Your property, your decision. Fine. Though I think it's the equivalent of paving your front yard, painting it green, and calling it a lawn. Vibrant? I don't think so. Low maintenance? Sure.
There is value on this site which I will continue to search for so I thank you for its creation and maintenance.
I find the fact of Howard's banning both sad and hysterically funny. Show trials, midnight arrests and the execution of anyone who mentions the missing person. Though Ted advises me that saying so will get me banned. [Luke! Down boy!]
Luke: "A successful garden requires a gardener willing to weed and prune when required."
I mow the flat parts, and lop off anything obstructing the walkways, and cut down any ugly-looking trees trying to grow. Dunno if that meets your criteria of a "successful garden", but it seems to look OK.
Bill, I see value in Ted's participation here. It is possible that Joe will change his mind. I think the charge that Ted "promotes religion" is ridiculous and baseless. The facts are in the archives. I've remarked before the value of disagreement and the energy source that drive progress in understanding and advised people who's purpose is self education and finding new insights to be less thin skinned. I look back and its the same people, yourself included, who drove off Robert Bidinotto, Hong Zhang, Mindy Newton, now Ted, among others with your whining complaints and insults. You are the driving force behind the insults with your snide remarks, evidenced by your remarks directed at me and your gloating after Ted is no longer able to comment. Even his last remarks to dissent are blocked. My purpose for searching out this website has been accomplished some time ago. My difficulty with understanding the basis of rights has been solved thanks to Robert Biddinotto. I recall your remark that "You know nothing about rights" to me years ago when I broached the subject. Gee, that was really helpful my smug friend. You taught me nothing but simply talked around the difficulties I had been seeing for many years. You know, jumping to conclusions is like jumping in a hole, sometimes you can't jump out again. I would advise people to take their time when trying to solve a problem. The value of this website is in the archives, that is why I'd like it to be maintained. It simply doesn't matter if I am blocked, I have nothing else to say to you.
Mike to Bill: "I look back and its the same people, yourself included, who drove off Robert Bidinotto, Hong Zhang, Mindy Newton, now Ted, among others with your whining complaints and insults. You are the driving force behind the insults with your snide remarks, evidenced by your remarks directed at me and your gloating after Ted is no longer able to comment."
Are you kidding me? This is an unjust post, Mike. I must say that of all the people who have posted on this site, Bill has consistently been one of the most patient, good-willed, knowledgeable contributors I've read. If you think he's been more gratuitously insulting on here than Ted has, then you really need to re-check the archives over the past few years that you say you appreciate.
And Bill didn't "gloat" after Ted was moved to Dissent. I expressed gratitude for that as well. Ted should have been moved there or banned from this site outright a long time ago for his obnoxious behavior. He has been called out for that on many occasions by various individuals and has NEVER, to my knowledge, apologized for a single comment he's made. Good riddance.
You definitely need to go back and actually read the words because your mind is playing tricks on you. No way could Bill ever be justly accused of driving good people away from this site. I would place Bill among the top 2 or 3 in terms of civility. He is a model others, myself included, should emulate in this area. Jon is 100% correct in his post.
I'm used to the rough-and-tumble of the Hit 'N Run Forum at Reason.com, where some people are regularly obnoxious and irritating and completely statist, and yet almost no one gets banned for anything short of threatening behavior toward others. So, I thought some people here were being a bit thin-skinned -- if someone is acting like a troll, ignore them, don't feed them.
I fully support the property right of the owner of this website to decide who to let "inside" their property and who not. I do not, however, feel that Ted's behavior should warrant a permanent ban. Rather, I think he should be given a chance to express contrition and agree to some guidelines for civility. He might not want to agree to that, in effect banning himself, but I would feel better if he was pointed toward an olive grove and given the suggestion to lop off some olive branches and extend them to people here.
Anyhow, I hope Joe reads this and gives this suggestion some consideration.
A further defense of the value of Ted's presence on this site -- he contributed a large number of interesting article links. It seems like sometimes he posted half the articles on the forum. You might say his rancor and argumentativeness was the price he demanded for all that content being posted. I would argue that those article links created value for both the owner of this site and the participants.
Losing half the content seems like a steep price to pay, a price that might justify some effort made toward exploring a negotiation that would benefit the owner of this site, where Ted would be requested to agree to reduce the "price" of his cantankerous exchanges by toning them down in exchange for resuming posting article links.
- There were lots of people who once contributed to RoR but were driven off by Ted. - Joe has been running this site for a long time and knows who contributes what. I'm sure he has seen RoR go through a number of changes. He needs to act on behalf of RoR's long term needs. - Ted didn't tone down his insults, his condescending remarks, or his ad hominem posts for anything but the shortest of periods. This last time, he played the victim and wouldn't admit to anything wrong with any of his posts. - If Joe enforces a reasonable degree of civility, and those who refuse to back away from insulting posts are pushed out, we will end up attracting and keeping people who make bright, creative contributions. - The price Joe would pay for allowing excessively abrasive posters is too great when you consider the unseen costs. - Look through the old articles from years ago... look at quality of many of the people who were here before... and aren't now.
