Thursday, June 28, 2018

I'm Surrounded by Assholes

In the world of politics, there is something called O'Sullivan's First Law of Politics (sometimes called Robert Conquest's Second Law of Politics, but I can't recall which one came first). I don't want to get diverted into discussing those, so I won't delve any deeper (perhaps another day)*.
Instead, I'd like to propose a variation of these laws based on what I've been observing on various on-line forums.

Clausen's First Law of Web Forums: Any internet web forum not explicitly oriented towards intelligence and decency will, over time, become overrun by ignorant assholes.

I've had to leave multiple web forums over the last year or so because some members insisted on behaving poorly, preferring insults and abuse to discussion. The most recent of which was the neighborhood social media site.
Because I had the audacity to post a message requesting folks to be considerate on their use of fireworks on quiet Sunday evenings (in fact just about EVERY stinking evening since 2-3 weeks ago sounds like a war zone late into the evening), I was heckled and insulted by some of the members -- referring to me as unpatriotic, whiney, and (if you can you believe it) communist. That I don't understand what our military defends (my 23 years in the Air Force didn't sway them, either). They claim that it's their right to shoot off fireworks in celebration, and if I don't like it, I should move to some communist country.
Of course, I have no desire to subject myself to that sort of abuse, so I deleted all my posts and closed my account. With these sorts of forums, there is no way to block people, and no way to control membership so that such behavior can be mitigated. As more people like me get sick of this crap, they too, will depart. Soon, all of will be populated by nothing but ignorant assholes.

* Others have written extensively on these ideas; I doubt I can improve on them.  A few examples are:

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