Look: I am eager to learn stuff I don't know--which requires actively courting and posting smart disagreement.

But as you will understand, I don't like to post things that mischaracterize and are aimed to mislead.

-- Brad Delong

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Everything that appears on this blog is the copyrighted property of somebody. Often, but not always, that somebody is me. For things that are not mine, I either have obtained permission, or claim fair use. Feel free to quote me, but attribute, please. My photos and poetry are dear to my heart, and may not be used without permission. Ditto, my other intellectual property, such as charts and graphs. I'm probably willing to share. Let's talk. Violators will be damned for all eternity to the circle of hell populated by Rosanne Barr, Mrs Miller [look her up], and trombonists who are unable play in tune. You cannot possibly imagine the agony. If you have a question, email me: jazzbumpa@gmail.com. I'll answer when I feel like it. Cheers!

Sunday, June 7, 2009

It's Been a Really Bad Week . . .

. . . at the National Review.

WOW. Just . . . wow.

At NR they post an unbelievably misbegotten end multiply racist cover picture, and out* a pseudonymous blogger, because he shows them up.

I first saw these things at EoTAW, here, where the cover pic is deconstructed by SEK, and here.

Kos shows and comments on the infamous cover picture.

Lowry explains the essence of humor to TEH LIBRULZ.

Publius explains his rationale for pseudonymous blogging.

Here is mine.

The right gets everything wrong, every time, and for every imaginable reason.

What truly miserable, awful, nasty, self-righteous, hypocritical people they are.

The Anonymous Liberal weighs in.

UPDATE 2 (6/08 a.m.)
Wisdom from one of A.L.'s anonymous commenters:

Can someone please explain why "anonymity" on the internet should be encouraged?

Let me add to what A.L. has said. For one thing, there's a difference between anonymity and pseudonymity: over time, a consistent pseudonym establishes a reliable identity. And the writer does have a strong investment in that identity's integrity, because within the online community, that pseud is the writer: his or her reputation, relationships, and credibility are attached to that name, rather than to any offline name.

But more than that, pseudonymity on the net allows for the strength of an argument or idea to stand independent of the writer's formal credentials, or of accidents of body or birth. It allows for true meritocracy in argument, without some voices being automatically ignored merely because they come from women, or men who went to the wrong school, or people who have the wrong shade of skin. This is a problem for folks even when they're talking to others who have no intention to take women or people of color or those who didn't go to Princeton less than seriously, since it's difficult to fully overcome social training that operates on an unconscious level.

In other words, it's a Good Thing that on the Internet, no one knows you're a dog. I still boggle that anyone would want to eliminate that rare and glorious quality.
UPDATE 3 (6/08 pm)
Quiddity (discovered via A.L.) adds some perspective.

Under our Constitution, anonymous pamphleteering is not a pernicious, fraudulent practice, but an honorable tradition of advocacy and of dissent. Anonymity is a shield from the tyranny of the majority. ... It thus exemplifies the purpose behind the Bill of Rights, and of the First Amendment in particular: to protect unpopular individuals from retaliation--and their ideas from suppression--at the hand of an intolerant society.
-- Justice Stevens
Yes, I used "out" as a verb.

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