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February 15, 2005

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 Tom Maguire氏のブログに掲載されたJustOneMinute: Battle For The Blogosphere:という記事が、一部ブロガーの間で話題となっている。 圏外からのひとこと(2005-02-17) むなぐるま: 論壇系ブログの方法分... [Read More]

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 Tom Maguire氏のブログに掲載されたJustOneMinute: Battle For The Blogosphere:という記事が、一部ブロガーの間で話題となっている。 圏外からのひとこと(2005-02-17) むなぐるま: 論壇系ブログの方法分... [Read More]

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Comments

Chtorr

Very, very insightful.

Not a chance that the left would adopt such a "republican lite" blog strategy. What is the point of being a moonbat activist if you can't engage in emotive ranting about BushHitler and the eeeevilll republicans in lefty blog comments?

richard mcenroe

1. " - promote new Democratic faces. Philip Bredesen is being touted for President; Eliot Spitzer may run for Governor of NY; maybe the Left should talk about Spitzer and Bredesen..." Because nothing says "success" like sharing a web page with one of Kos' rants or forums. Check.

2. " - promote Democratic issues. " Such as Kos' call for the Democrats to propose legislation that can't possibly be passed. Check.

3. "promote the Democratic agenda. What do Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid hope to accomplish this legislative session?" See (2.) and add "we're gonna filibuster till Byrd drops dead at the podium, then blame Bush for the corpse."

4. " promote new Democratic ideas. Are there any? Give some oxygen to lefty think tanks, or any university professor, " Ward Churchill, check.

Seems to me like Kos and the boys are doing all they can already. But let's add:

5. Get a BIG tube of lipstick, cuz that pig is gonna need serious work...


ed

Hmmm.

Basically what you've described is something akin to a Hunter-Gatherer society. Instead of mastodons, we're hunting ideas, facts and figureheads.

The Gatherers, or aggregators or "hubs", assemble a multitude of differing viewpoints, concepts, ideas and interesting points of interest. These items can be shared amongst a diverse variety and number of Gatherers, thus expanding the overall scope and reach of the Gatherer community and it's ability to interject change.

The point of a Gatherer isn't simply to "discover" all the nonsense in the world and link to it, a webcrawler can do that and much faster IMHO. Instead a Gatherer selects links/ideas based on an established set of filters. This allows other Gatherers, or Hunters, to select which Gatherers they'll check with or draw from. By knowing what criteria, or filters, a specific Gatherer uses, other people can choose whether or not spend the time/effort to check with that Gatherer.

This selectivity also explains the rather odd way that issues have of expanding through the blogosphere. Since each individual has a fairly limited set of Gatherers they he visits, until an issue is taken up and published by a Gatherer in that set, he won't know of it. So issues won't propagate linearly, but in fits and starts as the issue is either taken/published or ignored/rejectetd by various Gatherers.

The Hunters generally don't gather, except as a by product of referring to Gatherers, instead they doggedly pursue specific ideas, links, points of view or stories. A Hunter isn't all that interested in spending the time and effort of obtaining a multitude of sources, that's what Gatherers do, but instead pursuing, delinating and exploring a specific issue to the fullest extent possible. Where there is a need for additional sources, to continue the pursuit, Hunters refer to relevant Gatherers for new source materials. The effectiveness of a Hunter is dependent on the specific set of Gatherers visited and on the scope of issues pursued. The more focused the Hunter, and his associated set of Gatherers, then the depth and control he should have on a subject. Dilution would result in inefficiency.

Additionally what TM is calling a "Hive" isn't one at all but rather a very close association of Gatherers and Hunters, with the Gatherers dominating. This is why they can assemble information quickly, but are seemingly unable to do a proper neutral analysis. After having garnered so much information about Jeff Gannon, why can't they see it's just a complete waste of time?

What TM calls a "pack" isn't one either. It's a rather less close association of Gatherers and Hunters, with Hunters dominating. This is why it can take some time to acquire the necessary information, but once gotten it is analyzed until every drop of value has been extracted.

Additionally Hunters and Gatherers don't operate in isolation. Each operates with an undefined set of Hunter and Gatherer "minions" that either pursue issues or gather knowledge. This exact makeup changes constantly but generally revolves around a fairly stable set. The orientation, issue agenda and composition of these "minions" also helps define the role and effectiveness of the primary Hunter or Gatherer.

So a Gatherer with a multitude of Hunter minions will have greater depth, but less variety. A Gatherer with many Gatherer minions will have great breadth of information, but little depth.

etc etc etc
...

It's an interesting thought bubble, but it's probably nonsense. *shrug* if anybody turns this into a thesis, I want a footnote. A FOOTNOTE dammit! Or my buddy Louie will be visiting. Remember, computers break you know. :)

ed

dsquared

Of course the reason that the Left can't win the scalphunting battle is that when a lefty is scalped he stays dead, but ... well, did you see Trent Lott at the inaugauration speech?

Gerry

Regarding your comment about the right being tempermentally unsuited towards a Hive, don't you think that Free Republic comes pretty close to performing a similar role to Kos, only from the right, and has been doing it longer? Yes, Kos' is more Democratic, and more like a traditional collection of blogs, but as a gathering place for like minded folks, with a distributed disorganization/organization structure, and significant researching abilities, FR fits the bill, IMO.

TM

Gerry - good point. In a longer version (I cut these back, really!), I tried to incorporate the Free Republic, Lucianne.com. TownHall.com, Drudge, and the Dem Underground.

Your right, they should have earned at least a sentence.

The Anchoress

These are very good suggestions, particularly as regards NRO. Very insightful.

Max

The march to the center part is debatable. Newt et al didn't prosper that way. The rest I think is right. But by suggesting it here, you have diabolically ensured that it won't happen. Don't think we're not onto you.

Jabba the Tutt

The Left hasn't had a new idea since 1964. They have all kinds of opportunities, but they are so tied into the idea that if the government doesn't do it, it doesn't count, that all they offer are higher taxes, bigger bureaucracies, more corruption, more inefficiency and less individual freedom. This is why they've focused on the cultural issues, like abortion, gay marriage, sexual liberation, free expression (when their not agaisnt free expression), because they lose on the higher taxes platform.

