includes a lot of riff-raff. But if you limit yourself to places based on specific issues or subjects with a smaller membership, I think your "conservatism" and "hostility to new ideas" as characteristics of the internet fall away.
The drinking will continue until morale improves.

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Re: The Internet is socially conservative

Postby Iori_Yagami » Mon Jul 21, 2008 6:32 pm UTC

- Daddy, daddy, is it true that internet can make you dumber?
- WTF, son, LOL!


*that's my point of view. and it's serious!
Actually, blogs, forums and web-chats (ugh!) are not the best places... They are conservative, because noone is interested in learning there...
There are resource sites, though... as faqs, wikis, libraries...
They cannot defend themselves; they cannot run away. INSANITY is their only way of escape.

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Re: The Internet is socially conservative

Postby 22/7 » Mon Jul 21, 2008 10:07 pm UTC

Iori_Yagami wrote:- Daddy, daddy, is it true that internet can make you dumber?
- WTF, son, LOL!


*that's my point of view. and it's serious!
Actually, blogs, forums and web-chats (ugh!) are not the best places... They are conservative, because noone is interested in learning there...
There are resource sites, though... as faqs, wikis, libraries...

The Mathematics, Science, and Language/Linguistics forums would beg to differ.
Totally not a hypothetical...

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bigglesworth wrote:If your economic reality is a choice, then why are you not as rich as Bill Gates?
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I want to be!

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Re: The Internet is socially conservative

Postby TheAmazingRando » Mon Jul 21, 2008 10:57 pm UTC

Iori_Yagami wrote:Actually, blogs, forums and web-chats (ugh!) are not the best places... They are conservative, because noone is interested in learning there...
There are resource sites, though... as faqs, wikis, libraries...
I've certainly learned things from all three. It isn't all mindless chatter.

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Re: The Internet is socially conservative

Postby Indon » Mon Jul 21, 2008 11:35 pm UTC

Iori_Yagami wrote:Actually, blogs, forums and web-chats (ugh!) are not the best places... They are conservative, because noone is interested in learning there...


One of the most fascinating and evocative internet communities I was ever a part of was a user-created religion chat room on Yahoo.

Sometimes, there were even productive religious discussions!
So, I like talking. So if you want to talk about something with me, feel free to send me a PM.

My blog, now rarely updated.

Image

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Re: The Internet is socially conservative

Postby emceng » Wed Jul 23, 2008 3:16 am UTC

I find this idea interesting. I know from personal experience that visiting internet forums has greatly liberalized my thinking on many things. One of the first things(kind of sadly) was making me find anal sex pornography acceptable.

I know that my view of drugs, and more especially pot, has gone from strict prohibitionist to a legalization advocate. I have become more accepting of gay rights, and I have become constantly incensed by the deplorable and possibly illegal actions of the Bush administration.
When I became a man I put away childish things, including the fear of childishness and the desire to be very grown up. - CS Lewis

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Re: The Internet is socially conservative

Postby judestones » Wed Jul 23, 2008 4:01 am UTC

The beauty of the internet is that if your idea is not part of the mainstream, then you can start your own niche group. Possibly other people will even join you in it and you can discuss about your ideas with them, whilst rejecting those ideas that don't agree with the majority of the poster's on your site.

All it takes is a computer, a couple bucks and a little initiative and you make the internet that much more liberal.

So I would contend that the internet is as socially liberal (in this case liberal means inclusive of ideas) as it is possible to be.

However I may be misunderstanding what you mean by socially liberal/conservative.

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Re: The Internet is socially conservative

Postby cooldude76 » Tue Aug 05, 2008 1:20 pm UTC

One exception: 4chan. Oh yeah, and 2chan. Possibly 7chan.


(Just kidding, the Chans are for kids)


(I am a kid)




(Nice parentheses, I probably should have nested these for bonus points)
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-- A Clockwork Orange.


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