Finally a way for the reader to provide feedback easily

Adding the capability for readers to quickly provide feedback on blogposts without having to comment has always been a wish for me. The Emo-Vote WP plugin now allows me to achieve this.


Damn, I’ve been trying to find this plugin for a while now, ever since I’d discovered clickcomments ((And stopped using it due to its slowness. That service has now shutdown due to hosting costs. No wonder as the whole thing was extremely centralized)) I’ve been trying to get a similar solution running on the Division by Zer0 but there was nothing of the sort, at least as far as I knew.

So as a workaround I used another similar plugin called WP-Likes which did almost the same thing but unfortunately was limited to only one option and hard-coded to “Like”. It was a compromise while hoping that it’s developer might include the multiple-choice functionality in the future.

Fortunately I didn’t have to wait that long. Through a chance encounter with the Sikkdays blog, I noticed exactly what I wished to have: Three little icons at the end of the pos, allowing people to rate/judge a post according to emotion. A quick question to the admin, led me to the plugin responsible for this, called Emo-Vote.

Fortunately, I didn’t have to stay with Emo-based titles as there is a customization possibility and I quickly switched to Slashdot-based ratings, which are far more descriptive of how people might find the topics I write about.

So you’ll notice further below that you can now vote for each article on how you found it. Options are based on how I think opinionated blogposts can be judged as, such as interesting, boring, funny etc. I’d like to have a couple of options more, such as “disagree” etc, but I think for now the current capability is enough.

But why do I think that this kind of functionality is something beneficial to have on one’s blog? A few reasons.

First, it allows people who had a reaction to the article from some perspective (say, finding it informative) to state so without having to write a short comment about it (which is far more time-consuming than a simple click of the mouse.) In a sense, allowing the author to see how his articles are being received from a part of the audience he couldn’t see before. The silent majority. And as I consider comments and feedback in general as the main measure of success of blogposts, a way to increase that cannot be anything but good.

Second, it provides some interesting statistics, such as being able to see which are my top funniest topics, which are the most boring etc, according to audience interaction. This in turn one can publish on sidebars or a particular page so that new visitors can quickly find the most interesting content in the blog according to their tastes. It also provides the author with valuable information on what kind of topic he should concentrate on, based on previous success.

Lastly, it has potential. What Postreach attempted to do but failed due to its centralized nature, perhaps can be achieved by blogs federating amongst themselves. So for example, perhaps there will be a way to export such ratings to an aggregator which would allow anyone visiting it to quickly find new insightful, interesting etc posts from different blogs. Of course that would require than many use the same rating names or some other working system. Who knows, perhaps the Automattic will be willing to host such a service for the benefit of their userbase. But yeah, potential.

So anyway, I really hope I’ll see you all clicking away below, and you should even see this as an option on your RSS reader. 😉 Normal comments are of course welcome as always and do let me know if you think that a category should be swapped to something better.

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Comment Hell with Intense Debate

Intense Debate has b0rked and is phasing in and out of existence. Needless to say, this is fucking up all conversations.

The Rocket Breaks Down album cover
Image via Wikipedia

For the last month, Intense Debate has been behaving extremely badly. It’s been hiding comments from everyone, on seemingly random rates and times. Basically, at various occassions, replies to particular threads would disappear. Sometimes it would be just one or two replies, at others it would be the whole thread past the first reply.

And while this started out mild, as the month passed, it has grown progressively more intense, to the point where now there’s always at least some replies missing, and at worse, hundreds of them. This is even more annoying since those comments still exist in the system (ie, I can see them in the dashboard) but appear sporadically. So in one refresh I will see 90/100, and the next refresh I will see only 15.

Unfortunately, the developers have really dropped the ball on this. Even though this seemed from the start as a quite important problem, and even though this was reported early on, there was initially no response, then there was some non-functioning workarounds, and finally the problem was acknowledged just last week after me and other started screaming bloody murder. Incidentally, it was at this point where this was becoming unbrearable which I assume meant some of their big name clients started complaining as well.

So now, this is creating a comment hell situation for me, especially for the long discussions I’ve opened with Lockeanists and the like. Not only do many people get confused about their disappearing replies, but they also get the impression that I’m secretly deleting comments. And this just too much.

So for now, I’m going to stop replying to comments until this fucking issue is resolved. This is not say that I will leave your replies unanswered, but that I will only start a conversation, when a conversation can be maintained. Of course, this assumes that IDC will get their act together and fix this annoying bug ASAP. If this does not happen, I may have to do the unthinkable and remove it altogether in order to be able to discuss again.