The Left needs to grow up and cut the strings to Mommy Government. Indeed, alot of their funding comes from the Federal Government. I see no signs that this is going to happen. The Social Security debate is going to tie them even tighter to government. Young people know, that they cannot count on Social Security, so the Left will lose the next generation as well.

anselm

It's in the blood of leftists to fall into a top down organization, they're statists and stasists, unionists and socialists. Heck, even the anarchists manage to fall in line under umbrella orgs to protest globalization. Their identity is tied up in where they fall in the pecking order. Conservatives and libertarians don't care what others think and are difficult to organize for long periods of time. But they will spontaneously organize around certain goals (Eason, Rather),reinvent themselves as necessary for survival, and always be a source of new ideas for improvement of self and nation and world.

Waffle King

I'm just wonderin' if the differences in blog organization cited above reflect the world views of righties vs lefties (and thus explain the lack of "temperament" to form a right-leaning Kos-world). Righties are distrustful of centralized authority, fiercely independent (Jacksonian?), and egalitarian in action, thus a more decentralized nature. Lefties love centralization and what it can force others to do, are herd-minded and group-think oriented, and speak of equality - except for those who disagree with them. But then, I'm a righty.

That's all, just wonderin'.

Atrios

If I linked to even a small percentage of the lefty equivalent that reynolds links to - in terms of fact free bollocks - I'd find myself scalped rather quickly.

TM

Well, then, link to reliable lefties - this is my assignment desk, and I am not interested in hearing about what I have or have not asked other folks to do.

And thanks for stopping by.

Myopist

This is what I call 'another beer theoreticals'; I don't know if it's true or not, but let's have another beer and hash it out. :)

Seriously, it's interesting, but I have to wonder whether it's too cute to be real. The Left Blogosphere crystallized around a central hub while the Right Blogosphere adopted a diffused information structure owing much to digital libertarian theory? Sure, if you want to massively oversimplify matters*. I think that you may be onto something, but whether you've got a working model remains to be seen.

As to your practical points, I think that they'd work but I dunno if Atrios has shown that he would particularly want to recreate Glenn's model - which is not the same thing as saying whether he should or not - and past attempts to do so by the Left-blogosphere haven't been promising (Hesiod's perennial attempts spring to mind).

-M

*Although I do admit that this theory would handily explain why a large fraction of the Left Blogosphere has decided to demonize Glenn Reynolds - which, given the mildness of the man's vaguely centrist libertarianism, is a real head-scratcher. They've mistaken our communications network for our leader! ;)

IB Bill

Above dsquared referred to Trent Lott. He was scalped by the right. "Self-policing" is the term I'd use.

Paul Zrimsek

Another possible difficulty with the "scalped lefties stay dead" theory is that the people CBS asked to resign over the forged ANG documents are still at their desks.

GT

I think you overanalyze this.

Both sides use the internet to their advantage and in similar ways. The Freerepublic has been around much longer than Kos (I used to post there back in 1998, before I was banned) and was, I think, the first grass roots activist site. In that sense Kos is nothing new. There are plenty of link sites on the left as well.

I don't think any side can win. It's not a zero-sum game. The internet is simply a mechanism which both sides will use as they see fit.

What Instapundit allows its readers is the ability to isolate themselves from those parts of reality they dislike. Ditto for similar sites on the left. Many people simply want to have their views reinforced, not challenged, and Instapundit is the perfect place for that.

DKos has been very succesful as a mobilization tool. The GOP doesn't have anything exactly like it on the Internet but they have plenty of other ways to mobilize support. If they feel they need it they will try to develop it, as with redstate.org

In the end blogs can't compete with reality. Look at the Iraq war, the biggest policy debate since Vietnam. Support for the war has dropped from about 80% to the mid 40s in just 18 months. No matter how many links to "we are winning" type posts Reynolds produces it makes no difference. Americans realize things are going badly and that's why support for the war has plummeted. If support for the war ever rises it won't be becasue of anythng the Belmont Club or other blogs write, it will be because things actually get better in Iraq.

Andrew

It seems more or less unknown to me which "model"...the Hive or the Pack, will be more effective in swaying public opinion. The scalps that the righties have collected (Dan Rather, Eason Jordan) have been important milestones and will serve as warnings to those in the MSM wishing to pass of speculation as fact, BUT, the lefties seem to be the equal, if not the superior, in generating memes. Are we going to end up with some kind of predator/prey relationship? Stay tuned!

Ray

Both the Hive and the Pack are scale-free networks, but the Hive has a much larger power law index, so that connectivity at large connection values is small, though connectivity at low connection values is very large. So the Hive stays in the Hive.

From a psychological perspective, I think that this outcome is a function of the hard Left's inability to stray even a small delta from a set of orthodoxies, because doing so will cause the whole conceptual edifice to come crashing down. For example, just the concept of the US "winning" the Cold War (instead of magnanimous Gorbachev seeing the futility of conflict) cannot be accepted because then one must ask in a real way "Why the collapse of the USSR?" Asking that uncomfortable question leads to a set of observations deeply at odds with notions of a "fascist US" and the horrors of market-driven economies. So the best defense against cognitive dissonace is the echo chamber. This leads to high connectivity among a smal number of nodes, and low connectivity to a broader set of nodes (which might hold unorthodox ideas).

Veeshir

What Instapundit allows its readers is the ability to isolate themselves from those parts of reality they dislike.

Now that's funny.

Let me guess GT, you're part of the "reality-based" community.

As in, that Errol Flynn movie is based on reality.

Bostonian

Atrios who?

Bostonian

GT: "Americans realize things are going badly and that's why support for the war has plummeted."

That is exactly the kind of statement that requires proof. You give no link & no argument other than your own assertion.

Yawn.

