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The ten most commented on Standard posts in 2015

Written By: - Date published: 9:18 am, December 31st, 2015 - 77 comments
Categories: The Standard - Tags:

And now for the list of the ten most commented on posts for 2015.  These are the posts where the debate was most intense.  Interestingly only one of these posts was also in the list of the ten most popular posts. Anyway here they are.

Tenth was Mandy Hager’s post highlighting the degree of apparent misogyny following the Amanda Bailey pony tail pulling incident and how influential people chose to attack the victim rather than address the issue.  After 407 comments the issue had been given the analysis it deserved.

Ninth was Te Reo Uptake’s carefully reasoned post on New Zealand involvement in the Middle East war.  His view reflected the view of Jeremy Corbyn’s opponents in the UK Labour Party that as a historically internationalist party and to support the people of Iraq, Syria and the Kurdish homeland New Zealand had to be militarily involved in the Middle East.  Many disagreed with him but it was important that the issue was canvassed.

Eighth was Colonial Viper’s announcement that the Andersons Bay Peninsula branch of Dunedin South had been put into recess because of their concern with Labour’s current direction.  In the 425 comments some supported him.  Others said that for the sake of the movement it was vital that activists remain involved in the working of the party.

Seventh was Mandy Hager’s open letter to Andrew Little urging him to get angry and to adopt a progressive and proud left platform so that Labour was clearly differentiated from National.  The 432 comments overwhelming endorsed her view.

Sixth was Anthony Robins’ post on Auckland property buyers and the controversy surrounding Labour’s and Phil Twyford’s analysis suggesting that ethnic Chinese were responsible for the affordability problem.  Some thought the issue needed investigation, others were concerned that the presentation of the issue had racist overtones.

Fifth was BLiP’s post suggesting that Labour had betrayed the left by blocking Green participation in the Intelligence and Security Committee.  The subsequent discussion in the 440 comments covered issues such as the relationship between the parties of the left and the threat posed to us all by the security intelligence infrastructure of the country.

Fourth was a simple notices and features post featuring the graphic by illustrator Toby Morris addressing inequality.  The graphic clearly struck a chord as shown by the 452 comments.

Third was Anthony Robins post concerning the May Roy Morgan poll result which had National on almost 55% and Labour on 25.5%.  Subsequent poll results suggested that this was an outlier although at the time there was huge disappointment because the poll followed the ponytailgate incident.

Second with 500 comments was Bill’s post about the Swedish police deciding to interview Julian Assange.  Clearly from the comments some thing that he is a hero being maligned by the forces that be while others thought that he was more than slightly creepy.

And the winner of the most commented blog in 2015 is …

Karol’s post on the Charlie Hebdo massacre.  The post was released in the aftermath of the event and 596 comments later many different aspects of the issue had been explored.

77 comments on “The ten most commented on Standard posts in 2015 ”

  1. lprent 1

    No link on karols post? I’d fix it. However it will be a while before I have a stable surface.

    [Fixed. Damn holiday brain! – MS]

    • lprent 1.1

      Incidentally, the read vs comment difference is pretty normal. Commenters are less than a tenth of regular readers. About 50% of all readers are regular in that they read the site several times per month. Most (ie more than 70%) regular readers read the site every day.

  2. greywarshark 2

    That was interesting and heartening. Sometimes it seems that we are all obssessed by Jokey hen and his peculiarities and mendacity. (Is Auckland a mendacity? After ACT and Key’s ministrations it seems a foregone conclusion.)

    But we have a roving eye for truth and mendacity, ‘living standards’, and signs that there are living brains out there objectively thinking for themselves and examining our NZ track record and our future planning. Hopping from subjective to objective and back again, checking to see where reason, idealism, vision, pragmatism and human concern combine. That’s what is needed and I believe that is what The Standard delivers.

  3. Tracey 3

    Wishing you all the best for 2016 karol and stephanie, two posters I miss.

    And felix. FELIIIIIIIIIIX.

    Interesting to note trp had commonality in the disappearance of 2 of them and possibly the third.

    Funny old world

    • te reo putake 3.1

      Say what? I was the straw that broke Felix’s back for sure, but I have never seen it suggested before that I had anything to do with the others. I think you may projecting a bit there. Anyhoo, I’ve no doubt 2016 will see new authors and new perspectives.

      • Tracey 3.1.1

        Projecting? You might want to look it up. That you are oblivious to your impact doesnt reduce it but may explain it. I cant wait to see who you line up for us all.