Needless to say, this whole situation is seriously pissing me off, especially since I’ve been a devout proponent of IDC for a while now.

I’ll be updating this post with the status of this comment hell in the future.

UPDATE1: It seems that the IDC folks have finally located the code causing this and have produced a fix to stop this from happening in the future. Now all that’s left is fixing the problem as it already exists and they plan to push an update for this once they know the fix worked.

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Comment Wars Meme: Why Intense Debate is superior to Disqus

The last post on war: Thoughts, wishes, duty.....
Image by FlickrJunkie via Flickr

In recent months, outsourcing one’s blog comments to a specialized comment engine has become quite trendy for many people. Of those specialized engines, two are gathering the most publicity, Intense Debate and Disqus. I jumped onto this comments outsourcing bandwagon about half a year ago and my choice was Intense Debate Comments (IDC from now on). Not only have I not regretted at all but I’ve become such a staunch evangelist for this system that I have made quite a few converts 🙂

So what is this post about? Well, yesterday, Friar Zero asked my via email why I preferred IDC over Disqus. The simple answer is that IDC was the one I stumbled onto first, quite randomly while using the Get Satisfaction support (GSFN from now). I discovered Disqus shortly after that but since I had already taken IDC for a ride, I saw no reason to start all over again and Disqus was not also using GSFN so as weird as it sounds, that was a major reason for me at the start.

But of course that’s not a proper reason and I think it’s time for me to actually write  in detail why I preferred one over the other. And since I’m doing that, I thought I might as well make this my first meme and perhaps trigger others to explain for themselves why they use their current choice. This will hopefully create a body of opinions which might give bloggers enough information about each option from all sides of the argument, to make an informed decision.

So the rules of the Comment Wars meme are the following:

  1. Declare which system you prefer and perhaps give a short history of your decision.
  2. List the reasons of why you prefer you current system choice over the direct competitor (If you’re using IDC, your competitor is Disqus and the other way around).
  3. (Optionally) list the reasons why you prefer your current system over your blog’s default comment system (WordPress, Blogger or Typepad most likely). If you’re still using your default system, instead list the reasons why you consider it superior to both IDC and Disqus.
  4. Link to the person who tagged you for this meme.
  5. Link to any other people who are using any third-party comment system of whom you care to know why they chose as they did.  You can also link to any people who are still using the built-in comment system and you want to know why. Make sure to leave them a comment or send an email to inform them that they have been tagged.

So without further ado

Why I prefer Intense Debate over Disqus

Some Horrible Threading in Disqus
Some Horrible Threading in Disqus

1. The threading looks and works much better

The original thing that drew me to IDC was the capability to have threaded comments and this is still the thing that breaks or makes the deal for me. IDC threads simply look natural, with the little arrow pointing to the reply below, with the reply being just a tad to the right (so as to allow a lot of threading before you run out of space) and where the end result just looks natural.

On the other hand, Disqus threading, to me always looked ugly. Blocky comments which simply begun below and quite a bit indented which had the result of quickly running out of space. This became painfully obvious when I participated in a lengthy discussion through disqus and after the 13th reply, it stared becoming very annoying to continue (sample on the right)

On the contrary, in the Division by Zero, I’ve held a 30 deep-thread going without any major inconvenience. Granted, it helps that I have a variable width template (why waste screen real-estate) but it is mostly because of the way IDC conserves space and builds the thread.

It would be impossible to hold a 130-reply thread going without good layout and the fact that I did and it’s actually readable from a visitor’s point of view, is a major success.

The only thing missing (from both systems) is a way to connect a reply to the parent comment, but IDC already has the collapse thread function and I know they’re working on better solutions.

2. They seem to innovate in the correct direction

While both systems have taken a generally similar path in features, and even though IDC came later to the party, IDC seems much more full in features that Disqus. I’ve been seeing a lot of new features such as the recent ability to paginate comments in order to keep the page load fast, or the capability to keep your wordpress comments synced both ways with IDC.

I do not know what the recent innovations of Disqus have been to tell the truth as I don’t pay attention to them so I can’t really compare the relevant speed they advance. A quick look at their blog tells me they do provide a lot of good stuff as well but I get the impression that they are more interested in making more fancy features rather than strengthen and make the comments themselves as good and solid as possible.

