101 Blogs on Anarchism (and some guides)

I’ve populated the postrank topic on Anarchism and here I explain how it may be of use to you.

PostRank Inc.
Image via Wikipedia

Inspired by the latest postrank rankings of the Anarchosphere, I decided to improve upon the initial number of Anarchist blogs that I’d added in the past to the topic of Anarchism. To this end, I’ve basically scoured the internetubes and added around 60 new blogs to the topic bringing the grand (current) total to 101 tracked sites.

Now you may be wondering what’s the point of all this. We already have an aggregator after all. Well the thing is that postrank goes a bit futher than simple aggregation as it offers some extra features and capabilities that I’m certain some of you might find useful.

The Benefits of a postrank topic on Anarchism

  • It allows you to not only subscribe to the RSS of the topic, but also to balance between the quality and the quantity of the content you’ll end up seeing so that you don’t get swamped with posts from more than a hundred blogs. For example this feed will only display the posts from each site which have a very high engagement for that particular blog. This does not mean that you’ll be seeing only the most popular sites as the rating of a post is judged to the relative engagement of all other posts within the same site. More info here.
    It also provides you with more ways to subscribe. While you can do it the usual way of simply subscribing to the RSS of the topic, you can also simply export an OPML file with all the blogs and add them as individual feeds to your own Reader granting you even more control.
  • It avoids a centralized management as is the case of a normal Aggregator like Anarchoblogs. While there’s not reason to expect that the an admin like RadGeek would decide to start arbitrarily banning and removing sites he does not like, it still puts some limitations such as is the case in every benevolent hierarchy. Practically, there’s probably going to be little difference but with postrank you ensure that the control is more distributed and moderation thus happens faster.
    This means that you can go right ahead and add your own blog to the topic if you think you deserve to be there. While I tried to include as many as I felt should be there, doubtlessly I will have forgotten or not discovered them all. If you find you’re not included, just go ahead and add your anarchism-related blog as well. I will post a short guide on how to do this later on.
  • It provides some interesting statistics to see how popular you are, which are your most engaging posts and how active you are on the social web compared to other sites in your topic. Eventually, at the end of the year, you will also see how well you did and how your popularity rose or dropped and you can even get a nice badge for your site 😉

So if any of this is of interest to you, just go ahead and play around with the system and see how you like it.And no, before you ask, I’m not affiliated with Postrank in any way. I just like the way it works and the functionality it provides.

And now, some instructions.

How to add your own site to the Anarchism topic of Postrank

  1. Navigate to the anarchism topic
  2. If you haven’t used Postrank before, you’ll need to create an account. You can use your google or yahoo accounts to login as well AFAIK or simply an OpenID if you have one.
  3. Once you’re logged in click to manage the topic.
  4. Where it says “Add Feed” put the url of your blog. If “nothing found” is returned, it means that your site is not yet in the Postrank index. Don’t worry, it’s a few seconds’ work to add it.
    • Put your site’s url in the search textbox on the top right and press enter.
    • A new page should open from postrank, telling you that they do not know this site but will add it ASAP.
    • Go back to the management page for the topic and add your url to the “Add feed” box. The name of your site should now appear below. If it doesn’t, try removing the http:// in front of your url and leave only the domain name. The site should appear then. If that still doesn’t work, try to remove any trailing backslashes from the url and try again.
  5. Press the little green “plus” sign on the right of your blog’s title. The whole title should now become green.
  6. Click “Save Changes”. Once the page reloads, you site has been added to the topic. If you were just added in postrank you really won’t have any rank or info. Wait a few hours/days and check again. Your blog should appear at some position in the topic feeds. Visit its postrank page to get more details.

Congratulations. You’re now part of Postrank’s anarchism topic 😉

How to get only higher quality posts from the anarchism topic (or any topic for that matter)

  1. Go to the posts area of the topic.
  2. On the top, use the drop-down menu to select the quality you wish. It goes like this in regards of quality: All < Good < Great < Best. The higher the rank, the less posts you’ll get to see but all of them should have relatively high engagement for their blog’s standards.
  3. Once you have the quality you wish, click on the “RSS Feed” link on the right. You will notice that the URL has a number on appended on the end. That is the engagement rank or higher that a post needs to have before you’ll see it. You can change that number to 10.0 to see only the best of the best (note: this will be an extremely low quantity feed. Alternatively if you’re using google reader or bloglines, click on their relevant links instead.
  4. Use your browser’s controls to add the feed to your reader or do it normally via cut & paste
  5. There is a chance the feed will timeout if Postrank’s servers are overloaded. In that case you’ll have to copy the feed’s URL and add it to your reader manually. Once the servers recover, you’ll start seeing new posts.

Be aware that getting your feeds via postrank’s aggregation is going to be slower than going to the source due to the fact that a post needs to be first grabbed, then analyzed and once it has a high enough rank, presented in the feed. Therefore expect hours or even days of delays for each quality-filtered post. This shouldn’t be such an issue in general for non-news related sites as blogs are in general.