Ted's only crime is the ability to prove people wrong. He has a detailed and accurate knowledge of Ayn Rand's writing and philosophy, a professors grasp of linguistics and the history of language, is well versed in the sciences, especially biology and animal behavior. He knows what he doesn't know as well, and is deeply inquisitive and appreciative of new knowledge. More than his detractors he admits when he has no references and first hand knowledge of a subject, has changed his mind when provided references and thanks the person who has provided it. He will instantly answer a question with detailed explanations and references and links if asked. He has done this for me several times. I have been amazed at the response time he has given to me for a question. Concise, detailed, referenced. He is unique in my experience on this or any website. If approached in a spirit of friendship Ted is unfailingly courteous and respectful. He does not talk down to people, he simply provides information. But, he is not a computer or automaton. He is a person, with strong beliefs, a strong sense of the value of this country, the value of scholarship and reason and individual freedom. He rightly has a well developed ego. Attack him at your own risk. I believe to the people who are unwilling to deal with him his very existence sends the message: "You are no John Galt". This is his crime.
Wow. I think people are like chemicals sometimes. You put a certain chemical together with one chemical, and you get an explosion. Put it with a different one, and it's completely benign.
I don't post here all that much, but I do recall Bill Dwyer as being unfailingly polite (to me), and one of the few people anywhere who can actually get me to change my mind about anything! On the other hand, I've found Ted to be an annoyance. I would agree with him or sanction his posts every once in a while, but in general, I thought his presence here was unpleasant.
I have no interest in continuing to criticize Ted now that he's gone. I'll just say, Mike, that what you wrote in your last post bears no resemblance to the guy whose posts I've been reading on a regular basis over the past few years. If that's been your experience with him, that's good. It hasn't been the experience of all people here.
Mike: I believe to the people who are unwilling to deal with him his very existence sends the message: "You are no John Galt".
That's the message his existence sends? I thought the message was "I'm insulting and bizarre." Your comment was funny though, so thank you for that.
Mike: "Ted's only crime is the ability to prove people wrong."
I wouldn't characterize it as a crime. Ted was banned because he was uncivil enough to enough people that the owner of the site decided to enforce his property rights and cut off access to his property from the offender.
Ted was right about many things -- but that wasn't why he got banned. He got banned for his tone and demeanor, not for advocating philosophical positions that others disagreed with.
I've advocated many things that other people here vehemently disagree with, but I don't think it was on anyone's radar to ban me for voicing unpopular views. I have caused offense from time to time because of the tone of my posts, and when that was pointed out to me I've sucked it up and apologized for the offense I've caused. Basically, I want to continue to post here, and have voluntarily abided by the informal concensus on the acceptable bounds of tone and demeanor.
Ted wasn't willing to back down, and that's fine. Plenty of other sites on Teh Intertubes willing to tolerate his style of posting, such as Reason.com's Hit 'N Run.
Ted's only crime is the ability to prove people wrong. He has a detailed and accurate knowledge of Ayn Rand's writing and philosophy, a professors grasp of linguistics and the history of language, is well versed in the sciences, especially biology and animal behavior.
However, the bad that went along with this good stuff what really pretty bad. I like Ted, but he often make me cringe, not to mention get me into trouble with other people. He's unwittingly manipulative without even realizing it.
I admit I can occasionally though not consistently post in an abrasive style, especially when exasperated. But I do generally make an effort to use respectful language even when I suspect people did not do their homework. For instance, if I suspected people did not carefully read a posted news link in their responses, I would say:
I recommend a more careful reading of the article, especially the passage that says [whatever].
By contrast, Ted would definitely make a smarmy slam like this one so he could make himself look and feel good at the expense of others:
Did any of you read the article? Or just the headline?
This is just an example of what I consider a productive versus a counterproductive way of handling a suspected deficiency among fellow forum members. Both are technically "right" yet one fosters curiosity and the other defensiveness. I joyfully let right people who want to be right in that way be right ... alone.
I am not picking on Ted per se because I see this in all sorts of circumstances and consider it a wrongheaded way to handle a discussion -- period.
Steve Wolfers' statements are grossly unfair, inaccurate, self serving and are not worth addressing. Ted was not always so abrasive. He is the most sanctioned contributor by other RoR members on this website. Temper tantrums by Wolfer which he was never called on, "apologized" for then proceeded to do again and again... I think Ted simply began to respond in kind. Perhaps Laure is right, its like some kind of affinity thing. Take Luke's hypothetical example, his preferred reply I find patronizing. Like a professor looking down his nose, dismissing the dumb student. I find Ted's reply, which Luke disdains so much, to be direct and straight forward, peer to peer, not insulting at all. Much like a normal heated conversation. For me it's also a matter of pure mental horsepower. Ted brings a lot of analytical power and breadth of knowledge to the table. He has proven to me by observation and interaction that he is as courteous to you and you are to him.
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