3. Email notifications rock

By now, I’ve gotten email notifications for replies by both systems (and from builtin solutions) and I can safely say that IDC was the best for the following reasons.

  • They send a notification immediately after a reply is posted to a thread below your comment. That is, if you leave a comment and someone replies to it, you get a notification. If, after 3 days, someone replies to the reply to your comment, you are still notified, as this is continuing from a point you raised. I find this great to keep a conversation live and going ((It’s been a while since I got such a notification as I generally comment on my own blog where I get an email for everything. Last time I remember, this functionality was the case but it may have changed since)).
    On the other side, Disqus seems to send notifications only every 30 minutes or so (thus some times passes before you get informed that you got a reply, and by then you might have gone to do something else) and then you only get notifications if someone responds directly to your comment. You don’t get informed if someone continues the discussion that you started.
  • The email notification includes your response to that comment as well, so you can immediately see the context of what they are replying to. This is quite important as it’s very often that I do not remember what I was saying at the time.
  • It allows you to reply by email. Granted, so does Disqus, but not the built-in systems.

4. They are (now) owned by Automattic.

This is more of a personal preference than anything else but it really made my day when I learned about it. To clarify, Automattic are the makers of WordPress, the Blogging software the Division by Zer0 stands on and, for me, is the best you can use. That IDC is now backed by the skills and expertise of those people gives me much optimism about the future.

And since WordPress is a Free Software, you never know, perhaps we’ll be able to convince the IDC people to finally liberate their code (it’s for their own good after all 😉 )

To tell you the truth, I can foresee Disqus being acquired by WordPress’ rival in the blogging battlefield: Blogger/Blogspot, or more accurately, Google. If this happens, things will get…interesting.

5. They use Get Satisfaction and their support guys are top-notch

GSFN has become one of my favourite places to seek support and it was actually how I came to discover IDC as I explained at the start. Their support guys are still active over there and they generally provide excellent support (although a few times I did go for weeks without solution). I’ve had issues which were reported only by me actually looked by a developer to find a solution very quickly. Although some times I really felt like pulling out my luxurious hair, eventually a solution was found and the than all was right in the world again. But no matter what, very rarely will you find a support person volunteer to help you scour your blog for possible problems just to make sure that everything is ok.

Unfortunately I do not know how quick the Disqus support is but the fact that they use their own support forum generally does not make me happy.

Another big benefit of GSFN is the ability to separate ideas from other support issues and get an idea of how many other people want the same idea to happen. Quite a few of the things I’ve proposed in the past have already been implemented and the devs generally pay attention to what their userbase asks for. This counts.

6. They integrate very well with WordPress

At the moment of speaking, the IDC wordpress plugin merges very well with the platform. Not only can you manage your comments in the same way as before (bulk moderation etc), but it also gives you some extra functionality, like the ability to reply to comments from within WordPress moderation or filter by author.

I won’t claim that the plugin is perfect as I have suffered quite a bit through it (I was testing it since the alpha) but I can safely say that for most people it should work flawlessly and if you have a problem they’ll be able to fix it for you quickly 😉

And with these six points, I finish my reasons on why I prefer IDC over disqus. Very shortly now, I’m going to present…

Why I prefer IDC over WordPress’ built-in comments

1. IDC has threading

As I said, this is a deal-maker for me. While wordpress can achieve threading with plugins and the newest 2.7 has it built-in by default, in my site it never looked nice and you could not thread more than once (or the theme broke and I couldn’t fix it). IDC worked out of the box, and much much better than I could ever imagine. Indeed, I was so impressed with the Threading capabilities of IDC that I could now change my Comment policy to allow discussions to flow much better.

2. Email Notifications

While wordpress can do this with plugins again, it doesn’t do email replies.

3. I can keep my site is less bloated

WordPress can indeed handle email notifications and threading and whatnot but all of these are extra code that needs CPU power to run and on a shared hosting like mine, every little bit counts. Granted, IDC hasn’t been the fastest kid on the block until now, but recently the devs put it on a diet and with some new comment organization features, they’ve made it much faster to load.

That means I can get all these functions and anything more the developers cook up, without having to worry about updating 3- or 4 different plugins which might break each other or slowdown the site.


In my eyes, IDC is and will remain the better choice for most people who want something superior than what comes with the box. I’m certain that the competition with Disqus will remain heated but this only benefits us all in the long run

Below you will find a poll where you can vote, as a blogger or as a commenter, which system you prefer. If you take part in the meme, feel free to link here for others so that we may get a bigger view.