        • te reo putake

          You’re not making much sense, Tracey. Either the other two disappeared because of me or they didn’t. You’re the one making the claim, apparently without a scrap of evidence. As you’ll note from my comment about felix, I have no problem acknowledging my mistakes. How about you? Are you strong enough to say you got this wrong?

          • Ad

            Don’t be phased TRP.
            It’s been good to have you back.

            Stephanie continues to pop in when she has the patience.

            I’m up to my neck in Wanaka tories tonight. But writers like yourself, DTB, the TS family generally, and HuffP and Salon have me well rehearsed.

            • te reo putake

              Cheers, Ad. Great to see your writing blossoming, hope you continue to go from strength to strength here at TS.

              My new year resolution is to chill out, not take the bait, and spread joy and happiness everywhere I go. Actually, that was last year’s resolution, too. Maybe in 2016 I’ll stick to it. It’s possible, it’s possible.

          • Tracey

            I didnt get it wrong. You admit whatever suits you.

            I stick by my claim that you have commonality in all 3. There are more ways to be a part of people leaving than by banning them.

            • Karen

              This is quite an accusation Tracey.

              I do not know Stephanie or Karol personally but, from what I remember of their exchanges on The Standard, TRP is not the reason Karol has stopped posting here, or the reason Stephanie now only posts occasionally. They both seemed to have got sick of having to counter the large number of misogynist comments that appear here, but I don’t remember a specific problem with TRP as you seem to be inferring.

              Perhaps I have misinterpreted your comment, but it seemed unfair to me.

              • Anne

                Not long before karol stopped posting on TS, I recall her mentioning she had other avenues of interest she wished to pursue and, whilst I think some of the more misogynist remarks may have helped precipitate her departure, I suspect it was always going to happen.

                • Karen

                  I agree with you Anne re Karol. She did continue writing on her blog for a while but she stopped that a few months ago.

                  I really miss her well researched, insightful posts and her measured, intelligent responses to comments.

                • tracey

                  I disagree. From internal and public discussions the issue of safety figured hugely. She was lured back once from memory and then off it went again.

                  We are all flawed indeed. It can be harder to take duplicity misogeny and outright bullying from those purportedly fighting for the same things.

                  It is easy to be nice when you have cleared the playing field of those you consider stand in the way of your vision.

                  • Karen

                    Tracey, it seems you are privy to information that I am not, but I still have a problem with the suggestion that TRP is a major reason for Karol and Stephanie not posting any more.

                    I welcome the call for less misogynist and bullying behaviour on The Standard, but I feel it is unfair to point the finger at just one individual without supplying any evidence.

                    • tracey

                      I said he was a commonality in all 3, which you now call a “major reason” for stephanie and karol not posting.

                      I am basing my comments on my online exchanges and private conversation with trp.

                      As I say you are entitled to your opinion.

              • tracey

                By all means disagree as is your right.

          • weka

            “Either the other two disappeared because of me or they didn’t.”

            Not really. People leave for a variety of reasons and influences that don’t preclude individual ones.

            I don’t want to comment on specifically why Stephanie and Karol left, but it’s no coincidence that the two most prominent overt feminist writers here both left, and it’s not hard to see patterns when you look at what was going down when that happened, and when you look at the context of what being a feminist blogger means (many here still don’t get that).

            In that sense I agree with Tracey that people can have influences that they are unaware of.

            The Standard still isn’t a particularly safe place for feminists, and we can all reflect on our roles in that I think, but it’s probably going to come down to the people who are not yet aware of the effect they have (or don’t care).

            • tracey

              Thanks for saying it far better than I did weka.

              Authors have internal private discussions too.

              • weka

                “Authors have internal private discussions too.”

                I guess there is opportunity then for any author to talk to any other author about why they are leaving.

                I should clarify that I haven’t talked to either Karol or Stephanie about why they left.

            • RedLogix

              It never occurred to me that TS was meant to be a safe place for anyone. Healthy political debate never is.

              • is it safe for you red?

                • weka

                  Another question is how many times have the male authors on ts been threatened with rape for publishing their politics?

                  Sorry, but the ignorance around this topic amongst lefties is still astounding and I’d add that to the list of reasons there aren’t more women writing about feminism in places like the standard.

                  I’ll also add for TRP, I don’t know what if any your role was. But if there were a few Māori authors on ts that had left and another polticised Māori commenter or author challenged me to look at my behaviour I hope I would have the sense and grace to actually look at it rather than going straight to defence/avoidance.

