Allright, I'll do it. Liberal...

Inspired by this thread and more specifically this post, I’m going to get this opened so threads can move on in peace.

In that thread, I didn’t have much of a problem with Liberal and I generally don’t mind him too much. He even was kind enough to wish me a speedy recovery which is appreciated.

However, his never ending nitpickery can be bothersome. Sorry, fucking bothersome (this is the pit and all). And it usually takes some eight pages of repetitive frigging pile up to get him to admit a mistake.

Still, this is mainly for those who have bigger problems with Liberal than I do so I’ll just step aside.

See, I kinda like Liberal. Or at least most times, I want to. I can get past the attitidue, and often I can just roll my eyes when he makes a refrence to chess or actually uses chess terms in a putdown.

His tendency to make groups fallaciously fungible, (and boy does he love to rant about ‘the left’ and ‘the right’) does drive me nuts. Especially since he’s gone on record as it being something that is hateful to him. (post three). There’s an old phrase, about not doing to others what you yourself find hateful. I think it’s a good phrase. I also get the sense that Liberal has, partially, chosen his niche politics so that he can say he’s better than everybody else. If he’s a, whatever exactly he is, he can talk down to those on ‘the left’ those on ‘the right’ and even talks down to registered Libertarians. This last page of the thread was just a mess.

Ordinarily, I prefer to take a devil’s advocate position when there is an overwhelming consensus and the opposing position is tenable. However, in this case, I’m with the majority of you here. coupled with this really disturbs me.

He may say the process isn’t designed to stir up shit, but that’s the exact result, each and every time. If you take a devil’s advocate position, and you don’t alert people that you don’t really believe in it… well… you’re arguing a position that you don’t really believe in while not alerting other Dopers that you’re not totally serious. Also, if you’re taking up this devil’s advocate position simply for the sake of being contrary with a large group of people (notice, it’s only when there’a majority opposed)… well… taking a position so you can argue with a bunch of people is also bad.

But, damnit, like I started this by saying, I don’t have anything against Liberal, I just wish he’d tone it down a bit.

Fair enough, except that that isn’t what I meant by devil’s advocate. I do not argue a position unless I believe it has merit. And I believe in every position that does. I don’t think it’s necessary to hold only one point of view at the expense of all others. Throughout my long history here, I’ve consistently maintained that I hold other points of view that are different from my own — atheism, for example — to be valid, even if I disagree with them. When I argue a point, I am indeed totally serious unless I indicate otherwise with an emoticon or an obviously sarcastic turn of phrase. Anyway, thanks for this thread. It should be edifying.

I want to like Liberal. I really, really do. He seems a clever lad- quite intelligent, and he can generally get his message across, when he tries to. I’ve sparred with him a very few times on a few threads (usually about religion), and I’ll be the first to admit that his debate-fu is stronger than mine.

What I don’t like, however, are his one-sentence drive-by postings. Usually it’s something snarky and only tangentially related to the thread. It’s not there to establish any sort of debate, it’s just there to let us all know that Liberal disagrees with the OP- oh, and look how clever he is while he’s doing it! He drives by, tosses in a derisive bon mot, and then screeches on out of the thread, without actually adding anything of substance to the thread.

I find it very annoying, and I wish he’d cut it out. I wish he’d either contribute to the thread, or stay out of it.

Looks up, notices that this thread is in The Pit
Oh, and Fuck.

OCD, with a touch of Asperger’s.

Still, I’d request that if you’re going to take a position that isn’t your normal ‘default’ view, you let people know. It’s a bitch to sit there debating something with you, and wondering why it’s part of your worldview, when instead it’s just an interpretation that you thought might be valid and decided to run with it.

Not that I don’t agree with the OP, but he’s really not worth Pitting, IMHO. It’ll just spur him on.

I just fnord his incidental-to-the-thread-topic comments now and move on, just as I do with Kel Varnsen - Latex Division[sup]*[/sup] and the now-banned Roland Deschain. There’s no point in rebutting a poster who just wants to disagree with your for the sake of disagreement.

But he does have a bizarre obsession–bordering on a fetish–for the term epistemology.


*Whatinaheck is that supposed to mean, anyway?

You hunh what?
I’m tempted to respond with in jokes about Hagbard or Slack, but…

I know Lib has admitted to having anxiety problems, but in all the years of reading his various rants, that’s the first time I’ve seen a diagnosis that makes a lot of sense for some of those rants.

fnord is a term from The Illuminatus! Trilogy by Robert Shea and Robert Anton Wilson. Basically, when the Illuminati want you to be upset about something you read in the paper, they place the word “fnord” repeatedly in the text, which makes you slightly anxious. However, readers can’t consciously see the word, and only take subconscious note of it.

For instance “Jimmy fnord Carter was recently attacked by a fnord swamp rabbit” might make you think the president is kind of a wimp, but “Richard fnord Nixon fnord today announced fnord that the fnord campaign of carpet fnord bombing fnord will continue fnord in Vietnam fnord” will make you go out and firebomb the Berkeley Bank of America building.