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jjag

I agree this is very insightful. However, I doubt the left will listen.
The left isn't very much interested in examining competing ideas is it? The left loves embracing "experts" who support their feelings (allowing them the luxury of not thinking any further) and demonizes those who do not conform.
Why would any lefty blogger bother linking anywhere else when virtually all leftist answers involve simply increasing taxes and government control?
Since liberals are utterly disinterested in honest and thorough debate there's nothing to link to. Facts, history and logic that goes against their assumptions is simply dismissed. All liberals want is an angle they can use to discredit the motives of their opponents. That's why conservative ideas AND CONSERVATIVES are "mean", cheap, cold and "stupid".
Make the usual liberal point, apply a universal solvent like "Nazi" or "racist" to your opponent and the "debate" is over.

The left will never change because, if it actually did begin to listen, use facts and argue from historic and logical perspectives.......it would no longer be the left.

GT

Jeez, Bostonian, You mean you don't know how to look up poll numbers?

Veeshir, you really can't read? Make the effort and read the next sentence.

Tom, I think both these posters prove my point. Most people follow blogs that do not challenge them.

sbw

Interesting. I got here via Instapundit. Why come? Because I'm not interested in just MY ideas, I'm interested in GOOD ideas, and, as Montaigne said in the late 1500s, why shouldn't I run to embrace the truth when I see it coming.

So, if you shut off comments, you've killed off feedback. When you are convinced, there is no reason to listen.

The reason I'm not "left" (and I don't consider myself "right", but lefties put me there) is threefold: 1) In their impatience to act, they often address problems by hiding them rather than solving them, 2) Once committed, they are too brittle to consider alternatives from those who are politically incorrect enough to suggest there may be a better way, and 3) They insulate themselves from criticism by believing others are too dumb, venal, or selfish to possibly have a good idea worth weaving in to their own.

Well. I'm ready to join your campaign as soon as you address these issues.

gm

"I don't belong to an organized political party, I'm a Democrate"

"I don't belong to an organized blogosphere, I'm a lefty"

BN

I think this was a great post, but you made a mjor oversight. How can you say the right has no Hive? What the hell do you call LGF?

Jim Treacher

"First, the changes I mentioned won't happen - turning off the comments would be the single most important step, and now that a righty has suggested it, they can't."

It's funny because it's true.

Myopist

"Jeez, Bostonian, You mean you don't know how to look up poll numbers?"

He's not the one making the assertion; you were, so it's your job to provide data when called on it. Or ignore it completely, if you like: that's accepted behavior. But it's bad netiquette to simply whine when somebody asks you to back quoted statistics with something besides its a$s.

This is a newbie mistake, and I've seen your handle before: you really should know better.

Pat Curley

The interesting thing is that I have found in the past that linking to new and interesting blogs helps my blog grow in traffic and links. However, there is a diminishing returns principle as well in that as you sift through the smaller blogs the good ones get harder and harder to find, plus you find it harder to keep up with the ones that you have found in the past.

Very interesting post.

John Cole

"If I linked to even a small percentage of the lefty equivalent that reynolds links to - in terms of fact free bollocks - I'd find myself scalped rather quickly."

That is hilarious, Atrios. It must be exceptionally difficult being the voice of moderation that you are...

GT

Myopist,

I assume certain basic skills in a blog like this one. For example I assume I don't need to provide a link for very basic things, like saying that support for the Iraq war has plummeted or that a growing number of Americans think things are going wrong in Iraq.

If Tom or you or anyone else posts that Bush won the November elections I won't demand a link to that.

But for those that are truly ignorant and really don't know what the state of public opinion on Iraq is here's a link:

http://www.pollingreport.com/iraq

And for those that REALLY don't know, look at the trends.

Gidgiddoni

Americans *believe* things are going badly because the vast majority of them have absolutely window on Iraq beyond the media, most of which is still stuck in Vietnam mode. Have you spoken with any of the actual *soldiers* that have served there? They tell a very different story, and I've yet to meet one with any fondness for reporters.

If support for the war ever rises, it won't be because of what's actually going on in Iraq, unless something happens that absolutely forces the media's hand. It will be because either the media decides to quit their anti-war, anti-military, anti-Bush slant (not likely anytime soon), or the public in general begins paying more attention to alternative media (which is happening, but not in the kind of numbers that effect massive changes to polls). The majority of people simply absorb whatever casual information they happen to catch on TV and synthesize it into their worldview.

This is why so many people have it in for the "MSM"; they control much of the worldview of most of the population. It's also why so many in the MSM don't like the blogosphere, and to a lesser extent Fox News, as these destroy their ability to propagate their version of events unchallenged.

GT

Sure gidgiddoni, Iraq is doing fine it's simply the media's fault support has dropped.

Talk about living in a cocoon!

Andy

Comments drive up the number of visits to a website (and therefore drive up revenue).

People will re-visit a site multiple times to respond to the comments of people who have responded to their own comments.

If a site were to remove comments, they could expect a 20-30% reduction in traffic. For some, this is no problem. For others, it might seem to be a blow to their ego.

It's hard to get people to make the trade.

Myopist

"I assume certain basic skills in a blog like this one."

That's nice. It doesn't give you an excuse to be rude when somebody justifiably calls you on your lack of courtesy by not providing a link.

Which you have now done, so well done.

GT

I am generally polite to those that are polite and rude to those tha are rude. Had Bostonian not written his silly post mocking me, ahd he simply asked what data I had to support my views I would have provided a link immediately.

Comes from game theory, actually.

Cecil Turner

I like the "diffused vs centralized" model (at least as a discussion point), but I think it's worth tying in Volokh's Persuasion Bunches concept. Specifically: "bloggers, or critics generally, have power only to the extent that they are persuasive." [emphasis in original] If he's right--and I believe he is--I think the lefty sites have more basic problem. Many don't even try to be persuasive, just preaching to the choir. The Barone article (which I thought very good, especially the part you quoted) makes the point explicitly with his description of DKos:

"It seethes with hatred of Bush, constantly attacks Republicans, and excoriates Democrats who don't oppose Bush root and branch."
If Barone, who could be expected to be somewhat sympathetic to Democrat causes, found them off-putting, you can imagine what the uncommitted voter would think.