                  Needful to say that at least there’s been some discussion on the need for feminist writers on ts, but we’ve not yet gotten to even acknowledging the dearth of Māori writers and why that might be.

                  • it’s not safe

                    and to be less facetious – I wonder if having to go through 101 stuff EVERY time to so called left leaners makes it just not worth it.

                  • RedLogix

                    Another question is how many times have the male authors on ts been threatened with rape for publishing their politics?

                    Are you insinuating that this has happened [citation please] and that the moderators here would tolerate it if it did?

                    If you don’t like what you are reading so much that it upsets you, do what everyone else does, get up from the keyboard and go for a walk.

                    • maui

                      I think the insinuation was that one gender suffers from greater intimidation, threats and violence due to the other gender’s general dominant attitude.

                    • greywarshark

                      That rape comment seems over the top. It comes up in comments here in line with Godwin’s law.

                      But has someone on TS been threatened with rape? Can the facts be revealed? Has anyone been threatened with violence who blogs here and connects it with the TS blog? And how would the violent person know who to unleash on?

                    • weka

                      Rape threats to online feminists is commonplace. They also get threatened in their personal lives, including their families and children. They get doxxed. I don’t know if any of the feminist writers on ts have had rape threats, but that wasn’t my point. My point was that women writing about politics get actual threats. This is why I said I think that you and I are talking about different kinds of safety. To suggest that healthy political debate is never safe doesn’t make sense in the context I raised.

                      This is pretty well known throughout the blogosphere where people are paying attention to what happens to women. Go look it up for yourselves.

                      Grey, I’m pretty sure that Stephanie has had to deal with some nasty stuff, both via ts and her own blog. I would hazard a guess that the stuff on ts is somewhat restrained because the harassers would have Lynn to deal with, but you’d have to ask Stephanie for the details. Please bear in mind that it’s not necessarily safe for feminists (and other people who get harassed online), to supply the kind of detail you are wanting.

                      “If you don’t like what you are reading so much that it upsets you, do what everyone else does, get up from the keyboard and go for a walk.”

                      Huh? What is that referring to?

                    • weka

                      Here’s a good starting point for the general issue of feminists online and safety.


                      Please note, that I’m not saying that feminists are unsafe on ts because specific threats have been made. I’m saying that the culture is unsafe. The threats of violence issue is one obvious way into a conversation about that, especially seeing someone say that political debate is healthy if its unsafe. The reasons for feminists not writing here are more subtle than threats, but those reasons exist within the general online culture of violence against feminists, even if people here are unaware of that.

                  • maui

                    Don’t know why there aren’t many Māori writers/comments here, but if I can speculate, maybe they would rather have those discussions on the marae and amongst their own people. Maybe they feel trying to convince pakeha of their thoughts and feelings isn’t productive. I have no idea, but I would be interested on the Māori take on current politics/state of nz society if anyone knows of any good sites to go to.

              • weka

                I doubt we are talking about the same kind of safety Red. Besides, in this instance, we’re talking about whether a political sphere is diverse, or dominated by the people of privilege. Feminist voices aren’t the only ones not given equal space here.

                • tracey

                  How people choose to engage with each other makes a big difference and some think that a form of online machismo or bullying is acceptable cos that is what they are used to and happy with.

                  • *cough if it *&$%^#@!& gud nuff for smoko rooms tracey then its %^$#@!* gud nuff firus cough* /////sarc

                    I am trying to focus on – yes, it is the way it is and I accept that and yes, I want it to improve and will do what I can to make that happen. Otherwise why even bother.

              • tracey

                It is safer for some than others and there tends to be a dominant type of behaviour which favours some over others.
                Bullying comes in many forms.

  4. That list shows the strength of what TS is – wide and varied.

    I don’t dwell on which commenters comment – they will if they want and won’t if they want – not actually a loss imo. Posters are a little different because I like to read different views from different perspectives and diversity offsets my (jaundiced) view that sometimes the middle class angst drips too thickly for me here. I would like more diverse posters and I realise what will be will be.

    I think TS is doing great – thanks to everyone.

    • Incognito 4.1

      For me it is both the Posters and the Commenters that make TS what it is and to wish to contribute to it.