So, I notice they’re there, and get a slight irritation that someone will probably respond and start an annoying subthread (but not me again, og-damnit), but just skip over them.

Talk about your tangential posts…we now return you to your regularly schedule barbecue.


Allright, I’ll do it. Liberal…

When I saw this thread title, I thought the OP would be something like:

…you’re batshit crazy!!!
But it wasn’t.


I get along with Liber*alitarian* both on the boards, and in person. He is an even more complex person in real life than he seems to be here. The unqualified diagnosis offered above has some real world applicability, and I think even Lib himself knows about it.

Being bright, literate, actively involved in philosophy, and political thinking leaves him with a bewildering array of points of view, and he seems to me to be very passionate, but reasonably open minded about all of them. I think he does have trouble putting down the keyboard and stepping away from the computer at times.

And the really twisty part is that Liberal isn’t an intellectual. He is extraordinarily intelligent, but his philosophies all stand on ground he reached in emotional passion, for reasons of faith, and personal life experience. You think you get confused by this? He’s still dealing with it all every day! I have the same experience, but it doesn’t bother me being wrong, nearly as much.

Perfectionism doesn’t produce perfection. It usually produces anxiety, and reflexive defensiveness. When you care a lot, sometimes you yell a lot. Some people yell with their voices, others yell with their vocabularies.

Hang in there, Liberalitarian, it’s all atoms, except the passion. And passion is supposed to hurt, that’s what it means.


“You can’t always get what you want.” ~ M. Jagger/K. Richards ~

Lightnin’ got it in one. What chaps my hide about this guy isn’t his passion, or his excitability, or anything to do around those lines.

It’s the many time shen he pops into the thread to disagree with the OP, or someone else, just to disagree. And he does it in a really caustic, mean-spirited tone. It’s all well and good to play devil’s advocate once in a while, but to do it for a living is something else entirely. It’s annoying and it serves no purpose but to discredit the one who does it. I can’t think how many times I’ve seen one of those drive-bys and thought to myself, he posted that solely to stir up shit and to position himself as some great, out-of-the-box-thinking visionary hero, whose job it is to be the standard-bearer for THE OTHER SIDE, no matter how far he must bend over backwards to do it.

I generally leave him alone, but when he spoke his truth about choosing to play devil’s advocate in the above-referenced thread, I had to ask him why. It’s a self-elected position, and I wish he’d abdicate.

My two cents.

Ya don’t say? Tell me more :smiley:
Still, when you wrote

You’ve replaced a verb with a fnord, so it’s not quite clear what you’re saying.
Rather than, oh “I just skip over his fnord incidental …”

Just saying.

I’m just’a following the standard CorpNewSpeak policy of verbing former nouns, adjectives, and explicatives. I gotta get out of that cubicle farm. :eek:

Hail Eris,


Pretty much sums it up for me too. Usually about 10 posts in or so Liberal drops a sentence and stirs a thread up. He usually has a point, but you have to cut through a lot of crap to get to it.

And lately he’s taken it upon himself to assign political views and parties to other posters. I know he’s lumped me, Jinwicked, and a few others into the leftist category in recent threads. It wouldn’t be so bad if he didn’t seem to view party affiliation as a default insult or use it as a dismissal of a point of view.

And the devil’s advocation get’s tiresome from time to time. He’s also very very very very very very very very thick headed and a touch over-sensitive. Too many pile-ons Liberal. It’s making you hostile. :stuck_out_tongue:

One thing that really pisses me off is how Liberal always rushes to the defense of bigots. Anytime anyone says anything bad about a bigot, he says that it is us who are being bigoted against their beliefs. There aren’t enough rolleyes in the world for that. :rolleyes:

Hey Liberal, aren’t YOU being bigoted against people who are bigoted against bigots? :wally

It seems to me that there is a fine line between posting a statement with the express purpose of getting a rise out of others and “(o)rdinarily, I prefer to take a devil’s advocate position when there is an overwhelming consensus and the opposing position is tenable.”

Both lead to unproductive train wrecks, at least when Liberal is at the wheel. He doesn’t strike me as particularly intelligent. He appears to be good at finding a niggling detail and beating the hell out of it, but actually lacking the intelligence to formulate a coherent defense. A couple threads come to mind, such as the current thread about Ann Coulter and another about the development of the brain, which was a big tangent from the discussion of The Polar Express. In many ways, his intellectual and debating skills remind me of Vizzini, the Sicilian in The Princess Bride.

It strikes me that the drive-bys others have referred to are really worms on the hook he is hoping for others to bite on, so that he can take a thread down a road such as in those I mentioned above.

Just a touch?

That’s like calling the Airbus A380 a “slightly large” airplane.

Lib turns nasty at anyone who dares ask more than superficial questions about how his desired society would operate. Since I have a penchant for asking how real-life situations play out in his pure libertarian societal construct, he’s simply decided he won’t reply to me at all – outside of calling me names, anyway.

No great loss for me, I suppose, but I would like to hear an actual answer every now and again. Lib regularly disappoints.

After the last thread I’ve come to the conclusion that he failed or nearly failed Philosophy 101 and has been trying to make up for it ever since.