And perhaps it's a symptom of a larger posting group, but many left-leaning sites are rife with outrageous partisanship and profanity. Often, I believe I could make their case better than they did--in many cases, all that would be required would be to excise the profanity and clean up some of the over-the-top claims. To be sure, some right-wing blogs suffer from the same malaise, but the better ones (e.g., Instapundit, RogerLSimon, Justoneminute) are readable, well-reasoned, and civil . . . even in the comments sections. Compare that to offensive rants like this one or this one. I daresay the vast majority of Americans would want to steer clear, even if they agreed with some of the underlying philosophies--and the authors either seem blind to the problem, or constitutionally unable to fix it.

Myopist

"I am generally polite to those that are polite and rude to those tha are rude."

I've seen this argument used, but I don't think that the strategy works all that well. Still, I admit that the electronic yawn was a provocation...

ed

Hmmm.

Man I can babble with the best of them. I blame the triple scotch. :)

Frankly I don't buy into the "temperment" idea at all. It's entirely possible for a right-wing blog to become a Hive, just as it's entirely possible for a left-wing blog to become a Pack. It's not temperment, it's the aggregate composition of participants.

This also means that any particular blog can flip from one state to another state without any necessary intermediate process. So a Hive blog could evolve quickly into a Pack by the simple expedient of reconstituting it's composition of participants, or for the same participants to adopt a dissimilar viewpoint/goal on a specific issue.

*shrug* interesting.

ed

GT

Cecil,

Your post exemplifies the disconnect that makes real debate so difficult if not impossible. The idea that one side is thoughtful while the other doesn't even try to be persuasive is something only ideologues believe. It simply makes no sense.

And I have to wonder where you got the idea that a conservative like Barone is open to Dem causes. He is on the OTHER side, why would he support Dems?

Sadly both sides are guilty of this silly "we have great ideas while the other side is simply filled with hate".

richard mcenroe

"scalped lefties stay dead"

Just like Ted Kennedy.

Jim Treacher

"As to your practical points, I think that they'd work but I dunno if Atrios has shown that he would particularly want to recreate Glenn's model - which is not the same thing as saying whether he should or not - and past attempts to do so by the Left-blogosphere haven't been promising (Hesiod's perennial attempts spring to mind)."

That's a bit like saying a particular model of automobile is crash-prone even though you made sure the test driver, Stevie Wonder, had plenty of scotch in him.

Nobody Important

"Labels don't mean anything. Only right-wingers persist in using them."

(Something I read over 20 years ago, so I can't remember the original author. Otherwise, I'd credit him).

Gidgiddoni

A cocoon? Have you ever seen the Matrix? If you believe only what the media is feeding you on Iraq, you are exactly like one of the human "batteries" in *their* cocoons, aware only of the information being fed to them.

Talk to some soldiers, or someone who has actually been to Iraq. I'm not sure the journalists count, as most of them hang out in the "safe" parts of Baghdad, interviewing Sunnis and ex-Baathists.

Cecil Turner

"The idea that one side is thoughtful while the other doesn't even try to be persuasive is something only ideologues believe. It simply makes no sense."

GT,

Might try reading that again. I didn't say anything about the "side," just some of the more popular blogs that represent them. And I think an objective comparison of the two examples Mr Barone chose (which appear to me to be reasonable choices) will show an obvious discrepancy in persuasiveness, and more obviously, in profanity and civility. And perhaps it's impossible to police the comments in a blog that large, but in that case, TM's point about turning them off is spot-on.

Restating the earlier point: if your most popular blog site alienates more than it persuades, that's a real problem.

Geek, Esq.

Good suggestions.

Though, the rightwing blogs have their share of crazies. Both LGF and, most recently, Powerline are openly flirting with the ideas and rhetoric of the fascist right and Joseph Stalin. The media, the left, and now even Jimmy Carter are not only misguided, incorrect domestic opponents.

To these goons, they are THE ENEMY. That's right--Jimmy Carter, naval veteran, former President, and humanitarian, is considered to be a traitor and jihadist agent by them.

http://powerlineblog.com/archives/009423.php

Eventually, the left blogs will grasp for the sane middle, just as the rightwing blogs go off into McCarthyville.

GT

No, Cecil. An objective comparison does not show that becasewu there are no objective comparions. You think tha Instapundit is a reasonable blogger that persuades. I dfind him pretty much an idiot, a law professor that accused ted kennedy of being practically a traitor for his speech on Iraq. If a law professor doesn't know what treason is maybe he should be reviewing the law books instead of blogging.

Thats why your post makes no sense. Barone's comment only convinces people like yoursef, no one else. Daily kos may alianate rightwingers but Instapundit alienates leftwiongers. Same thing.

Geek, Esq.

And when has Michael Barone EVER been sympathetic to Democratic causes? The man thinks Bush is in a league with FDR and Abraham Lincoln.

Sheesh. One might as well criticize the right wing for not having persuaded Oliver Willis to vote Republican.

Patrick R. Sullivan

"The idea that one side is thoughtful while the other doesn't even try to be persuasive is something only ideologues believe. It simply makes no sense."

One only needs to compare the comments sections of Semi-Daily Journal, or Max Speak, to this one, to see that it is accurate. I've never seen anyone accused of 'hi-jacking the thread' here. But that is a common complaint directed at anyone who interrupts the wailing and gnashing of teeth with a contrarian point at SDJ or MS.

That is, if the contrarian view survives long enough for anyone to see it. Which is another tactic you don't have to worry about here.

Gidgiddoni

[i]"Though, the rightwing blogs have their share of crazies. Both LGF and, most recently, Powerline are openly flirting with the ideas and rhetoric of the fascist right and Joseph Stalin. The media, the left, and now even Jimmy Carter are not only misguided, incorrect domestic opponents.

To these goons, they are THE ENEMY. That's right--Jimmy Carter, naval veteran, former President, and humanitarian, is considered to be a traitor and jihadist agent by them."[/i]

There is quite a bit of difference between having someone as a political enemy and advocating their imprisonment for disagreeing with you. There are certainly loonies in the comments on many right-leaning blogs, and I often don't agree with the proprietor's hard-line views on Islam, weak protests that they "know this doesn't apply to *all* Muslims" notwithstanding. But I don't think they're approaching anything like McCarthy's methods.