[poll id=”4″]

And finally, to tag some people to get some opinions and spread this meme. I’ve tried to tag a nice spread of systems to get various opinions on this.

Anyone else who is reading this, feel free to take part as well and let us know why you chose as you did. let the Comment Wars begin!

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Why providing an email when commenting here improves your experience

Leaving comments at this site will greatly help you stay in the loop and continue participating in the discussion.

Image by paral_lax via Flickr

To all new commenters (of which I’ve been getting a lot recently) I would like to make a suggestion. You have probably noticed that I have a javascript based comment system ((Actually, you can still comment even if you have javascript deactivated, but it doesn’t thread and so you get comments very disconnected)) and there’s a lot of threading going on. This is very useful for longwinded conversations where many points are discussed at once but it has the problem that it’s not as easy to find when you’ve been replied to.

The solution to that exists. When you comment, you have the option of providing your email address, which I notice that most people do not fill in, I guess because of concerns about spamming. That’s not  a problem in itself but I wanted to point out the benefit you have when you do provide it. Mainly that you get email notification about new replies to your own comments.

The way it works is this: If you’ve filled in an email address, whenever someone responds to a comment you made directly, by using the “post reply” button directly under your comment (not the one in the end of the comment list), an email is dispatched to your address informing you that someone replied to your comment and also quoting what you had said (to jolt your memory).

At this point, you can follow the provided link which takes you immediately to the new comment, so that you may reply directly, or you can reply by simply replying to the email itself (that is, no need to visit the site at all). ((The later option is still a bit flaky sometimes but in general it should work.))

The biggest advantage thus is that you can continue in the conversation without having to take any extra action by yourself like subscribing to the comment RSS or visiting repeatedly to check if any new replies have been posted. It allows makes the discussion to progress faster and more intensely (pun intended)

There is also one side benefit to providing an email address in that if there is something wrong (as was the case when the “see more replies”  link broke) I can send you a direct email to inform you that no, your comment is not lost or deleted (as many assumed) and I’m working on fixing the problem.

So that’s all, if you can, I would ask you to provide an email address so that you don’t lose track of the conversation and you can easily continue without having to scour through the comments.

I’m aware that you may have a valid concern about providing the email that I have not considered and perhaps we can find a workaround. So if you still do not wish to use it, I’d love to hear why.

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The Reddit Community and Why It's Useful for Freethinkers

So you’ve used the reddit voting system, you got some hits and you love the minimalism of it. By now you may have even gotten a post on the front page by which point you may have noticed quite a lot of comments, a lot of them inane, while others are long-winded. Should you care or pay attention if they’re not commenting on your own blog?

They’re talking about your thoughts and opinions aren’t they?

If you’re like me, and your main purpose in blogging is to spread your knowledge and replicate your ideas in other minds, comments are your bread and butter. There’s nothing else I give more credence to, than receiving comments (well, receiving trackbacks is also nice) and apparently the reddit community is more than happy to do just that.

The reason why so many people comment on reddit, instead of your own site is the same reason reddit is attractive in the first place: Ease of Use. It is much simpler for a logged in redditor to leave a comment on the story link than to leave in the comments of a blog. This just reinforces my impression that comment usability is important.

Just compare how many comments Vjack’s latest (excellent) post has received, compared to how many are under the reddit story and you will see what I mean.

Another useful feature of reddit is that it makes it easier for people to continue a conversation once someone replies to them. It is not as good as getting an email as with Intense Debate, but as soon as someone visits reddit, they will be able to see that they have a new message, which is really the direct reply to a previous comment. This really keeps the conversation flowing, unlike a blog where unless someone subscribes to the comments, they will most likely forget. If you want people to pay attention to your writing, you have a chance to make them pay attention there 😉

Some may have some reservations about the quality of the comments that one may find in reddit. I’m glad to say that from personal experience, the maturity level of the redditors is quite higher than, say, digg. Not ony do you find great commentary but if you’re lucky, you can get some instant blogging material as well 😉

As you’d expect, comments can be voted as well. This has the effect of making the least liked comments drop to the bottom while having the more insightful ones immediately visible. Very good for avoiding trolling and finding the interesting stuff to reply to.

“What about Karma?” I hear you ask. Well, in reddit’s, it’s not a case of a silly woo-woo belief in metaphysical retribution but it is a semi-accurate representation of a user’s activity and success in reddit. You get rated both on the quality of your comments and your posts. It’s not really important but it’s nice to see increase.

