Sunday, October 30, 2011

Thing I learned today: HuffPo users are idiots

I'm not even going to go into much detail here, as I think the comments and my replies will speak for themselves. On an article which had linked video of Jon Stewart interviewing Andrew Napolitano, "Huffington Post SuperUser" ScreenName05 wrote some incredible nonsense in multiple places which I responded to. I'll present just two examples here, because he (assumption) actually replied to my response.

First, is this...
ScreenName05:"I think he also ignores that without government­s we would all be getting guns and blowing each other's heads off whenever we felt offended.

Oh yeah, that is what we used to do in the wild west. That is what people do in Afg. That is what people do in Somalia.

At what point do libertaria­ns realize that the only reason they get to spout their silly, naive and foolish ideas is the government protects them from the rest of us."
Me: “Cept... Umm....

That didn't actually happen, Super User... Even­m figured it out 
More on that: http://www­.thefreema­nonline.or­g/featured­/the-non-e­xistent-fr­ontier-ban­k-robbery/

Perhaps you shouldn't get your history from movie & TV 'Westerns'­? It's not very accurate.”
ScreenName05: "So you are dumb enough to believe that Billy the kid (the Lincoln country wars), the James brothers, the Cole brothers, Quantrell'­s raiders and a host of others did not exist, and didn't really kill people?

You might try real history instead of silly web sites."
Me: "Did I say they "didn't exist"? Nope.

What I said - or really implied in the rather short comment - was that the "wild west" you see in movies is bullshit.

There were not a huge amount of murders, and in fact the amount of murders in the so-called wild west states like Arizona (where Tombstone is), had far FEWER murders than the more "civilized­" Eastern states.

The lawlessnes­s and danger that you think existed in those parts of the country were a myth ginned up by Hollywood because Westerns are romantic and gunfights are good TV.

Nice of you to call me dumb though. Go figure."
I figured that by pointing out that even a silly site like Cracked has better information than the HuffPo "Super User", it might be enough as a rebuttal. But no... I guess I'm "dumb".

More on the "Wild West" that wasn't so wild here, and in this book.

We also have another amazing point, and subsequent response from our new friend, regarding a point by another (I'm guessing) libertarian commenter defending Napolitano. I assume the original poster was a libertarian as he referenced, and recommended reading Murray Rothbard's "Conceived in Liberty". I also recommend checking that book out... But again, Huffington Post Super User strikes back with this bit of amazing intellect...
ScreenName05: "You are confusing libertaria­ns with civil libertaria­ns. Different animals - civil libertaria­ns are staunch advocates of the constituti­on, especially the bill of rights and the 14th amendment - as they are the basis of civil rights in the United States.

Libertaria­ns on the other hand simply want the government to stop interferin­g with their property rights. They generally have no concept of the need for laws that deal with increases in population - as long as they are left alone. This worked when you had 3 million people in America - it does not work when you have 330 million. You need urban planning when you have 10 million people living in 100 square miles. You need police making sure the strong do not steal and kill the weak. You need laws that protect consumers from con men and frauds.

Ignore reality if you want, but do not try and confuse us with ignorance."
Me: “Actually, the fact that there are 307 (not 330) Million Americans is not an argument for more urban planning but - in fact - less. The more people you have, the more it becomes utterly impossible to plan out how those people should act in ways that are actually value adding.

Consider that if I have a family of 4 people, central planning isn't so tough. I could coordinate use of a car, dictate when my kids go to bed, set establishe­d rules of order for the house, dictate when and what will be for dinner, etc. And everyone can be reasonably ok with this.

Now try to do this with 400 people. Even with 100x the resources to scale everything up equally, there is simply no way for me to dictate how each and every one of those people acts in a way that encorporat­es their unique goals, values & preference­s. If you scale that up again to the level of a city, it's even less possible still.

Now, of course, I'm talking about full on central planning - but even simply planning out streets, zoning and other aspects of "urban planning" have resulted in innumerabl­e disasters in urban areas. See: Robert Moses with New York... Rampant eminent domain abuse...Di­sastrous "urban renewal" projects that often include giving giant subsidies to owners of sports teams for new arenas... Zoning that has created permanent "poor" areas devoid of trade, residentia­l communitie­s with no immediate access to stores, and countless other problems.”
ScreenName05: "It is hard to argue with indignant ignorance like yours. And pointless."
Me: "MMMMMMmmmm­m... Ad hominems are fun, aren't they?

Bad form for debate though. Thanks for letting me know that my taking the time to present you with a real argument and references to actual historical and modern events was a complete waste of my time, though."
I'd cite more on this too, but honestly, how hard is this to understand? Urban planning resulted in Robert Moses destroying a huge chunk of New York City and putting in a bunch of crappy highways, as well as resulting in low-income housing we now know as "The Projects" in most major cities around the US which did nothing except concentrate poverty & crime in certain areas that were also conveniently devoid of jobs, schools & services.

Plus, go see the Battle for Brooklyn, to check out what Urban Planning is doing to New York right now. It's not pretty.

And then, there's this... Which I wrote music for:

Honestly... Fail, buddy. Fail.

Anyway, I spent like half my day today reading other comments on HuffPo and found them all to be distressingly devoid of intelligence, historical knowledge and almost everything against libertarianism came down to "Hey guys, why don't you just go live in that number one libertarian paradise: Somalia!".


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

One thing is certain. The censorship recklessly practiced by HP moderators eventually caused a backlash among conservative commenters. Their concerted efforts to disrupt the discussion threads on HP certainly worked beautifully. With the HP's decision to end anonymous commenting came victory for these oppressed conservative commenters and a decline in readership at the HP. Now that is amounting to large financial losses. In stereotypical fashion, these liberals continue to fail to make the connection between their bad policies and their failing bottom line.