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This site is named for the famous statement of US Congressman Willard Duncan Vandiver from Missouri : "I`m from Missouri -- you'll have to show me." This site is dedicated to skepticism of official dogma in all subjects. Just-so stories are not accepted here. This is a site where controversial subjects such as evolution theory and the Holocaust may be freely debated.

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Location: Los Angeles, California, United States

My biggest motivation for creating my own blogs was to avoid the arbitrary censorship practiced by other blogs and various other Internet forums. Censorship will be avoided in my blogs -- there will be no deletion of comments, no closing of comment threads, no holding up of comments for moderation, and no commenter registration hassles. Comments containing nothing but insults and/or ad hominem attacks are discouraged. My non-response to a particular comment should not be interpreted as agreement, approval, or inability to answer.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Arbitrary censorship on the Internet promotes "truthiness"



Boy Scout salute


==============================================

What is truth?
-- Pontius Pilate


Book reviews and summaries on Amazon.com's website for "True Enough: Learning to Live in a Post-Fact Society" say,

From Publishers Weekly
In 2005, Stephen Colbert catapulted the word truthiness -- the quality of an idea feeling true without any backup evidence -- into the public consciousness. Salon blogger Manjoo expands upon this concept in his perceptive analysis of the status of truth in the digital age, critiquing a Rashomon-like world in which competing versions of truth vie for our attention . . . .

From the Inside Flap
In True Enough, Manjoo presents findings from psychology, sociology, political science, and economics to show how new technologies are prompting the cultural ascendancy of belief over fact. In an age of talk radio, cable TV, and the Internet — the blog --- and YouTube-addled million-channel media universe — it is no longer necessary for any of us to confront notions that contradict what we "know" to be true. Stephen Colbert calls this "truthiness"— when something feels true without any evidence that it is. Here Manjoo probes the cognitive basis of truthiness, exploring how biases push both liberals and conservatives to select and interpret news in a way that accords with their personal versions of "reality."

Why has punditry lately overtaken news, with so many media outlets pushing partisan agendas instead of information? Why do lies seem to linger so long in the cultural subconscious even after they've been thoroughly discredited? And why, when more people than ever before are documenting the truth with laptops and digital cameras, does fact-free spin and propaganda seem to work so well? True Enough explores leading controversies of national politics, foreign affairs, science, and business, explaining how Americans have begun to organize themselves into echo chambers that harbor diametrically different facts — not merely opinions — from those of the larger culture.

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"The news media are supposed to help us understand the world, and faster, better, more varied communication technologies are supposed to enrich that process of understanding. True Enough explains why things have so often worked in reverse—and why Americans no longer disagree just about opinions and political values, but about basic factual realities. This problem of 'truthiness' is depressingly familiar, but Farhad Manjoo adds useful information and insights about its origins, effects, and possible solutions."
—James Fallows, National Correspondent for the Atlantic Monthly and author of Breaking the News

"Well worth reading. Make no mistake: this is no run-of-the-mill exposé of media bias, but a sophisticated analysis of the ways and means by which lies and distortions do so well in today's fractured, cynical media world."
—Todd Gitlin, Professor of Journalism and Sociology, Columbia University, and author of The Bulldozer and the Big Tent

A major, largely unrecognized cause of this problem of "truthiness" is a sick, cynical Internet culture that condones and even approves arbitrary censorship of website visitors' comments and contributions. This arbitrary censorship not only prevents the presentation of a variety of opinions but also prevents the presentation of inconvenient facts and corrections of factual errors. And the Internet has enabled arbitrarily-censoring BVD-clad bloggers and Wickedpedian "bureaucrats" (Wikipedia's own title for top administrators) to reach much larger audiences than they otherwise would have. Furthermore, Wickedpedia and blogs are being authoritatively cited by court opinions, scholarly journal articles, and other authorities, making this arbitrary censorship even more of a problem.

Larry Fafarman
-- Association of Non-Censoring Bloggers
.

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10 Comments:

Anonymous Voice in the Urbanness said...

It's good that arbitrary censorship is so rare on the net. Larry has been challenged to show a valid example of it and has always failed.

Friday, May 23, 2008 9:16:00 PM  
Anonymous Voice in the Urbanness said...

You complain about arbitrary censorship and then post this:

"You no-good sack of living crap, that is the last time a comment like that won't be deleted here. Deleting such comments is not censorship."

As usual Larry shows his true self.

Friday, May 23, 2008 9:27:00 PM  
Blogger Larry Fafarman said...