If you want new posts to appear ASAP on your reader on the other hand, your best option is to export to an OPML file and add all the feeds as individual sources to your reader. However, with this way you won’t have any filtering based on quality. If you use an online reader, you can use the special tools to achieve the same result instead.

So that’s about it. I hope you find it as useful as I do and feel free to contact me about any issues you find with it or to just let me know what you think about it.

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A prime example of AnCap "monolithy"

“Anarcho”-Capitalists wasted no time in showing how truly rigidly their beliefs are stuck in a shallow dualistic “Our way or statism” idea.

Monolith and Mini
Image by brian glanz via Flickr

Remember my previous quote of the day where a commenter was pointing out how rigid the “anarcho”-capitalists are and end up seeing everything in duality: “Our way” or Statism? Not even a week passed and here I am, reading the comment field of a C4SS post where the most perfect example of “Monolithy” decides to get into a flame war with Kevin Carson of all people. The whole thing really starts going around here:

And it’s no surprise that Kevin Carson — who has been trying to convince anarchists and libertarians that labor theory of value wasn’t trashed by Ludwig von Mises — supports junk science. He’s a practitioner of it. If Thomas Hodgskin, Benjamin Tucker Dyer Lum, or Voltairine de Cleyre, for that matter, had lived long enough to read Human Action they would have understood why labor theory of value is the refuted nonsensical notion that a thousand hours of labor to make a grandfather clock makes it worth more than a jug of water to a man dying of thirst.

But the statement that Kevin Carson makes that he’d like to see every carrier group of the U.S. Navy on the bottom of the Indian Ocean shows what a vulgar radical Kevin Carson is. Kill thousands of men and women merely to satisfy his radical flash? Perhaps Mr. Carson isn’t aware that hard-core libertarians like Brian Singer — who commented on Carson’s post to Brad Spangler on Facebook — is currently serving in Iraq as a volunteer member of the United States Army, and might have caught a ride on an aircraft carrier. Is Brian Singer someone you want on the bottom of the Indian Ocean, Mr. Carson?

It really takes talent to be able to both show how horribly you misunderstand the LTV and how much you fail to understand the words of others. Needless to say that JNS was thoroughly skewered by Kevin in the comments in a fairly enjoyable manner which I urge you all to read for the lulz.

However, when this is exactly the kind of people LibSocs have to argue against online all the goddamn time, is it any wonder when our patience for this nonsense starts to fray around the edges? It seems that lately you can’t make half a step in any area relating to economics, anarchism or US politics without some self styled “Anarcho”-Capitalism who has taken Rothbard, Mises and Hayek as his personal messiahs and has only a half-arsed (mis)understanding of all the rest of the libertarian movement, start to foam at the mouth at the mere mention of the dreaded words of “Socialism”.  You get comments such as this:

It comes down to this. I believe Kevin Carson is an outcome-based rationalizer. He wants to bring back labor theory of value not because there is any actual reason to do so now that we understand how value is really arrived at but because it allows him to bring back all sorts of outdated arguments from people who were really good for their time and because we venerate these people as forward-thinkers we have to listen to them debate ideas that were wrong but they didn’t know any better.He does this because in his heart it’s not state capitalism he has a problem with but the actual free-market which has the nasty outcome of winners and losers, and no soft fuzzy blankets which he can use to remain popular among the socialists and communists who are looking to deny the reality that libertarian economics means they have lost.

He hates the United States not because it’s statist and imperialist but because — at least for another few hours — morally superior to the socialist sewer.

Other than that, I will only point out that Kevin Carson is wrong to believe the Global Warming denial crowd which seems to be trying to make the recent email hacking and spreading to be a practical coup d’etat of the AGW theory even though actually doing a thorough analysis shows that there’s little meat to the hysteria.

Of course it’s only to be expected to see that the more rightwing-leaning of the C4SS crowd like Kinsella, to immediately jump and proclaim their unwavering denial of AGW with the same junk science they claim to oppose. A prime example of Selective Skepticism. I would like to say that I am surprised by it, but I’m not. As I’ve explained before, I fully expect the right-libertarians to deny reality when it ends up throwing a spanner in their ideology as their economic gurus are and were so fond of doing. Kevin says it best.

The reasoning process goes something like this:

If global warming is real, all is lost for libertarians, because the need for statism follows as a direct implication.  If global warming is real, it will prove the liberal Democrats are right:   the free market has led to disastrous results at least in one particular, and the state is necessary in at least this one case to correct market failure.  In other words, given the premise of global warming, libertarians of this stripe see the big government argument as something that follows legitimately from it, as a matter of course.  So global warming cannot be happening.  QED.

Of course the internal reasoning of Right-“Libertarians” does not consciously go like this but rather they desperately look for all sources that can confirm their bias, which is formed subconsciously by the above process.

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