One final thing, relating to the various subreddits. What I have noticed in the Atheosphere is that generally the same news keep being recycled over and over. At some point one can always read so much about Crackergate, pedophile priests and whatnot. Using the various subreddits to subscribe to the things that interest you will not only allow you to increase the various subjects you might write about but it can help you posts your articles in various categories and reach a wider audience.

Sometimes it is worth hearing opinions outside our limited circle of the Godless.

The Debate is Intensifying

Just thought I’d let y’all know that Intense Debate is stepping up their game.

The obvious thing that has changed is that they have completely revamped their hompage layout. It now feels more clean although imho the old one was not looking bad either. You can take a look at how it looks for me from the thumbmnail below.
Nevertheless, I like the new one as well and I can’t be unhappy when finally my OpenID works as well 😀

My Dashboard

The also have support for Akismet which is awesomeness. Anyone cooperating with the WordPress guys is top man in my eyes. Any money that goes to them is certainly coming back to me in the form of a better WordPress.
Plus, Akismet is pretty fucking efficient 😉

But the best part is yet to come. I’ve been waiting for their new version of the WordPress plugin since June for many sweet stuff has been foretold about it. SEO on comments, keeping your comments in your wordpress etc. Well, apparently this is coming out today as well, or at least the announcement dates. I can’t help but feel that this is partly in retaliation to the recent Disqus upgrade. Hopefully they did not rush this out for a very buggy plugin will only turn people off.

Still, this plugin has great shoes to fill. Reading about the Disqus features, my mouth waters and I need IDC to not simply catch up, but overtake them. I have faith that they will achieve it as I know some of the names working on it and that makes me feel hopeful. Add to that all the ideas I’ve given them over the past few months and I’m certain that great things are a-coming.

Still, this rapid pace of upgrades only shows how good open competition between startups is for the rest of us 😉

IDC is growing better by the week it seems and I keep finding more uses of it constantly. So, get in the game already and join my growing list of converts. Don’t worry, no mind-altering techniques have been employed, other than my charming wit of course 😉

A Quickie

OK, on rapid succession before I hit the bed:

  • I finished version 0.9.5 of Complexlife. It now includes support for stumbleupon and reddit, an option to simplify the settings menu by hading the extra options and some code improvements.
    This is 5 minor versions since the fork. Go me!
  • I finally added a favicon on the Division by Zer0. I wanted to do this for a while but I never got around to it and I also didn’t have anything in particular I wanted to use. Finally a guest post from Pharyngula gave me the idea to use the atheism symbol which looks cool enough.
    It took me a while to figure out what the correct code is but a little Google prayer and I got my divine answer.
  • We now have 22 Atheists in Scoutle which is pretty impressive if you consider it was only 4 days ago that I mentioned it. However the more impressive news is that found a fellow Epicurean blogger through the new network I setup. Coolness!
    So, for the rest of you who haven’t joined yet. What are you waiting for?! Git!
  • I now have an actual Comment Policy so I’d appreciate any opinions on it 😀


Threads and Comments.

Threaded comments are the next best thing to happen to blogs since trackbacks. It provides fluid and concise interaction and the ability to keep easy track of the discussion and the commentors engaged.

yeah man, like totally
CC - Credit: skampy

Let me get this out first: I love comments! It is very enjoyable to interact with people who happen to read my little corner in the internetubes. Yes, seeing from the stats that 100 or 200 people have read an article is nice but how do I know if they agree or disagree. How do I know if I made a horrible mistake in thinking or gave someone a fantastic insight without realising it?

This is why, if there’s any thing I’m constantly improving here is the commenting experience. I wish it to be as easy as possible to see what others have to say and hopefully strike a conversation and this is why I have found Intense Debate Comments (IDC) to be so great for that purpose.

I’ve explained before how IDC owns Blogspot native comments and now I want to explain to you why IDC is so good if you’re as big a comment addict as I am.

I was reading this excellent post about getting more comments on things you write and it gives some solid tips of which many I plan to follow in the near future. The very first tip was the most important imho as well

1. Be active in your own comment threads.

If you’ve commented recently here you’ll have noticed that I very rarely leave a comment unanswered. The exceptions usually are when the discussion is at an end or when there’s nothing to really reply but “thanks” (and sometimes I even do that). Now, normally, in a classic commenting system, comments just fall under each other which makes them not so easy to read through. People utilise blockquotes or threading hacks to make this easier but most of the time it only become marginally better.

