19 May 2021

To the trolls (2)

The concept I'm going to explain here is so absurdly obvious and simple that it really should need no explaining. However, after a hiatus of almost a month, the trolls are back in force, explicitly challenging me on this exact point -- so I thought it would be worth a try on the off chance that their brains are up to the task of comprehending it. Normal readers with an IQ above single digits should feel free to skip this post.

There are sometimes situations in which one needs to do things one does not want to do. For most of the last one-third of a century, I've spent forty hours per week doing boring and inane things at the behest of various bosses, because they were paying me to do so and I needed the money. This is a normal part of the life of pretty much anybody who isn't wealthy.  From time to time I do things like taking out the garbage or filling out tax forms, even though I don't like doing them, because various bad consequences would result if I didn't do them.

But in cases where you dislike doing something, and there are no bad consequences which follow from not doing it, why do it? For example, if you don't like TV soap operas, presumably you just don't watch them, since nothing bad will happen as a result of not watching them.

Different people have different reasons for writing a blog. In my case, there are several. I have ideas which I hope may be of interest to some people. Although I don't engage in debates with ideological opponents, I occasionally think of arguments which I post here because I hope they may be useful to those who do choose to engage in such debates. In some cases I run across information or ideas from others which I think are of value and should be given as much visibility as possible. In many cases I post things simply in the hope of attracting the attention of other people who have similar interests or aesthetic tastes. And on a certain level, I just write because I like doing it. I'm perfectly aware that some people may find my posts uninteresting or distasteful, and that's fine. They don't have to read the blog.

However, I don't like arguing and bickering with people. This has nothing to do with whether or not engaging in debate is objectively a worthwhile form of activity. It may very well be; it probably is. But I, personally, simply don't like it; and as with the TV soap operas, I don't see any negative consequences likely to follow from not doing it, so I don't do it.

Aside from that, a blog doesn't have the same function as a discussion forum. I am not trying to run the latter, and I'm not obligated to provide a platform for views I find offensive or abhorrent. This has nothing to do with censorship. Anybody who wants to say something I choose not to allow in the comments here is free to start their own blog and say it there; and I neither can, nor would want to, stop them. As I've said before, freedom of expression gives you the right to put an opinionated bumper sticker on your car. It does not give you the right to put the same bumper sticker on my car. And I have no obligation to engage in verbal squabbles with whoever feels some entitlement to pick a fight over something I said that they don't like.

To any trolls who have read this far: You may well regard the above as rude, weird, selfish, mean, petty, or any other negative adjective of your choice. You may even take it as evidence of narcissism or some form of insanity. If so, you're fully entitled to your opinion. Equally, you're fully entitled to ignore my blog. The entire rest of the internet -- millions of websites -- is open to you. But this is who I am, and I'm not going to change, and I'm not going to argue with you about it, or about anything else. Period.

[Comments are closed.  This is a one-way broadcast from me to the twits.  Please respect that and don't leave responses to this in the comment threads on other posts.  Adult-level posting will resume in a day or two.]