      I would argue the opposite though: there is more diversity in the comments than in the posts. Case in point is the never-ending source of wonder and insight (and humour!) that OM provides on a daily basis. I do like the wide range of views and perspectives; not so fond of overly ‘robust’ debates though.

      • marty mars 4.1.1

        + 1 good points incognito – I do like the wit and laughs too

        • mickysavage

          I agree with incognito. I tend to try and write treatises but I realise that these are not necessarily the best posts and sometimes I like kickstarting a discussion so that I can enjoy the benefit of others analysis. The comments are vital and are the difference between this site and any other sites I can think of.

          You can see that by the top two most popular posts, the second was a simple graphic about the flag debate mixed up with the refugee crisis and the winner was a post that BliP threw together (he told me it was a really quick effort).

          • marty mars

            I really like your posting style and content. Of course the commenters are vital and make up a large part of why this site succeeds.

      • Anne 4.1.2

        ‘Plus one’ to both of you Incognito and Marty Mars. There are always going to be differences of opinion and sometimes debate does become overly heated. That is part and parcel of a good quality but robust blog site such as TS. “weka” mentioned karol’s overt feminism in an earlier comment, yet strangely enough I remember karol for her diverse analytical skills which encompassed all aspects of life and politics. That is what made her posts so compelling and worthwhile imo.

        RedLogix is right imo. TS wouldn’t be worth reading if it was too safe a place. Clearly there are limits and I think the moderators do an excellent job weeding out the serious breaches. And as far as trp is concerned… I suspect his sometimes acerbic style of writing is often misinterpreted. Once again that is just my humble opinion. His undoubted wit would be a very sad loss if he ever chose to leave TS.

        • tracey

          Karol never resorted to ad hominem despite at times untold provocation. Many here manage robust debate without it.

          • Anne

            Karol never resorted to ad hominem despite at times untold provocation.

            I agree with that tracey and admired karol enormously for it. She had to put up with some truly vicious stuff but the vast bulk came from the rwnjs.

        • weka

          I’m not talking about making TS ‘too safe’, and it’s not about whether debate is to heated or not (read feminist blogs if you want an example 😉 ). I’m talking about the things that happen that lessen diversity and prohibit the voices of some groups of people. To dismiss safety is a political act that entrenches power in the hands of the privilged. The politics of dominator culture 101.

          I agree karol’s posts were outstanding in her analysis. And she was overtly feminist. My reading of her leaving was that it was related to her feminism not her analytical skills.

          • Anne

            @weka… I never said karol wasn’t “overtly feminist”. She most definitely was. I simply recalled that her writing and comprehension skills covered a wider field than just feminism.

            • weka

              sure, it just seemed a non-sequitur when placed alongside referencing my comments about feminist authors here and the need for safety 🙂

              • Anne

                I can see that weka. This old(ish) mind wanders a bit into non sequitur territory from time to time. Lets hope it doesn’t get any worse…

                • tracey

                  I always have to look it up again…

                • weka

                  thanks Anne. For my part, I have a tendancy to miss when the conversation is being shifted somewhat.

                  • just saying

                    Gonna jump in here because I’m not sure where to put this.

                    The comment about Karol being ‘overtly feminist, yet encompassing all aspects of life and politics’ raises something that bugs me: an implicit assumption that it is “either or” or as I think of it – Bryce Edwards Syndrome.

                    The repeated, often unspoken assumption behind an array of attitudes and comments, that feminism is separate from left-wing politics, rather than an essential part of it. Feminists are split off, when we talk about women’s issues, as if female people weren’t the freaking majority of the world.

                    Karol and Stephanie wrote more about other left-wing issues than explicitly feminist ones and yet they were always identified by (and attacked for daring to mention) this aspect of their political awareness. I wish those of you who see left-wing politics as being about working-class men’s issues could just get your heads around the fact that there is no separation. It seems to me that for most of those of us who are left-wing and feminist it’s the same thing – liberation. For everyone.

                    The most left-wing people I know, by a country mile, are feminists – with more understanding of power dynamics, and more commitment to genuine equality and collectivism, than most of those who like to posture and pontificate and/ or dominate, and patronise and abuse us.

                    There is probably a little tribe of right-wing feminists somewhere, furthering their own interests, feathering their own nests, seeking power and glory and identifying with the wealthy, powerful and vainglorious, but I doubt they are organising, (as opposed to networking) and I doubt they are spending much (or any) time giving a thought to, let alone looking out for the interests of, the majority of their fellow women.