If I write a post and then go to bed and get 10 comments, in the old system the only thing I can do is create a long reply and just reply to each commenter by name (classic way is by prepending @name before each reply or with blockquotes). This is generally not only time consuming but doesn’t look half as good as it does with threading. Using a threaded system I can reply to each commenter directly and have it look as it should: a personalised reply. If that person decides to reply more, this allows us not  have a conversation at this point which just flows so much better. Just see my latest post as an example.

But there’s another hidden bonus when you use intense debate. When you directly reply to someone, he automatically gets an email informing him of that, along with the reply text and what they replied to. As someone who is using his emails as a primary notification system, I can tell you that being able to see their comment along with my reply makes me very eager to reply. If you want to maintain reader interaction, there’s nothing better.
Oh, and did I tell you that people can reply to comments via replying to that email? Can’t get any sweeter.

But the benefit of threading do not end here. Do you know those very complex and long-winded discussions where each person end up quoting the others points in order to reply to each. Have you noticed how each point becomes a discussion of its own and the whole answer becomes pretty much impossible to follow? Nevermind that the length of each comment is doubled due to the quotes and the extra time and checking it takes. I’ve had that. A lot. It’s ugly.

However, recently in a very…err, intense debate I asked my opponent to stop using blockquotes and instead reply once to each specific point he wanted to and I would do the same. If one of us wanted to reply to subpoints in a reply, we were to split it with blockquotes to two different replies so that the opponent can then reply to each if necessary.

To my eyes, the results were much, much more readable. You can see that even though the discussion went for quite a length and there were many points to be discussed, a third party can easily start reading a point to its end without getting confused with the rest. Compare that with this lengthy argument I had at Dailight Atheism and decide for yourselves which one is more easy to follow.
Plus, I practically reduced the size of the discussion in half by taking away all the quotation and it went much quicker due to the email notifications. I’ve now made this a comment policy at the Division by Zer0:

If you’re going to have an argument here, thou shalt use threaded individual replies and keep thy quotes to a minimum.

Of course it pays that I have a variable width template here and the comment box can be wide enough so that threading does not end up squeezed at the side. Not unless I get a 20 deep thread I guess 🙂
Still, I never understood why people go for fixed width templates and sacrifice all their screen real-estate.

I’m going to close this article here for now but rest assured that this just one of the benefits I’ve discovered with the threading through IDC. I’ll go into them in a future post.

Yay! More Randians come out of the woodwork.

OK I admit that I’m starting to make it a habit of toying around with Objectivists. For me it’s impossible not to be playful when my “opponents” take themselves so fucking seriously. Plus, they seem to get riled up for no apparent reason, other than, you know, being debated, which further provokes me to make fun of them. And finally, I just can’t seem to be able to avoid them!

This episode, started in a post of the Atheist Blogger who had just discovered Ayn Rand from one video where she had a chance to skewer some theistic thinkings. Since it was at one of the finer moments, Adrian was honestly impressed, which is why I felt I had to jump in and inoculate him, before this horrid philosophy ruined yet another decent person. I was once again in a playful mood.

Which is why, when as expected, Objectivist apologists descended upon up us, (to call us irrational or something) many lulz ensued. However when the last of them posted a huge comment, starting with “All of this is directed at Db0“, I just knew I was in for the epic one. 😀
In all honesty, I could just post the comment here by itself, without any commentary, and it wouldn’t miss much of its hilarity. But of course I know you don’t want to miss my sharp (as a spoon) wit, so without further ado, I present you: Jongalt (LULZ who iz Jon Galt?!).

Ayn rand philosophy:
My philosophy, in essence, is the concept of man as a heroic being, with his own happiness as the moral purpose of his life, with productive achievement as his noblest activity, and reason as his only absolute.