I will, however, draw a parallel between our situation now and our situation as it was in McCarthy's time. McCarthy used deplorable methods in his attempts to hunt down Communists, but people seem to forget that communism really was a genuine threat. Easy to look back from this temporal end of the Berlin Wall and say, "Ah, they weren't so bad as all that." Yes, they were. So while I would consider someone like Carter to be misguided rather than a traitor, I would say that he and his ilk are doing enormous damage to the necessary efforts against terrorism. The word enemy does apply, but this is a war of words. No one has re-instated the Alien and Sedition acts, claims about the Patriot Act notwithstanding.

Gidgiddoni

*laugh* So much for my HTML tag skills.

Geek, Esq.

Have any of the conservatives who are decrying the comments at left websites ever been to Little Green Footballs?

Forbes

GT: The left has lost 7 of the last 10 presidential elections. The Reps have majorities in the Congress, and state governors--a complete reversal from the period of 20-50 years ago.

Care to enlighten us to those great ideas? (Sadly, neither CT, nor do I, accuse the left of "simply filled with hate.")

praktike

"And I believe there is a specific burden on Kathryn Lopez of the NRO. "

Yup. She should stop writing altogether and find something else to do.

Patrick R. Sullivan

"That's right--Jimmy Carter, naval veteran, former President, and humanitarian, is considered to be a traitor and jihadist agent by them.'

In fact, Jimmy Carter twice collaborated with his country's enemies--once while serving as President--to gain a partisan advantage over Ronald Reagan. We now know this since the Soviet archives were opened, and we can read Soviet diplomats accounts of the conversations.

GT

Yes Gigdonni and I and many others think you and those that think like you are doing enormous dmaage to this nation, damage that will take decades to recover from.

Just Passing Through

If I can step in and on Tom's toes here, I'll take a shot at the question of hives on the right.

Neither LGF nor FR for instance could be considered a hive when you take into consideration the social constructs at dKos that Tom stressed. Ditto for the DU. None of the three are organized at any level approaching dKos. dKos creates tasks that members are attracted or assigned to. These tasks move up or down in priority over time depending on member and non-member scrutiny and inputs. Tasks can be gestalt driven movements to investigate an issue, or mini think tanks. The point is that there are both vertical and horizontal connections. That is not true in strictly vertically organized threaded blogs like DU or FR. Think of them as enclaves rather than hives. It is even less true in an owner driven blog like LGF where threads are vertical but determined by the postings of the owner. FR and even DU are of less and less importance as holdover enclaves from a time before the blogosphere allowed the free ranging of ideas it does now.

The blogospheric environment is based on discourse but more importantly on discourse modifying conventional wisdom. That creates pressure in the environment and the need to evolve to accommodate it. As it stands now, the entrophy of ideas on the left encourages hives as accommodation. The virility of ideas on the right encourages free ranging as the accommodation. The dynamics of the blogosphere right now doesn't drive the right into hives. The right will create hives only if the blogosphere favors that construct over free ranging for the right.

dKos did not spring into being as a concept in the form it is in today. It evolved into a hive structure as a defensive reaction against the blogoshere at large. Hives are intrinsically selfish and static constructs no matter how dynamic the interactions are within the hive. To push the metaphors, the honey produced is for internal consumption only. New dynamics or viewpoints within the hive that could upset the connections that make the hive work are never welcomed, assaulted by swarming, and driven off immediately. It's difficult to join the hive. If you don't have the right scent - register - you don't get past the guards. The hive is a construct that rewards the status quo and punishes innovation.

I don't believe that dKos as a hive can have much effect on general discourse outside of it's own adherants and outsiders seeking reassurance for ideas and opinions they already hold. dKos has evolved into a dead end - a kind of statism. dKos as a hive is a pocket blogosphere with far less interaction with the host blogosphere than people give them credit for.

The dKos hive may vibrate some string that reaches outside now and again, but it's the hive's buzz that attracts attention, not the hive's output. Kos himself has gained currency and may gain more in the host universe as a result. That draws more outside attention to the buzz of the hive but has the downside that it also draws more outside attention to the intrinsic entrophy of ideas in the hive.

Here's where Tom misses it. Without some new dynamic entering the discourse in the blogosphere, the mix on the left will create more hives as refuges for leftists that cannot adapt - moderate their ideas - not less. The Jeff Jarvises, Josh Marshalls, and Kevin Drums on the left have adapted and are already free ranging and their ideas are increasingly moderate and increasingly distinct from the memes at dKos.

Cecil Turner

"To these goons, they are THE ENEMY. That's right--Jimmy Carter, naval veteran, former President, and humanitarian, is considered to be a traitor and jihadist agent by them."

What they said was: "He's on the other side." And that point is certainly disputable, but it's not exactly Stalinistic. A bit reminiscent of this quote, actually:

"Pacifism is objectively pro-fascist. This is elementary common sense. If you hamper the war effort of one side, you automatically help out that of the other. Nor is there any real way of remaining outside such a war as the present one. In practice, 'he that is not with me is against me.'" --George Orwell

Gidgiddoni

Quote:
And when has Michael Barone EVER been sympathetic to Democratic causes? The man thinks Bush is in a league with FDR and Abraham Lincoln.

The parallels between how the press and the intellectual elite treated Lincoln and the way they now treat Bush are more than striking. Stupid, backwoods hick wanting our soldiers to die for someone else's liberty. Sound familiar? Pundits turning on him as soon as it turned out that we couldn't win the war in a week or so. Sound familiar? Accusations of a stolen election, and a President elected by a minority. Sound familiar? I could go on, but I suggest you read the history yourselves. The political cartoons from back then are especially fascinating.

Geek, Esq.

Gidgidonni:

Calling the domestic opposition and the media isn't adopting McCarthy's methods?

Well, technically you're right. They're adopting Josef Stalin's methods. As are you. Rhetoric is the precursor to action. Jews and Communists were labeled as the enemy of the state before being rounded up in Nazi Germany.

Read a history book.

Geek, Esq.

Cecil:

Since when has Jimmy Carter been a pacifist or someone who doesn't believe in combatting terrorism?

He doesn't believe that YOUR way and BUSH's way is the best way, but that doesn't put him on the other side.

And, objectively, Bush has been pro-Iran if you want to go down that idiotic route.

ed

Hmmm.