          • lprent

            The author diversity issue is a matter of time. It takes considerable effort and time to bring anyone on board as an author or moderator above the normal workloads on the site. No one has a lot of time to do it and having to be on call to do cleanups is a large commitment. And that isn’t even counting the person becoming a author or moderator.

            Like it or not, because of my longevity in operating this site, I have had a large influence on how it operates. I’m afraid that I do try to limit commenter diversity here. That is pretty clear in the policy because I made damn sure it was when we had to clean it up in 2008-9. But it is a very selective filter based largely on behaviour.

            It limits the behaviour of trolls, lovers of flamewars, RWNJs with limited abilities to adapt when someone pokes holes in their logic, people attacking authors or moderators, and any other voice that gets too insistently loud on their pet topic (think Pat O’Dea and his insistence that every post was about the myths of Mana’s climate change policy as expressed through the words of it’s prophet).

            Generally the commenters whose behaviour I considered would do anything that will sabotage the operations and intent of the site. That is so that they don’t roll over the other voices using the platform that we have spent to many years developing. But mostly I’m content to make sure that a robust and raucous debate with people interacting with each other. Impolite disagreements work in online environments where you can’t read body languages.

            On the other hand, I’m always acutely aware that we don’t want to exclude them or anyone else’s views either. Which is why there is a strong tolerance of the weirdness (and no, I won’t specify that – but just consider that I mean whoever reads this 😈 ) that is in society.

            I’m uninterested in getting a audience on the left that isn’t having to deal with the objections and views of other groups and people in society. After all iconoclast groups talking past each other has been a pain for the left as long as I have been around it. Even worse is when they only talk to their conservative rural or business cousins on those odd times that they wind out with the families at xmas.

            I accept that to do so is going to cause a raucous debate where the best that you can expect is that people will wind up agreeing to disagree with each other.

            But (getting back to the point of your comment) all of the way that the site and culture has been constrained has been done to minimize the work required to get the maximum benefit. It could be vastly improved. But the problem is that to do the kinds of changes that various people would like also takes exponential increases in workloads, both initially and with ongoing maintenance.

            Generally what we have been doing seems to work and has been steadily getting easier over time despite the vast and often spiky increases in readership and commenting. For instance in December we had 59,573 distinct users according to google analytics – who are the best trackers available. Over the year 2015 google analytics says that we had nearly 5.5 million page views by 444 thousand users. I’ll dig around now that I’m home again and look at the other stats.

            The site has hit critical mass to the point where I suspect that the culture of The Standard is moving out of needing or wanting my benevolent despotism as much.

            I’m assuming that because I changed the nature of my in real life work in 2014 based on that assumption. I’ve shifted from never travelling if I could help it to expecting to spend between a quarter and a third of each year in different timezones. So there has been a consequential shift going in the culture of how the site operates over the last eighteen months, some of the consequences of which people have been reflecting on in this and the readership post.

            • weka

              Thanks for that Lynn. Interestingly I wasn’t thinking so much about the administrators of the site when I wrote that comment, as the commenters.

              Generally I like how the site is run. And I agree that to shift it to being more inclusive would require more work on the part of moderators. But I also think it’s about intention. My sense is that most of the authors who are around a lot are pretty handsoff in terms of moderating. Not sure how much of that is policy and how much personal preference, but my feeling is that if there were say an equal amount of women authors here we would find that the moderation shifted a bit esp when it comes to posts on issues that are important to women.

              That leaves a chicken and egg situation. More women won’t write here because of the culture and the culture won’t change until more women write here. However, the existing authors could shift their focus a bit and moderate more succinctly in areas where women are feeling like it’s just not worth it to bother being here. I also think a system where someone other than the author moderates an overtly feminist post might be worth trying (I seem to remember Stephanie getting abused for moderating her own posts tightly. Having someone else moderate tightly circumnavigates that whole mess). But yeah, that is more work for the authors.

              I do think this is improving slowing, and I agree with your general view that authors leave for all sorts of reasons, including the feminist ones, so this is about increasing the odds that women will start writing, and stay. The fact that more women comment here regularly is a good sign. But I personaly am unlikely to write on women’s issues the way the site is at the moment and I consider myself to be reasonably appreciative of robust debate. I think many women would look at ts and just go nah, why bother.