?Ayn Rand, Atlas Shrugged 35th anniversary edition[4]

Dear Jon, this is just a fancy quote. not a philosophy. It is so vague as to to be meaningless.

a strong belief in a supernatural power or powers that control human destiny; “he lost his faith but not his morality”
an institution to express belief in a divine power; “he was raised in the Baptist religion”; “a member of his own faith contradicted him”
Nope. Dont see it there….lets try cult

Are you going to quote definitions on me for everything? *Looks down* Oh, I guess you will *groan*
I guess that you are not aware that you can be perfectly fallacious with definitions? In any case, be aware that religion does not mandate fate of deities. One can very well be an atheist and still be religious.

followers of an exclusive system of religious beliefs and practices
fad: an interest followed with exaggerated zeal; “he always follows the latest fads”; “it was all the rage that season”
followers of an unorthodox, extremist, or false religion or sect who often live outside of conventional society under the direction of a charismatic leader
a religion or sect that is generally considered to be unorthodox, extremist, or false; “it was a satanic cult”
a system of religious beliefs and rituals; “devoted to the cultus of the Blessed Virgin”

Hmmmmm, i guess it could be a “sect”, but that would be by virtue of teh fact that it is in opposition to exstablished systems. If thats teh case i can live with that fact, I enjoy living in reality, whether you seem to think it doesnt exist or not.

You’re kidding me? Your definition just proves how it is a cult. Need more evidence? here!

You say that ATHEISM is not a philosophy:

Oh Gawds! I don’t believe you’re seriously going to attempt and define atheism as a philosophy…

doctrine: a belief (or system of beliefs) accepted as authoritative by some group or school
the rational investigation of questions about existence and knowledge and ethics
any personal belief about how to live or how to deal with a situation; “self-indulgence was his only philosophy”; “my father’s philosophy of child-rearing was to let mother do it”

Whoa, I guess it is. Maybe you want to back peddle a bit? That might be prudent at this time.

Gee, yathink?
Dear Jon, maybe you should have looked up the definition of Atheism instead. if you did, you would have noticed that other than the non-belief in deities, Atheism promotes no beliefs and neither the “rational investigation of questions about existence and knowledge and ethics“. Indeed one can very well be an Atheist and have absolutely no reason to do investigate questions about existence or knowledge.
True, atheists are very likely to also philosophise due to their inquisitive nature, but it is by no means mandatory to be considered one. All you need to do is not to believe in Gods. Fullstop.

Dbo. As Rand has stated and reality dictates, WORDS HAVE A SPECIFIC MEANING.

Don’t you really hate it when people try to defend their positions with…their position? I know I do.
Jon, unless you didn’t realize it, I don’t really care what Rand states and I laugh at your attempt to tell me what reality defines.

Just because you choose to make them mean something else doesnt mean that reality follows. I guess, you could petition webster, britannica and numerous other private companies to add in there:
“Any system by which men come to conclusions using reason and choose to live life according to reality.”


Anyway about your words argument, just look at the history of the word “Gay”. ‘Nuff said.

Your angry because you cant have your OWN system without contradictions and be allowed to go about your business. Thats fine i guess, until those contradictions are imposed on other people. That is all Rand would argue, besides obviously, you being an irrational person.

Who’s angry? WHO’S FUCKING ANGRY!!
Nah, not me.

Anywayz, who says my system has contradictions? Fuck, you don’t even know what my system is, how can you tell if it has contradictions? Projecting much?

Although I would argue that your in that wagon, since i assume your an atheist and since you reject the idea of a supreme being are therefore living according to reality using a rational system to determine if the claim has any Epitomological value…are you?

Your problem is that you use reason (which is the means to knowledge) to say that epistomology has nothing to do with reason and i quote

“Epistemology is about knowledge, not a life system as Objectivism tries to be. Modern epistemology is Science, not Objectivism. On not-so-epistemological issues, like morality, Objectivism falls flat on its face.”

MODERN EPISTOMOLOGY: What an unnessesary addition. Epistomology was the pursuit of knowledge 8000 years ago exactly like it is today. Just because our understanding of things changed doesnt mean that our means of doing it has also. IE reason.

Errr, yes it has. It’s called The Scientific Method and it’s been in use only in recent centuries. Yes, reason plays a big role but there are some other things in play.

As for objectivism not being science? LOL

Oh Gawds. I dare not read further…

systematically acquired knowledge that is verifiable.

Ill gladly state positions held by objectivists and
verify them for you. heres one.

Reality exists. Simple to prove, I need you to hold your breath and under no cirrcumstances try and breath. Reality will shortly exert itself over you.
if you dont like that please walk to the nearest mountain and attempt to deny that gravity will yank you to the ground at (9.8 m/s/s (please see newtons law of gravity, which by your standard doesnt exist since knowldge changes day to day I guess, or its just not “modern”).

Gee, you’re a proper nuclear scientist you are.
So, just because one of the positions held by Objectivism is true, then the whole philosophy is? I guess then Christianity is true because, hey it’s not good to steal…
Btw, did anyone ever tell you that as an axiom this is as basic as they go? I could practically base anything on it.

