Rules are Hard




PZ Myers is in the process of learning another life lesson-

New commenting rules

What are they?

The ongoing meltdown in Thunderdome and the departure of Chris tell me we’ve got something that needs to be fixed. I don’t quite know how to fix everything, so let’s crowdsource it — you people leave comments here telling me what rules you think might work to get the knifey-bitey-smashy atmosphere to lighten up a little. Just a little.

In other words- You guys have pretty much taken over my blog and I don’t have the slightest idea how to regain control without it looking like the Jonestown Massacre.

I don’t know about the rest of you but I have mixed feelings when I watch PZ go through this type of thing. On one hand it is amusing to see someone who deserves it realize they have made a mistake and have no way to resolve it. Another part of me feels relieved that PZ may finally stop a behavior that has been damaging to others not to mention his own dignity.   Then another part of me can’t help but wonder- How a man with his education, age, who has raised children can be so completely fuck dumb as to not see this problem coming or maybe take steps to stop it from occurring at all? It’s amazing.

Not only does PZ find himself held hostage by his commenters but he can’t think of a way to get control back so he asks……the people who are causing the problem. Suddenly PZ can’t figure out how to ban people? He can’t figure out what he accepts as proper/improper behavior? Who the fuck owns his blog anyways? An even better question is- Who does he allow to dictate what he considers acceptable behavior on his blog? He can’t figure it out himself? I’m guessing the minute he makes some rules and enforces those rules he is going to see his little horde dissipate because they won’t be able to handle rules. Maybe PZ realizes this also. Another perk of asking the crowd is that anyone who complains later can’t blame PZ, he didn’t make the rules. You readers made the rules so you can just live with ’em!

I suppose this is another instance where we should be relieved that PZ isn’t in a formal leadership position anywhere. I can see him telling a rioting crowd to come up with some ideas on how to better control itself

If PZ Myers wants a couple of suggestions that will get his comment section back in line with sanity I’ve got a couple.

1) No personal attacks/namecalling

2) limit comments to 3-5 per member per blog post. If there is a topic that has proven to encourage a interesting conversation then make an exception.


(3) Grow a spine and treat people equally

These first two alone would get things under control in no time IF they were enforced. Despite PZ realizing there might be a problem with his comment section he is still light years away from understanding how or why he has this problem in the first place. Part of the reason for that is- It’s his own fault . He is to blame and he created the problem. Now that he created it and encouraged the behavior he now wants to stop, he can’t figure out on his own how to do it.

The world sure is a challenging place for PZ Myers isn’t it? It sure looks that way, poor fella.

  • He has to realize that taming the horde he has created is not going to be an easy task. Any limits he tries to place on them now probably won’t be well received. Your suggestions certainly make sense. Of course, it is tough to say no personal attacks/namecalling by those commenting when that is nearly all the blogger does. If PZ really wants to fix the problem, leading by example would be a step in the right direction.

  • It thought these people had Jehovah as the pilot of his life and it seems Jehovah can’t tell him who to accept, who to ban. rofl

  • Pingback: Rules are Hard | Reapercussions | WealthShare Society()

  • gmgauthier

    He should be running a bulletin board, not a blog. That’s the way it’s being treated.

    Ultimately, though, the problem isn’t the technology, or the rules, really (whatever they would end up being). It’s the fact that PZ is interminably morally muddled, lacks any clear standard for making good judgments, and is incapable of weathering any of the nonsense bullying that arises in response, because of that missing standard. Every “line in the sand” he’s ever drawn, has been one that other people have drawn FOR him — whether justified or not, and he’s incapable of discerning the difference.

    It’s tragic, really. PZ isn’t just ruining his own career. What he’s let fester at FTB is becoming a vortex into which all the gains of atheism over the last 25 years are going to be violently sucked away, like a pinhole in a spaceship.

  • bismarket 1

    1st thing that came to mind….”Doctor, heal thyself”

  • PhoenicianRomans

    These first two alone would get things under control in no time IF they were enforced. Despite PZ realizing there might be a problem with his comment section he is still light years away from understanding how or why he has this problem in the first place,. Part of the reason for that is- it’s his own fault

    Myer’s central problem can be easily illustrated with a simple thought experiment – what would happen if you tried posting that exact comment in his blog under your own name?

    • cant, I’ve been banned long ago

      • PhoenicianRomans

        And, if you had been unbanned and made that point, you would immediately be banned again,

  • PhoenicianRomans


    His latest post has Myers getting all high and noble about changing his policy at conferences so he will speak even if others he doesn’t like are there.

    But the kicker is the last paragraph:

    One more thing: conference organizers, I expect you to have the spine to
    refuse to cave in to suppressive demands from other speakers. I’m
    promising not to make those demands, I’m expecting you to refuse to
    honor them from others.

    i think he’s figured out, to his horror, that people do NOT support what he did to Shermer, whether or not Shermer is actually guilty, and that he’s starting to feel the heat of rejection. So, in his typical fashion, he paints himself a hero while claiming it would be “spineless” to pay attention to his detractors – who seem to be applying the same tactic he’s been trumpeting in the past.

    He’s been all for social shunning in the past. Strange how his tune changes when it’s him that’s fucked up…

  • Brive1987

    He was simply ‘hosing the dogs down’ by air waving the threat of rules.