              As for where the boundaries should be, I think that if we want more women authors here then we have to give up some of the freedom associated with robust debate. Not because the robustness is the problem (seriously, feminist blogs are not full of shy wall flowers, feminists know how to fight, Stephanie and karol are both very good examples of that each in their own ways), but because of the chicken and egg thing. The biggest thing I see is how many times women have written posts that have been derailed by subthreads that undermine feminism (at some point I might go back and make a tally). This isn’t about disgreement on politics, but about people using threads to bring in their own agenda about the problems with feminism (which is inappopriate and undermining). I’ll reference just saying’s excellent comment above about how truly left wing comment integrates feminism. Often the Standard commentariat fail that (posts usually don’t). Which is odd because I would say that the commentariat here has a reasonably high level of feminist or feminist supportive men.

              I also think that the issue is different from dealing with RWNJs and trolls, precisely because it is coming from within left wing thinkers. This makes it way more complicated. In other words, it’s not the right wingers that are the main problem in conversations that are important to women, it’s the left wingers, so the normal processes within the culture for dealing with RWNJs and trolls doesn’t work.

              One very simple solution to that is for those discussions to happen in a parallel fashion in Open Mike. That could be extra work for moderators, but actually it would be very easy for commenters to take those conversations to OM, which begs the question of why they don’t.

              • just saying

                I don’t know what the answer is. But it’s a shame that there aren’t more women who feel like talking here, especially since there are more women than men on the left.

                I really like TS and the conversations, for the most part. Wouldn’t miss catching-up. But not when it comes to talking about “women’s issues”.

                It’s the lengthy micro-detailed mind-games that are sometimes played, the who-even-said-that-thing you-are-arguing-against and other straw-men, and the sniping from the oh-so-enlightened left-wing men that bug me most. Usually followed by them denying that what is apparent from what they have written is what they meant, or were even referring to. You end up pulling poison arrows out of your back if you enter the fray, from all the “friendly” fire.

                And If you are crazy enough to follow through lashings of obfuscation, and lots of little slurs, sometimes over days, they still never have to say what they did actually mean by their words, or what they were talking about, or whatever. It’s less hotile when those who disagree or think the whole thing is overblown bullshit just say so and argue that.

                So many groundhog days too. Same people saying the same things as if they had never in their lives heard of the counterarguments and certainly never deigning to address those counter arguments, no matter how many times they jump in. Intelligent people can regress to Pete Georgesque logic when it suits them.

                Covert aggressions like that.

                I think the reason Stephanie copped so much discrimination and abuse was that she didn’t let that stuff go. She didn’t pretend the plausibly deniable, the ‘innocently offensive’ or the multiple twists of logic or fact or any other derails were anything other than out-of-order. Didn’t give the benefit of the doubt, just in case the writer was actually trying to debate in good faith, or grappling to understand the argument at hand.

                For the most part Karol just seemed to ignore most of that kind of stuff. Until she couldn’t maintain that zen-like equanitmity any longer and was driven to have to make some kind of (still calm and reasonable) response.

                But yeah, not a job I’d be up for. It all seems pointless and repetitive after being around a while, all pain, no gain.

                • weka

                  I’ve been thinking about what you said and trying to figure out if that pattern of crazy is just how it goes on ts in general, or if there is something particular that happens when women start talking about women’s business. Both I guess, which makes it difficult to address. One of the things that bothers me about it is that we never get to have the real conversations because so much time is taken up dealing with the shit. And there are too many women’s voices that simply don’t get heard for all the noise.

                  I seem to remember one of the last apparently controversial posts that Stephanie did she did try to be less hard out in moderating and still she got shit. It’s shameful really.

                  • Incognito

                    I don’t really want to comment on specifics, as an ‘outsider’, but it strikes me that in many forums in social media and MSM alike, and TS is no exception, that commenters develop habitual patterns of commenting and responding to others. They become “reflexive” (the proverbial ‘red flag’) rather than “reflective” and the result is predictable. Once people stop reflecting on their own behaviour and become fixated on that of the other(s) we have a problem that is really hard to unwind – only face-to-face time with the involved parties has a chance of success and this is practically impossible.

                    • weka

                      I think that’s very true Incognito, and it’s a constant discipline for me to look at whether I am contributing or not.

            • Ad

              Your projection of its’ evolution has proven correct.

              But as Billy Joel said:
              “don’t go changin’
              To try to please me
              You never let me down before

              (Mmmm hmm hm hmmmmmm)

              And don’t imagine
              You’re too familiar
              Co’s I don’t see you anymore

              I don’t want clever …
              I never want to work that hard

              I just want someone
              I can talk to
              I want you just the way you aaaaaaaaaaare …….
              Wo Wo wo wo”

              (Pour me another darlin’)

        • Incognito

          Anne, very nicely put.