"To these goons, they are THE ENEMY. That's right--Jimmy Carter, naval veteran, former President, and humanitarian, is considered to be a traitor and jihadist agent by them."

*shrug* just look at Jimmy Carter and Hugo Chavez. I seriously doubt that there is any rational person who wouldn't admit that Chavez is a dictator one step removed from Castro. Yet Carter, on the basis of little or no information, legitimized Chavez's recall election.

It is most definitely not in America's interest to have a power-crazed Marxist dictator running amok in South America.

Rahul

"Satyameva Jayate" - Truth Alone Triumphs

This is the motto of the Republic of India, and I think the key to political struggle. In an open society like the US, it becomes harder with each passing day to keep truth and facts suppressed.

The fact of the matter is that through the media and gubmint schools, the Left has tried to paint reality a shade of commie-lite pink. The Right simply has the advantage of being closer to reality than the Left, hence its ability to "win" which will continue to increase, until it too begins to embrace falsehoods (like the fact that the election was won on abortion/gay marriage issues, rather than security/economics). The more the Right wails about gay people and censorship, the weaker it gets. But its not going to matter anytime soon since the Left is off so far out in La-La land, with its nonsensical ideas of 'universal health insurance', affirmative action, environmental scare-mongering, protectionism, nanny-state politics etc.

So... Hives are well and good but, won't work anytime soon.

Gidgiddoni

Good heavens, that's rich. Under Stalin's methods they would all be dead. That or in a prison camp of "strict" regime (read: torture camp). But I don't see any of that. Are the left-wing blogs that compare Bush to Hitler, then, Stalinist as well? Does this shoe fit if it moves feet?

GT

I seriously doubt that there is any rational person who wouldn't admit that Chavez is a dictator one step removed from Castro.

This just shows you know nothing about Venezuela or Latin America. Chavez has much greater electoral legitimacy than Bush since Chavez won more elections and with greater % of the vote than Bush did.

If you knew anything about Latin America you would know that the comparison is not with Castro but with Peron.

ss

"First, the changes I mentioned won't happen - turning off the comments would be the single most important step, and now that a righty has suggested it, they can't."

Pre-emptive creativity! Love it. Keep working on ideas, because if we can think of all the possible ways to build a Democratic majority, it will never happen.

But damn. I wish I had thought of abortion first.

Myopist

"Well, technically you're right. They're adopting Josef Stalin's methods. As are you."

Unless you're currently lying dead in a windowless basement with the back of your head blown off, I think we can pretty much discount this argument right from the start. Josef Stalin was a mass murderer and sadist: his 'methods' involved show trials, casual genocide and deliberate starvation of entire countries. Please stop metaphorically urinating on the memory of his victims.

Thanks in advance!

Geek, Esq.

Gidgiddoni:

As I said, labeling one's domestic opponents as traitors and sympathizers to the enemy is the first step on the path to fascism. The Powerline boys and you have taken the first step.

Ed:

Are we at war with Venezuela? Last time I checked, we were buying oil from them. And, did it ever occur to you that maybe, just maybe, Chavez actually has the support of the Venezuelan people (I wouldn't vote for him, but it's not my country)? And don't you dare mention exit polls . . .

ed

Hmmm.

"...The Jeff Jarvises, Josh Marshalls, and Kevin Drums on the left have adapted and are already free ranging and their ideas are increasingly moderate and increasingly distinct from the memes at dKos."

Very interesting take. Thank you for your input.

"Well, technically you're right. They're adopting Josef Stalin's methods. As are you. Rhetoric is the precursor to action. Jews and Communists were labeled as the enemy of the state before being rounded up in Nazi Germany."

Oh yes. Because they've just opened HohoKus, NJ, "Gulag & Handbag Outlet" and have been busily imprisoning Democrats there.

"Read a history book."

Yes. Please do.

"Since when has Jimmy Carter been a pacifist or someone who doesn't believe in combatting terrorism?"

Show me an instance where Jimmy Carter hasn't been a pacifist and has demonstrated a belief that terrorism needed to be combatted.

"And, objectively, Bush has been pro-Iran if you want to go down that idiotic route."

Irony precludes a response.

Geek, Esq.

Myopist:

Okay, those guys aren't adopting Stalin's actions. Just his rhetoric and mentality. Feel better?

Myopist

"Just his rhetoric and mentality. Feel better?"

Well, the fact that you're still posting disproves that, too - if they were reproducing his rhetoric they'd have called for your death by now, and if they were reproducing his mentality they'd have already sent somebody to make it happen - so, yes, I do feel better, but probably not in the sense that you meant.

-M

ed

Hmmm.

"Are we at war with Venezuela? Last time I checked, we were buying oil from them. And, did it ever occur to you that maybe, just maybe, Chavez actually has the support of the Venezuelan people (I wouldn't vote for him, but it's not my country)? And don't you dare mention exit polls . . . "

Are we at war now? No.
Could we be at war soon? Yes.
Did I say that America was at war with Venezuala? no.

Chavez is a greatly destabilizing force in South America. The recent elections were an opportunity to re-establish the foundations of democracy in Venezuala, but this was killed off by Jimmy Carter when he summarily legitimized the election. Even though there was evidence of massive vote fraud, intimidation and outright murder.

What could have been the result, without Jimmy Carter's interference, is a Venezuala either under new management, which many citizens wanted, or the current regime under international pressure a la Ukraine. Instead Chavez now has an even tighter death-grip on the country and is well on the way to President-for-life status.

It is in America's interest to promote democracy, preferably in a non-military way. What Jimmy Carter did was not only not in America's interest, it was entirely dishonest. Any reasonable research into the nonsense that was Carter's involvement in the Venezualan elections will demonstrate this.

Isn't it interesting that the only elections Jimmy Carter is willing to certify, are those where dictators win.

Geek, Esq.

Ed:

Carter supported the invasion of Afghanistan and globabl anti-terror efforts, but opposed the invasion of Iraq. That doesn't make him a pacifist. That makes him sane.

