Thursday, May 16, 2013

Sense and Incense-ability

One of the things I detest most in life are people who try to debate feelings as if they are a factual position.
Them: "I have strong feelings that something must be done about X, so let's do something about it!"

Me: "This will cause far more problems than it will solve, because A, B, and C. Let's find a solution that doesn't make things worse in the long run."

Them: instead of rebutting with "Well, why don't we try 1, 2, 3?" they instead say "You're unfeeling and callous! We must doooooo something!"

This is what it sounds like in my head:
Them: "Green Lantern rings are awesome! We need to immediately start making them so we can fight crime and prevent disasters through the power of green willpower!

Me: "While that would indeed be cool, we haven't the first idea how to make something like that. Hard light constructs, a power source that fits in a ring, the interface between thought and action... that will take billions of dollars of research over a scale of years, if not decades, for something that may not even be possible. Why don't we spend that money on a more effective police force and an improved early-warning system for disasters?"


If you wish, you may substitute "Jedi Training" or "TARDISes" for Green Lantern rings if it better suits your fandom.


  1. Well, people who are overly emotional can't see logic most of the time and their ears usually turn off to any sort of logic that is presented to them.

  2. Jedi Training has the advantage of not needing a budget beyond a basic bathrobe, and sending all our police officers to Jedi Meditation School may actually improve their interpersonal skills.

  3. Scott KirkpatrickMay 16, 2013 at 6:07 PM

    I can haz Jedi Training? "These are not the guns you're looking for."

  4. I believe it is TARDISie?


  6. Or the alternative construction:

    Me: "There is clearly a problem here - demonstrated by a, b, and c. We should implement these measures to address the problem, which have been effective in comparable jurisdictions x, y, and z."

    Them: BUT MY RIGHTS! Introducing these limited measures is TYRANNY!

    Me: "Who called Alex Jones?"

  7. As I've said before:

    1) A problem which effects 0.002% of the population does not merit punishing the other 99.998%.

    2) If there truly is such a universal call for gun control, then passing an Amendment should be easily done, and that will handily nullify all the "This law isn't Constitutional" arguments. Has that happened? No? Then I guess support isn't that broad, now is it?

    3) Gun control works in other countries, you say? Censorship works in China, too. That doesn't mean it's right.

  8. 1. Or "stopping gun massacres isn't worth the inconvenience of a background check". I hope you save that line for the internet - it really is the definition of heartless. And you really need to check the definition of "punishment". I think your dictionary is broken - along with your moral compass.

    2. You really didn't read anything I read. If the systems for changing things are broken, then any level of support for change won't make a shred of difference - which is the point you've spectacularly failed to grasp.

    3. You're actually comparing gun control in western countries with censorship in China? There are no words.

    Anyway, best leave you to it - I appear to have strayed into one of the scarier corners of the interwebs.

  9. Do it for the childrenses!

  10. Which measures? The strict gun controls in Massachusetts which doubled gun crime?

  11. That, right there, is the primary reason "gun control" has failed miserably in America, with or without some nebulous and patently false 90% support level.

    Those who support "gun control" have no staying power.

    Erin and I hung around The Ruminator's site for many a comment (her far longer than me) until such time as it became painfully apparent that neither reason nor logic were going to have any impact on the collectivist, knee-jerk mentalities that seemed to be the only ones disagreeing with us. On the other hand, the apparent ringleader of the "guns are evil" crowd there showed up for all of two comments here, and then scurried back to the safety of his echo chamber the second he was challenged.

    We are in this for the long haul. They are not.

    Fortunately or unfortunately, we pro-rights activists have seen this kind of behavior time and time and time again. Ultimately, it generally ends with the anti-rights weblogs shutting down comments or only allowing those who agree with them to comment, but having spoken with the editor of The Ruminator - a person who is orders of magnitude more reasonable and rational than Lobby here - I doubt that will happen in this case.

    But the point remains: we who support and defend the basic human rights of all people welcome, and, indeed, seek out active debate and discussion; on the other hand, those who would unjustly deprive us of those rights without due process simply cannot tolerate an open discussion (Probably because they know themselves woefully unsuited for it, but that is speculation on my part.) and either flee from it or militantly insulate themselves in their own delusional bubbles.

