Saturday, December 5, 2009

"What's Wrong With Me!?"

Hello, readers! If you follow my twitter or youtube activity, you'd know I'm majorly addicted to the "fringeelements"1 (real name: Ryan Faulk, I guess) channel on youtube. For those of you who are unfamiliar with his work, I'll provide some background. He could be classified as an anarchist, but it would be more accurate to say (and he says this himself) that he supports an "emergent" government. I'm a lover of ideas. I want to hear as wide a variety of ideas and viewpoints as I can. It doesn't matter how "out there" they are as long as they're not ideas that I've heard before and have seen enough relevant evidence to conclude that they're stupid/wrong. So I don't necessarily agree with everything Ryan says,2 but a lot of what he says is new to me (relatively, at least). However, a lot of other people on youtube (TheAmazingAtheist, Thunderf00t, HowTheWorldWorks, etc...) don't seem to like what Ryan has to say or they casually dismiss him or whatever. Anyway... because of this, I've been asking certain people who are critical of Ryan, "what's wrong with me?" Here's the exchange that occurred when I asked this of twitter/blog "friend" JohnJ (who I believe agrees with Ryan about a lot of things, although I'm not sure). I've found that a major source of disagreement I usually have with John is that he seems to be culturally conservative, whereas I'm basically culturally "liberal," I guess. No, wait. That's not a very meaningful way of putting it. (Not to sound condescending, but) what I really mean is that I prefer solutions to social problems based on evidence rather than tradition and that although I recognize the importance of individual/personal responsibility, I also realize that there are a lot of things that are beyond the control of the individual.3 Anyway... without further ado, here's the transcript of our "conversation":

AderalApocalyps hey, @johnj2427. I can't stop watching fringeelements (fka confederalsocialist) on youtube. what's wrong with me? lolz...1 day ago from web

JohnJ2427 @AderalApocalyps What's wrong with you? Well, I could start with your blind faith in government to solve all our problems.1 day ago from TweetDeck

JohnJ2427 @AderalApocalyps And then there's the tendency to group everyone who doesn't think like you do under one label.1 day ago from TweetDeck

JohnJ2427 @AderalApocalyps Also, there's your belief that if something isn't the way you think it should be, it's because people are stupid bigots.1 day ago from TweetDeck

JohnJ2427 @AderalApocalyps And there's your arrogant refusal to acknowledge that no one is good enough to rule another without their consent.1 day ago from TweetDeck

JohnJ2427 @AderalApocalyps And lest we forget, there's your belief that you know everything and people not as smart as you are idiots.1 day ago from TweetDeck

AderalApocalyps @johnj2427 ok... 1st of all (to paraphrase Dara O'Briain), I don't think I know everything. If I did, I would stop...1 day ago from web

JohnJ2427 @AderalApocalyps And how could I forget your insistence that ppl aren't responsible for their choices b/c we're all just chemical reactions?1 day ago from TweetDeck

JohnJ2427 @AderalApocalyps Then there's the juvenile tone you adopt when you mock someone because you don't understand them.1 day ago from TweetDeck

JohnJ2427 @AderalApocalyps If you want a more detailed list, it's going to have to wait.1 day ago from TweetDeck

AderalApocalyps @johnj2427 um... I'm looking forward to that(?) btw... I'd like to see quotes in your analysis too (in context would be a plus...)1 day ago from web

JohnJ2427 @AderalApocalyps But I really should include your belief that Christians are the only group in history to have never suffered persecution.1 day ago from TweetDeck

AderalApocalyps @johnj2427 for the record, that's not what I believe. I believe that right now, in the US, Christian persecution is less common than "avg."1 day ago from web

JohnJ2427 @AderalApocalyps I don't disagree there. In fact, I think I demonstrated that on my blog recently.1 day ago from TweetDeck

JohnJ2427 @AderalApocalyps Right now, in the US, Christian persecution is less common than average: day ago from TweetDeck

JohnJ2427 @AderalApocalyps But what does that have to do with Peter being crucified on an upside-down cross?1 day ago from TweetDeck

AderalApocalyps @johnj2427 um, 1st off, I don't think I claimed it did (2ndly... he wasn't. but I digress...)1 day ago from web

AderalApocalyps @johnj2427 idk ur experience growing up, but churches I went 2 put alot of (I'd evn say "excessive") emphasis on James 1:2 & Matt 10:22, etc1 day ago from web

AderalApocalyps @johnj2427 did I do/say something wrong? Do I hafta sleep in the doghouse tonight? Can't understand why ur mischaracterizing me like this...1 day ago from web