          Despite my nom de plume I still adopt a certain style and behaviour here on TS that does not nearly 100% match my personality in daily life! I think that I am trying to be a better (?) person here who doesn’t ‘hit’ back, fly of the handle, curse & swear, or resorts to ad hominems (although I am sometimes very tempted …).

          For other people on Social Media anonymity appears to be an open invitation to be rude, crass, or frustrating trolls, for example. Perhaps they’re just letting off steam or maybe they have issues, who knows (do they know themselves?), but this Jekyll & Hyde behavioural tendency is rather puzzling (to me).

          • tracey

            I find when I behave as you describe here, I improve offline too


            I lapse.

            • Incognito

              Practice makes perfect! You are so right that good practice & habits in one area of your life can be used as leverage to change others that are possibly harder to influence when tackled head-on. Small steps, and lots of them, is the key.

  5. greywarshark 5

    To me the important thing about behaviour on the blog is not about trying to be a better person, it’s about putting and reading honest thoughts about managing life, the country and its politics and the world, which aim to be protective of the good around us. It involves being prepared to attack those who don’t care or would dispossess others, and the caring co-operative culture that still allows individuality. So I’ll use rougher language on trolls than I would usually.

    But things need restraining, sometimes myself, and sometimes I’ll complain of others choice of language or slant. The one thing that can’t happen when trying to understand our society, ourselves and others, is to be too precious so preventing mention. When something becomes too sensitive to even approach a comment or discussion, that is a danger. A discussion or comment should be able to be brought up now and then and just noted without criticism, or an informed alternative be aired to offer a different view.

    Something I am concerned about is the pendulum that swings from not including refugees of other cultures as in they can’t get inclusion through employment because they don’t speak right, to the other side where everything that they do must be accepted and we have to put up with women enclosed in fabric separated from others as lepers must have been, or given okay to carry out medieval practices like genital cutting.

    Those matters are sensitive and I think need to have appropriate policies which need to be discussed. There are other sensitive matters like euthanasia, (people being given the right to determine their own length of life). Also what seems human’s innate violence which is not reasonably contained by the practices in our culture, and that includes sexual violence. A discussion about what is reasonable containment of behaviour seems never-ending and with sexual violence it always strikes the utopian ideal that there should be none. There can be no practical discussion after that.

    • Incognito 5.1

      I appreciate this and the other comments here today.

      Like many others, I believe, I am trying to make sense of life and all that. About a year ago I ‘landed’ here on TS and it kind of helped me to figure out things, to sharpen the mind, so to speak, although this may sound very paradoxical.

      On TS I sometimes hear music in the noise and sometimes I hear noise in the music, metaphorically speaking. With particularly delicate pieces noise can kill it for me, but sometimes the noise is it! The piece 4’33’’ by John Cage exemplifies this.

      Yes, this comment is serious – no pun.

  6. Just for the record, Tracey’s ‘opinion’ on why the other two writers left is wrong. It’s sad that she is know reduced to outright lying to try and cover that error, but that’s what desperation will do to some people when they put themselves under pressure. I’m going to rise above it and move on in a spirit of positivity. Cheers, y’all.

    • weka 6.1

      If it’s for the record, and given you insisted that Tracey provide evidence, how about you do the same and clear it all up once and for all?

      Tracey might mistaken rather than lying. Your ascribing mendacity and the rationales for that are hardly rising above it and being positive.

      • I’m not asking for evidence, weka. There isn’t any, which is the point I made way up the thread. I’d just prefer that Tracey cease bullshitting. That’s not to much to ask, is it?

        • weka

          If it’s not true sure. But if there is no evidence either way then we’re talking about people’s differing opinions aren’t we?

          • te reo putake

            No, it’s just trolling. For example, If I say commenter X has, in my opinion, made a mistake trying to beat her alcoholism by switching to crack cocaine, that would not be honest debate. It’s Trump level dog whistling. But anyhoo, enough.

            • BM

              If I could be honest, I didn’t think you handled the moderator power thing very well and neither did Stephanie Rodgers.

              Rather overzealous with the thick black type and bannings.

            • weka

              I don’t understand your example, but yeah, kind of like saying someone is lying and then ascribing motives for that right? I agree, let’s leave it there.

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