Morality is not based on EPISTOMOLOGY?!
Next time you goto a store try and walk out with not paying the groceries instead, since your morality doesnt require knowledge you should be fine.
Although i warn you, try and remember that you, at one time, were probably told or show that if you do this you will be punished….

Go kill a man: Im sure since you have no knowledge that this is a terrible thing you will be fine. And the knowledge of this has changed since yestarday apparently

Do not feed your child: Since morailty isnt based on knowledge this is fine, how could you know that your child would die?

What!? Can you even separate “knowledge” from the “pursuit of knowledge”. Fuck man, many theists manage to stay relatively moral even when not using epistemology at all. They just have their morals hammered on them as children and don’t bother to ever revise them.

Look, there are moral systems that are attempting an epistemological take on morality, but Objectivism is certainly not one of them.

Here ill help you out once agian. Here is something no other philosopher ever told me and you probably need to hear.

1.)Check your premise. A=A
2.)Reality exists. (You can’t eat your cake and have it to)

NoOoOoooo! I’m meeeeelting….

Oh wait, no I’m not.

However the lame quotes are really killing me. You forgot Man qua man (qua man qua man…ad infinitum)

I also remember feeling like a jack ass when her philosophy made me reject a good portion of another woman I respected prior to her Madalyn Murray O’Hair, the specific book i speak of was called “All the questions you ever wanted to ask an American atheist, with all the answers.”
I vaguely remember trying to go back and read that after aquainting myself with Rands philosophy and realizesing that Mrs.O’hair only had one thing right:
A god doesnt exist. Or at the very least is not within our capablity of Knowing, and further speculation is irellevant, its like looking for unicorns on mars, why assume first when we should go and see then determine it? Any ways, what did she use to determine this? The exact same thing Rand uses to build her understanding of the world, and her system, that you use 1/2 the time, and every person I would hope in this forum uses to formulate answers:

Yes yes, everyone uses reason to some degree. It’s only that you Objectivists, like Theists, can’t seem to be able to use reason to look at your own philosophy. It’s called introspection and because of your dogmatic and cyclical view on reason (Objectivism flows from reason and the only reasonable thing is Objectivism, hence if you criticize Objectivism, you’re not reasonable etc..), you have a very effective way of both mentally lobotomising yourselves and ignoring critical arguments.

And with this, the LULZ are over I’m afraid. All said, this little comment did give me something to write on a slow day and I’m certain it might keep me busy in the days to come.

Be sure to visit the original thread where Mark C is in the process of beating him into a pulp as well. I only hope more of these Objectivists come here to stun me with their amazing quotes from Rand.

Now that I said quotes; has any Objectivist after Rand actually made any new quotes? Are they too unworthy to be mentioned or is it that the rest of the cult is going to just dismember the heretic who dares to consider herself quote worthy? Just curious…

Intense Debate Comments > Blogspot/Blogger Comments

Dear Blogspot/Blogger users, I can see that unfortunately my previous arguments for switching to a better free blogging platform has not convinced you. That is unfortunate but I however have another request to make of you.

As I mentioned in the previous article, the blogspot commenting system sucks donkey balls. It pains me every time I have to leave a comment and I have to suffer the horrible captcha and interface (among others). It honestly deters me from leaving the occasional comment as I can’t be bothered to go through all this hassle.

You may have also noticed that I have recently taken a liking to Intense Debate Comments and I have already installed it on all the wordpress blogs I manage, even though the wordpress commenting system is quite adequate for most.

Thus I would like to ask you all blogspot users for a small favour: Please, please, switch to the IDC system. It is painless and it will also grant you so much of a better way to handle them than before. I don’t have to list all the features here as you can easily check the website itself for that but in short, what you will get over blogger is:

  • Comment writing on the same page of the main post (no need to open a new one)
  • Comment editing
  • Much more ajax-y, web 2.0, sleek look. That way people find it easy to leave a comment
  • A greater management of comments (reputation, threading etc)

Screenshot of Evolved and Rational with Blogger comment  systemScreenshot of Evolved and Rational with Intense Debate comment systemFor Comparison, on the left you can see how Evolved and Rational looked before, and on the right, you can see how it looks with IDC

So, dear Blogger/Blogspot users, please listen to my appeal and give it a try. Do it for my peace of mind. And if you have any problems I’d be glad to give you a hand.