JohnJ2427 @AderalApocalyps Well, you asked. If I made a mistake, I apologize for it and want to correct the record.1 day ago from TweetDeck

AderalApocalyps @johnj2427 I mean, let's keep in mind... you were responding to my admission of partiality toward videos made by a guy who's an anarchist!1 day ago from web

JohnJ2427 @AderalApocalyps Oh. I thought you were asking more generally. Silly me.1 day ago from TweetDeck

AderalApocalyps @johnj2427 ultimate:-P... anyway, yeah, srsly... I'm addicted... ha-ha-ha...1 day ago from web

AderalApocalyps @johnj2427 just blindsided me... not fair bro... (I'm still a little dazed... but maybe that's because I haven't eaten really...)1 day ago from web

Ok. Still there, boys and girls? Was that intense, or what!? I don't even have to respond to most of John's "statements" in this exchange as, like I said, [many of them] were rather obvious and blatant mischaracterizations. I'll give him the benefit of the doubt and assume he was trying to have fun or make a point or something. Another explanation is that he might have been slightly upset at a comment I made on a video by conservative, um, "comedian," Steven Crowder,4 in which he propagated the myth that the peace symbol was a representation of the Apostle Peter hanging from an upside-down cross (not to mention the myth that Peter was actually hung on an upside-down cross... or the myth that there was an Apostle Peter, but, anyway, "that's neither here nor there"...). One thing I said in my comment was, "This video wasn't so bad until you went full-throttle with the Christian Persecution Complex bullshit." Oops! I don't know. That might have hit a nerve. But I was quick to clarify what I meant by that when given the opportunity! In any event, I'm going to try not to think that he really sincerely [literally] believes what he was saying about me. That would just be too ridiculous.

Thanks for reading! Happy trials! Especially, have a good time really trying to understand the positions of people you have discussions with! ;-D

1He used to make videos as "confederalsocialist," but that account was suspended, for some reason. So, file another one in the "fuckyoutube" section!

2This is, of course, not even that important! Can we as a society please get over the idea that "I like you" means "I agree with you" or "I agree with you" means "you're smart"? For example, I usually find twitter/blog "friend" JohnJ, who I will bring up again later on in this post, personable, and think he's probably smart in a lot of areas, even though I'm sure I disagree with him well over half of the time. I think, if there are any significant conflicts between us, it might be over our views of science, which is important, but I think that's something we can work on. Of course, regarding Ryan, something that might be a major caveat is that he was at one point, unfortunately, a "white nationalist," or at least claimed to be one. But I think that he can be forgiven for that because he has since renounced white nationalism, and explained his reasoning behind doing so to my satisfaction, at least. As I said in an earlier blog, I don't like to jump to conclusions that people are racist. For example, I wouldn't assume that John is racist just because of the baggage of the loaded wording of the title of his blog: "A Johnny Reb in a Yankee World [Subtitle: Bearing Witness To The End Of America Because Someone Has To Do It.]" Why do I find that title so disconcerting? I honestly don't care about political correctness.

3Oh, well excuse the fuck out of me for trying to have a little fun at the expense of fairness. I hope I'm not offending anyone reading this and I'm certainly not directing this at John himself, but you have to realize that one of the dangers of playing at the beach is that you risk getting sand in your vagina. So my characterization of John here was unfair. At least I'm doing him the service of admitting it now and attempting to explain his actual position: I'm sure John would say that he's very much a proponent of pragmatic, evidence-based solutions to social problems. He merely happens to believe (on faith, no less! *gasp*!) that more freedom is always the best way to solve problems (although that might be an over-simplification). I would tend to agree, but one area of contention might be in regards to what "more freedom" actually means. Then there's the complicating factor of "conflicting freedoms," which I don't even want to get into right now. What I gather from what he's written on the topic is that what John actually believes about tradition is that a practice or belief or policy becomes tradition because it has "stood the test of time" and "works" in some way, in the pragmatic sense of the word. I would say that what I believe about tradition is exemplified in "Weird Al" Yankovic's brilliant holiday jingle, "Weasel Stomping Day." Incidentally, as a side note, I would also say that what I believe about social norms is exemplified in the Twilight Zone episode, "Eye of the Beholder."

4I'm not going to provide a link to this video. You can find it yourself if you care so much. I don't care if you think Steven Crowder is funny or whatever. I don't. It's fine with me if you're a fan of his, but I just can't take him seriously... or comedically (right, not a real word, I know). A lot of humor has to do with making accurate observations. Hence the phrase, "it's funny 'cause it's true." It's hard for me to laugh at a guy's jokes who I believe consistently makes (I'll be nice here) inaccurate observations. But I was planning on writing more on that later...

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