Dunghill, comments that just attack me personally and that do not address the issues will no longer be tolerated here. Those comments are just a waste of comment space and they drive away serious readers and commenters. You have repeatedly falsely accused me of censorship anyway, so I might as well delete your crap that does not say anything.

Enough is enough.

Friday, May 23, 2008 10:25:00 PM  
Anonymous Hector said...

> Dunghill, comments that just attack me personally and that do not address the issues will no longer be tolerated here. <

ViU does address the issue. You are the only one we know of who censors arbitrarily and you have just promised to start this activity again. If you want to be the issue, censor. If you want arbitrary censorship to be the issue, answer his challenge.

> Those comments are just a waste of comment space and they drive away serious readers and commenters. <

Your increasingly inane posts, and your attacks on serious commenters are driving away readers.

> You have repeatedly falsely accused me of censorship anyway <

You have admitted censorship. What is your point?

> so I might as well delete your crap that does not say anything. <

To be consistent, you will have to delete many of your own posts that only attack the commenter as you have no answer to their questions.

Saturday, May 24, 2008 3:20:00 PM  
Blogger Larry Fafarman said...

>>>>>> ViU does address the issue. <<<<<<

I wasn't talking specifically about the comments that ViU posted here -- I was talking specifically about another thread's comment that my comment quoted here by ViU's 2nd comment was responding to.

Saturday, May 24, 2008 8:17:00 PM  
Blogger Larry Fafarman said...

Voice in the Urbanness driveled,
>>>>>> It's good that arbitrary censorship is so rare on the net. Larry has been challenged to show a valid example of it and has always failed. <<<<<<

Cut that out dunghill. I have presented lots of examples, e.g.,

(1) Fatheaded Ed Brayton kicked me off his blog permanently because he disagreed with my literal interpretation of a federal court rule.

(2) Discussion of co-evolution is banned on the blog of the Florida Citizens for Science.

(3) Wickedpedia rewrote the whole "banned books" article to avoid listing "Of Pandas and People," the book that Judge Jones banned from the Dover school district curriculum.

(4) Wickedpedia refused to post a link to the Discovery Institute's rebuttal of criticism of a DI study.

(5) A journalist wrote some articles about Wickedpedia's censorship concerning the global warming issue.

There are other examples. Furthermore, banning a commenter is always arbitrary censorship.

You say that arbitrary censorship on the Internet is "rare." To reach that conclusion, you would have to know of some instances of arbitrary censorship. What are they?

Even if arbitrary censorship on the Internet is "rare," it is still a serious problem because of the following factors:

(1) It is usually the most persuasive dissenting comments that are censored. Weak dissenting comments are usually allowed to stay as examples of the supposed weakness of the opposition.

(2) Blogs and Wikipedia are being authoritatively cited by court opinions, scholarly journal articles, the established media, and other authorities.

I have pointed out these things many times already.

Sunday, May 25, 2008 12:18:00 AM  
Anonymous Voice in the Urbanness said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

Sunday, May 25, 2008 8:34:00 AM  
Blogger Larry Fafarman said...

ViU's comment was deleted for violation of Rule #7 ("A misstatement or misrepresentation of a factual statement") of the New Rules for Comments. ViU's comment said,

>>>>> (1) Fatheaded Ed Brayton kicked me off his blog permanently because he disagreed with my literal interpretation of a federal court rule.<

False, as has been shown a great number of times before. Ed Brayton kicked you of his blog for sock puppetry, ad hominem attacks, and similar activities. <<<<<<<

Wrong. Here is my discussion of the point where Fatheaded Ed kicked me off his blog permanently. Ed made no mention of sock puppetry (Charlie McCarthyism), ad hominem attacks, or "etc.." Fatheaded Ed said that he kicked me off his blog because he disagreed with my interpretation of a federal court rule.

I am fed up with correcting your same lies over and over. It is now at an end. You are out of here, bozo.

Sunday, May 25, 2008 12:47:00 PM  
Anonymous Hector said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008 9:52:00 AM  
Blogger Larry Fafarman said...

Hector's comment was deleted for violation of the rule against lying. He barfed,
>>>>>> It looks like Larry was overwhelmed by ViU's comment so he arbitrarily censored it and then he lies to us about what it was supposed to have said. <<<<<<<

Hector, if you don't believe that I am telling the truth about what ViU says, I can have Blogger.com email you copies of all comments posted on this blog. Right now copies are sent only to my email address.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008 10:51:00 AM  

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