And Bush has neutralized the two greatest external threats to Iran: Baathist Iraq and the United States military, which is currently bogged down in Iraq. And Iraq is inevitably going to have a Shiite dominated government which will be much more friendly than Saddam was.

That, objectively, makes him the biggest benefactor the mullahs have had in the White House since Reagan's men sold them missiles.

Of course, that crowd (Abrams, Poindexter, etc) found jobs with Bush Jr. How appropriate.

ed

Hmmm.

An interesting technique in blog-commentary judo. Bait a liberal with negative comments on Jimmy Carter. Liberal commenter rises, takes the bait, and then is in the unenviable position of having to defend Jimmy Carter.

I'm going to write that one down, this technique is one for the Ages. I realise that this isn't exactly what happened, but it's definitely worth trying on other blogs. :):)

Thanks "Geek, Esq."

GT

Jeez, ed give it up. You don't even speak Spanish and I suspect you never even traveled to Latin America.

No, there was no evidence of massive fraud. At all. You just made that up.

Chavez has already won 4 national elections and he usually gets close to 60% of the votes.

Really, if you know nothing about this why do you insist on posting?

Geek, Esq.

Myopist:

Calling me a traitor here could get your comment deleted, as it would be a defamatory personal attack.

Tells you something about the rhetoric flowing from your side of the aisle.

Geek, Esq.

Ed:

Carter was a terrible president who showed bad judgment and didn't deserve a second term.

Still doesn't mean he's a traitor or "the enemy."
Comprende?

John Cole

GT writes:

"I dfind him pretty much an idiot, a law professor that accused ted kennedy of being practically a traitor for his speech on Iraq."

Which, of course, means that Glenn didn't accuse him of being a traitor at all.

ed

Hmmm.

"Carter supported the invasion of Afghanistan and globabl anti-terror efforts, but opposed the invasion of Iraq. That doesn't make him a pacifist. That makes him sane."

So he isn't in favor of combatting terrorism then?

Thank you for proving my point.

"And Bush has neutralized the two greatest external threats to Iran: Baathist Iraq and the United States military, which is currently bogged down in Iraq. And Iraq is inevitably going to have a Shiite dominated government which will be much more friendly than Saddam was."

Sorry but you're wrong. Iraq stopped becoming a threat to Iran after 1991's Gulf War I, where the military was essentially destroyed, and there was never any possibility of America invading Iran. The reasoning is that any such invasion would end up propping up the theocracy in Iran. As it is the Iranian government is hugely unpopular and the systemic corruption is to the point where the Iranian economy largely doesn't exist.

The viewpoint has been that Iran will implode from it's own excesses and the pro-democracy citizens will reform Iran into a stable democracy.

"Jeez, ed give it up. You don't even speak Spanish and I suspect you never even traveled to Latin America."

You don't necessarily need to speak Spanish to read what people write.

"Really, if you know nothing about this why do you insist on posting?"

Well you're my role model .... :) sorry, couldn't resist.

GT

John Cole,

He said the speech was quasi treasonous. That's a sign of sheer ignorance for a law professor.

GT

Yes, you probably need to know some Spanish or history of the region. You know neither ed. You simply have no clue about Chavez or Venezuela.

John Cole

Gt Writes:

"He said the speech was quasi treasonous. That's a sign of sheer ignorance for a law professor."

Gee- I would have thought that understanding what is treasonous and what merely appears to be treasonous are just the kind of things law professors should know.

What you really mean is:

"Glenn's statement offended me so now I am going to villify him and call him stupid, even if I don't know what I am talking about."

Geek, Esq.

So, Ed thinks that Saddam was a threat to the US but not to Iran?

And that one had to support the invasion of Iraq to support combatting terrorism?

Hee hee.

GT

Yes, you would expect a law professor to know what is quasi treasonous. Sadly he doesn't.

Cecil Turner

"Since when has Jimmy Carter been a pacifist or someone who doesn't believe in combatting terrorism?"

Well, since 1979 at least. Probably his biggest misstep was negotiating a sweet aid deal for the DPRK while they pretended to shelve their nuke program, but he's apparently been trying to top that one lately.

"And Bush has neutralized the two greatest external threats to Iran: Baathist Iraq and the United States military, which is currently bogged down in Iraq."

I think we've drifted far enough into national security strategy, but this is nonsense. Show me a war plan for Iran that doesn't start with gaining a foothold in Iraq, and I'll show you a faulty war plan. And the various pronouncements by some on the left (i.e., that having 1/10th of the US military in Iraq makes it impossible to threaten Iran) are strategically unlettered at best.

Geek, Esq.

Actually, what Reynolds said was even less intelligent:

Various lefty readers email to say that Ward Churchill is not the authentic face of the Left.

I wish I agreed with that. But, sadly, he is its very image today.

When Ted Kennedy can make an absurd and borderline-traitorous speech on the war, when Michael Moore shares a VIP box with the last Democratic President but one, when Barbara Boxer endorses a Democratic consultant/blogger whose view of American casualties in Iraq is "screw 'em," well, this is the authentic face of the Left. Or what remains of it."

You see, Ted Kennedy = Barbara Boxer = Markos Moulitsas Zúniga = Michael Moore = Ward Churchill.

And Kennedy's speech was not "borderline-traitorous" anymore than Reynolds is borderline-totalitarian in his thinking.


Gidgiddoni

He hablado con bastante gente de Venezuela. La mayoría de ellos no les gusta a Chavez a causa de lo que el ha hecho en el país. ¿Sabéis *todo* que el hizo, y ya hace? No lo creo. Tambíen leo los periódicos de Hispanoamerica, y creo que sé un poco mas que vosotros acerca de esta tema. Chavez es un tyrano como Castro, su amigo mejor. (Y mientras hablamos de Castro, he hablado con aun mas Cubanos. Nunca he conocido a un Cubano que le gusta. He oido cuentos que os daría el susto.)

I have spoken with quite a few Venezuelans. Most of them don't like Chavez because of what he's made of thier country. Are you aware of *all* the things he's done, and is doing now? I don't think so. I also read the Latin American news, and I think I know a little more than you about this. Chavez is simply a tyrant, much like his best buddy Castro. (And while we're talking about Castro, I've spoken with even more Cubans. Never met one who liked him. I heard stories that would scare you.)

street

Uh, em. Maybe you should turn off comments.