    *shrug* If my unwillingness to accept punishment for other people's wrongdoings makes me "heartless", then so be it; I have been called worse by far better men. And yes, deprivation of rights and/or property, especially deprivation without benefit of due process, IS punishment, by any dictionary you care to use. It is hardly our problem that the use of that word puts "gun control" in the perfectly correct - to wit, the worst possible - light.

    (As an aside, it is painfully obvious Lobby here never really thought his argument through to its natural, or even inevitable, conclusion. Even if we accept the 90% myth as fact, if 90% of Americans agree to do X, does that make X a necessarily good thing? I would wager the overwhelming majority of Americans once supported slavery, possibly all the way up to 90% (at least of white Americans); does that mean slavery was not wrong? Of course not. Just like 90% of Americans supposedly supporting "gun control" does not mean "gun control" is right. Yes, Lobby, some rights are inviolate. Get used to it.)

  12. Please excuse my shouting and banging on the table. It's the only way I can show how vehemently I agree with you.

  13. "Truth never damages a cause that is just." - Gandhi

    I think of that saying every time a gun-controller bans someone.

  14. Oh we can quote Ghandi? Sweet.

    "Among the many misdeeds of the British rule in India,
    history will look upon the Act depriving a whole nation of arms as the

    Also given that the two big massacres would not have been stopped by a private sale ban. One somehow doubts the sincerity or knowledgeably of Mr. Ludd

  15. 1. Happy to hear it, but I would love to hear why the Australian reponse (for instance) couldn't be applied to the US.

    2. I understand very well how your system of government works. You don't seem to understand that your system isn't the only way to do things.

    3. "There are no words" is my response to the ridiculousness of comparing sensible, limited gun control with China-style censorship. If you want a comparison with freedom of speech, perhaps not shouting "fire" in a crowded theatre would be a better one.

    You could describe it that way. I was just responding to your offer of a debate divorce - you told me to "go away" remember. I probably should have had the self control to let your misrepresentation of our discussion go, but you know, "someone is wrong on the internet!" and all that.

    Here's why I don't think we can ever agree. We have different approaches to rights. My position is that in any society, there is a need to balance rights and responsibilities. The balance should always be presumed in favour of rights, but sometimes you need to make tradeoffs. You appear to take a more absolutist position, and I don't think you're addressing the inherent problems with refusing to even consider compromise.

    Gun control is an area where we have very different positions. Perhaps that's because I come from a country where guns aren't really a thing - even the police don't carry guns. It's also a country where there are significantly less murders (the absolute best indicator of violent crime) than the US. You can understand, on this issue, why I think New Zealand has the balance in a better place than the US.

  16. " it became painfully apparent that neither reason nor logic were going
    to have any impact"

    Interesting - that's exactly how I feel when dealing with the absolutist, paranoiacs I felt like I was debating.

    Not that I'm proposing it as an argument, but please don't think the people who disagree with you are in the minority - most of the rest of the world sees the NRA and its proponents as barking.

    On the other hand, the
    apparent ringleader of the "guns are evil" crowd there showed up for all
    of two comments here, and then scurried back to the safety of his echo
    chamber the second he was challenged."

    You're throwing out criticism of an echo chamber? Here? Have you looked at the rest of the comments? The first response to my comment was to call me a troll.

    I agree - some rights are inviolate. In international law, they're called jus cogens - gun ownership is not one of them.

    By the way, claiming that gun ownership is inviolate kinda puts paid to the suggestion that the second amendment could be changed. Can't have it both ways.

  17. I'm going to address only point #2 here. I could address 1 and 3, but the second has filled my spleen with burning ire.

    I withdrew from commenting on Ruminator because you could not grasp this simple key point, and because I wanted to remain polite while commenting on someone else's page. I withdrew in the name of civility, and yet you followed me here to my own blog, still spouting the same tired old shit. And now, because this is my own page and you have pushed me beyond the grounds of patience and grace, I shall vent my spleen at thee.

    I understand very well how your system of government works. You don't seem to understand that your system isn't the only way to do things.

    Oh, I understand perfectly, which is why I choose to live here, and not in New Zealand. What you are refusing to get through your thick skull is, since you aren't a citizen, you can promptly FUCK OFF. This is how we do things here. We live here. You... fucking... don't. That means you have absolutely zero say in what goes on here, your opinion is meaningless, and quite frankly I don't know why I'm even debating you on this. Unless you plan to become a citizen, your opinion on how we handle things here is utter dogshit.