Gidgiddoni

Keep in mind also that they tried to recall Chavez. I've a few stories about that as well. You think *we* have voter fraud problems? Try living in South America.

Tom Grey - Liberty Dad

Great analysis, but the Left has a secret weapon. As the witchunts against MSM successfully continue, and blogswarms create opinion storms against CBS's Moonves (?) and the UN's Kofi Annan, some big MSM newspaper (NYT? LAT? WaPo?) will open up and promote a community of linkers.

And real fact checkers. Their secret weapon is that the success of blogstorms will keep showing them they need to change -- and their Leftist allies in the MSM will be told to change.

But it's a long term secret weapon -- I'm looking forward to lots more blogstorms around their fish bowls.
As long as they're doing more lying uncovered by MSM, the right blogstorms will be stronger.

Geek, Esq.

Cecil:

That was a nonsense answer, and beneath someone of your intelligence and honesty. Carter supported the invasion of Afghanistan and global efforts to combat terrorism. Citing his negotiations with North Korea as evidence of pacifism is silly. It proves nothing of the sort.

And, if we have so much spare military muscle, why all the stop-loss orders and call-ups from the National Guard? The logistics, uniformed troops, and materials necessary to support an invasion of Iran simply do not exist at this point.

And, neither, coincidentally, does the political will.

Electrolux

To be precise, it is the attention paid to Dailykos that is a problem for the Left blogosphere; not the existence of Dailykos itself.

As others have pointed out, freerepublic has long offered rightist users a similar platform to dailykos. But it is not the hub of the right blogosphere. For my part, I rarely even see prominent bloggers linking to it. Certainly it played an important role in Rathergate and other affairs, but most would-be bloggers with conservative sympathies do not get sucked into freerepublic.

Not so with dailykos; dailykos is fully mainstream. It is often cited by newspapers and lefty bloggers, and is even embraced by prominent Democratic politicians.

The danger of dailykos is that it (unintentionally) mirrors the larger blogosphere, with greater rules and restrictions. The Scoop software was created for kuro5hin, itself derived from slashdot and early collaborative blogs like freerepublic. It provides more freedom to its authors than a BBS or a blog comment section. But the real blogosphere provides far more freedom. By comparison, dailykos is hierarchical. Its rewards system discourages free thinking. These problems are shared by sites like freerepublic, but again, they are not accorded the prominent status that dailykos enjoys today, and so are not any danger to the development of conservative/libertarian political discussion.

In my opinion, Kos needs to remove the 'diaries' sideboxes entirely. He should encourage would-be bloggers to take the training wheels off and go get their own blogspot sites. This will make his site less popular. But it is critical to the health of the lefty blogosphere.

HH

Den Beste launched a few months before the Corner so I'm not sure if your memory on that is right or not. (In fact at the time the Corner started, the blogosphere consisted of virtually no lefty blogs (as we know them today) except for Ain't No Bad Dude, Josh Marshall (not quite as partisan at the time as he is now), Gary Farber and possibly Ted Barlow. The rest were: Instapundit, Best of the Web, Sullivan, Damian Penny, Matt Welch (Libertarian who voted Green, so he's hard to categorize really), Ken Layne (who voted Gore but strongly supported the war and attacked the left regularly at least up until Iraq), Brian Carnell, Spinsanity, Juan Gato, Den Beste, Dawson, LGF, Shouting 'Cross the Potomac (right and left but not partisan left), Neal Boortz, Tim Blair, Lileks, Media Minded, "More Than Zero" Hofer, Jarvis, Havrilesky, Listen Missy, Fly Bottle, Vodkapundit, Dailypundit, Bjorn, Asparagirl, Hawkgirl, Goldstein, Libertarian Samizdata, Ruffini, Pejman and myself.)

Cecil Turner

"Carter supported the invasion of Afghanistan and global efforts to combat terrorism."

Even one as politically tone-deaf as Carter couldn't have expected opposition to that conflict to have any practical effect--he was hardly out on a limb. And by "global efforts to combat terrorism," I suspect you mean: "global efforts short of combat."

"Citing his negotiations with North Korea as evidence of pacifism is silly."

You're right. Probably falls more under the heading of "appeasement."

"The logistics, uniformed troops, and materials necessary to support an invasion of Iran simply do not exist at this point."

You're outside your area of expertise here. There's no shortage of assault troops, and the preponderance of the logistics infrastructure necessary to support an invasion of Iran is already present next door in Iraq . . . precisely where it needs to be. The "will" argument is a better one, but it's hardly set in stone. And I'd also point out the loud protestations (especially by political figures on the left) that the US military is incapable of further action weakens the diplomatic hand of the US and makes a conflict more likely, not less.

But I think we're drifting somewhat off topic.

GT

I doubt you know more about this than I do gigdonni. Yes, there are plenty of people from Venezuela that don't like Chavez. Some of them live in my house! There are plenty of Americans that don't like Bush either. Some also live in my house.

Chavez has an authoritarian streak, no doubt. Be he is the duly elected president of his country. He won twice national elections, got his contitutioanl changes approved, and just won the recall. He is no dictator.

SteveL

Well this was an interesting topic, until it strayed into "the Iraq war is bad!". Then there's a whole segment on Jimmy Carter, the worst President of the 20th Century. A man who has moved steadily to the left since he lost the 1980 election.

Anybody care to revive the orginal discussion? I'm curious about the presence of more moderate left-blogs. You rarely hear about them, other than perhaps Pennywit. Is there a permitted alternative on the left side of the sphere? Does Atrios ever link them?

Geek, Esq.

Marc Cooper has an excellent blog that should get more attention from both sides of the fence.

Gidgiddoni

Quote:
Chavez has an authoritarian streak, no doubt. Be he is the duly elected president of his country. He won twice national elections, got his contitutioanl changes approved, and just won the recall. He is no dictator.
\Quote

Hitler was, technically, the duly elected president of his country as well. Yes, I know there were irregularities and intimidation; Chavez was quite guilty of this as well. But we digress.

Sorry for helping de-rail the thread.

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