    You keep coming back to that tired old "You don't do things the way I want you to," as if your feelings about there being better ways to run a country matter. Also, your stance on this is laughable and hypocritical, as you still have the goddamn QUEEN on your money,

    We, on the other hand, kicked the Queen and the rest of England out of our country 200+ years ago specifically because we didn't want to be ruled by them. Why would you EVER think we would want to go back to that? If there are Americans who hate living here -- and there are many -- there is nothing to stop them from living in the UK or New Zealand or wherever else they want to go.

    We, with all our faults, are an independent, fully-functioning nation. You're a half-colony still officially in thrall to Britain and you're dependent upon Australia to buy your sheep-based goods and sell you machinery.

    Do Americans owning guns affect you in even the slightest way, like they might affect Mexicans and Canadians? No? Then fuck off. We don't tell you how to oppress the Maori and bugger sheep, so kindly don't tell us how to run our country.

    And I swear to God, if the next comment out of your mouth is more of this tired old shit, I am banning your IP address.

  18. For anyone wondering who this Lobby Lud person is, or why Linoge and I are ripping into him, go here and read the article that Linoge wrote in response to Lobby.

    Then kindly note that despite the fact I did not name any names nor link any links, Lobby followed me here and started things all over again.

  19. Homicide rates in the US are the lowest they've been since 1910.

  20. Again, OUR nation, OUR issue. Given that, unlike, say censorship in China, America's gun culture has exactly DICK-ALL to do with you our your nation, your imperialist opinion as to how we stupid Americans should run our country is ir-fucking-relevent.

    Again, if 90% of Americans actually supported ANY particular measure and specific legislation, IT WOULD PASS. As a fucking Constitutional amendment. Even if everyone who opposed that measure actually voted, and not a single person who normally doesn't vote actually decided to vote. Because that level of support would mean, even at the LOWEST level of voter participation, it would have 2-1 support. If you do not understand this point, you haven't the first foggiest clue as to how this country (or any organization that functions under democratic principles, down to the neighborhood book club) actually works.

  21. Hi there, I'm the curator of the Ruminator. And I just wanted to make clear that while I support Lobby Lud's argument for gun control, I don't support the crazy ragey that seems to have erupted. I'm all about love and cuddles, debating round a nice warm fire place. So that is all.



  22. Here's what I find crazy ragey:

    1) I didn't link to your site in the body of the post.
    2) Lobby followed me here ANYWAY, which suggests stalking.
    3) You show up here and insinuate that I'm being the unreasonable one.
    4) Suddenly, the link to your site doesn't work, as if it's been redirected. Funny, that.

    Fortunately, I have a workaround for that. Anyone who wants to read the original article can go to and see for themselves.

    Can't stop the signal.

  23. Oh know I wasn't insinuating you were the unreasonable one. I'm just saying the argument seems to gotten ... fractious. I have chosen to apportion blame to no-one!

    And no link changing has occurred. If the link is no longer working then I'll need to look into that. I would never do that. I encourage free and frank debate but not angry stuff.

    I'm sorry your experience hasn't been positive. We New Zealanders pride ourselves on our 'nice guy' status so this upsets me.

  24. Thank you. I accept your peace offering.

    In regards to the fractiousness... I have no control over what is being said over at Ruminator, as I bowed out a week ago.

    And for what is being said here? He brought it upon himself by following me here. Perhaps you ought to have a conversation with him regarding boundaries.

  25. I encourage our writers to engage in conversation - but only in a civil way. However I can't leash what he says. I'm sorry that you feel he's intruded into your space, and I will have a chat with him about respecting that. But I think he just feels really passionate about the subject matter and wanted to continue to engage. It's an emotive subject. Anyway, on a side note I really like your blog. That is all. I'll stop bothering you now.

  26. Thank you. I would like to point out that you are not bothering me, and are more than welcome to stick around.

  27. So long as there are people actively engaged in lobbying for the unjust abridgement of my basic human rights, as Lobby is doing, I will stridently, vociferously defend those rights. If that is perceived as "fractiousness"... good. I mean to be as fractious as a woman being asked to " compromise" with her rapist. I have no intention of apologizing for that.

    Beyond that, though, I can only be lectured on how my country "should" run from someone who clearly has no idea how it * does* run before pointing and laughing is not only justifiable, it is expected.


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