July 10, 2008

"You're spending a large part of your life whoring after the affections of 12 people!" — says Mickey Kaus to Robert Wright...

... in this video clip that seems to be whoring after my affections:



Anyway, the answer to Bob's challenge to me is, of course: my comments section!

77 comments:

Meade said...

As a commenter, I'm proud to say that I whore for the affections of only one blogger. Okay, well, maybe two. Or three. But I only whore for the affections of one commenter because I'm not a greedy narcissistic liberal. I'm a greedy narcissistic neoliberal.

MacStansbury said...

Any discussion of like this needs references to the Pareto principle and Participation Inequality.

1jpb said...

macstansbury,

Do avoid the 10% of a Six Sigma inspired 10/70/20.

paul a'barge said...

Who the heck is Robert Wright and ... well, why should I give a frak?

Oh wait. I confess. I am so Althouse's 'ho. I live for the times when she links to my comments (Ha Ha).

ricpic said...

Such seriosity!

I liked Kaus' "I'll take a nap."

Thank God for comic relief.

Paul Zrimsek said...

Get that man a vortex, stat!

Verso said...

Mickey is simply discovering what was already well known, not merely regarding BHTV, but online communities generally.

http://www.useit.com/alertbox/participation_inequality.html

Just the way it is. Nothing surprising, and certainly nothing that requires courage to point out.


And Ann, your comments section is dominated by wingnuts. It's about 65% wingnuts, 30% orthodox conservatives, and 5% all other points of view. There is far (far) more diversity of thought at BHTV than there is your carefully cultivated right wing echo chamber.

blake said...

I think it's apparent that Bob hasn't read your comments much. There's less "me, too" than I've seen on any other single-person blog.

Which isn't to say your fans aren't fans. But the relationship isn't a simple one, politically.

Bobby Meachum's Aunt said...

I always wondered what happened to Dr. Cranes gay brother Niles.

Such a nice young man.

I hope he does not lead that poor english girl on.

Maybe thats why he wants the comments to be more homo-genious or whatever he said.

Verso said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
blake said...

The problem with those e-mail notifications is that you get them even when the original poster deletes them.

So, before you repost, Verso, if you decide to, be careful with those numbers you're throwing around.

Al Swearengen said...

That Kaus fella looks like Mickey Mouse's uncle who took him on a camping trip and gave him herpes.

Theres no reason to have truck with such hoopleheads.

rcocean said...

Bob ruthlessly mocks my response to Althouse at the 4:00 mark.

And I notice he didn't really respond to the statistics quoted.

The oddness of BHTV's comments isn't that "20 percent of the commentators make 80 percent of the posts". Its that you 1,700 commentators registered at BHTV and seven (7) of them have made 7,300 of the 15,000 posts.

And all 7 are all cookie-cutter lefties - who dislike Mickey.

Methadras said...

I admit, I'm on my back for Ann. Vive La France!!!

Verso said...

RCOCEAN,
I know you're very impressed with your observation about participation inequality in the forum at BHTV, but it's like that everywhere.

See: Participation Inequality: Encouraging More Users to Contribute

As for your total number of registered users, that's a useless statistic: hundreds were automatically signed up by the BHTV staff when they transferred from the old Phorum software to the new vBulletin system. Hundreds of those accounts have never even been used.

1jpb said...

Only a precise site-specific evaluation, like rcocean seems to have taken a good shot at, is useful. Looking at a mean, that may or may not be accurate (the references in that link are ancient, and I can't see the methodology), is very uninformative.

Here, is a great example of good data. And, the code is provided, and it's simple, for those folks that are interested in making relevant, fact based comments.

http://www.dailykos.com/storyonly/2008/5/24/163437/416

rcocean said...

Vesco,

Look at the numbers. Seven people have made 7,300 posts. Thats 50 percent of the posts. And they all have the same POV. Thats why BHTV is different. One person has made 3,000 posts. Thats not anywhere near 20 percent making 80 percent of the comments.

1,700 registered commentators. Lets say 500 are inactive. That still means 7 out of 1,200 are making 50 percent of the posts. Day in and Day out.

People like Maxine, Titus, DTL, Simon, Chip, Theo and Trooper used to post a lot. But they never even got close to making 50 percent of the total comments. And all of them had different POV's.

1jpb said...

Now that I look at that link, I see the code was given by the diarist in the comments. So, making it easy for y'all, here it is:

"I use Linux, so everything is scriptable from the command line.

wget to retrieve archived homepages, grep to extract story urls.
wget to retrieve the stories and comments.
grep to extract the usernames.

sort and uniq to count the users and 9 lines of perl to calculate a running total of percentages.

All together it took maybe an hour of hands on work, not counting the time to actually download the pages. I actually collected much more than 100,000 posts but I threw away the oldest ones to limit it to 100K each."

Bobby Meachum's Aunt said...

"I admit, I'm on my back for Ann. Vive La France!!!"

Is that what they call a bottom?

I am learning so much since dear Bobby bought me the cable.

PatCA said...

I do take issue with Bob's statement that this comment sections is like all the others. Who else has a commenter from the 16th century, Sir Archy, or someone who comments in poetry, like ricpic?!

Bobby Meachum's Aunt said...

I like that Simon fellow. He seems very smart.

Do you think he likes older women?

Paddy O. said...

Seems like the Althouse blog attracts characters more than a POV. People are encouraged not to think alike, but to think. To think creatively, and be interesting.

Ann doesn't like to be agreed with as much as she doesn't like being bored.

Ann Althouse said...

To be fair... it's only 18th century.

We are still waiting for contact from the 16th century, and of course, I would welcome the 16th century viewpoint.

Amerigo Vespucci said...

I am here dear lady to tell of those years.

Sad years.

Lonely years.

Searching for a northwest passage.

Simon said...

Verso said...
"Ann, your comments section is dominated by wingnuts. It's about 65% wingnuts, 30% orthodox conservatives...."

In your view, what's the difference between those two groupings, and in which do particular commenters here fit?

Bobby Meachum's Aunt said...
"I like that Simon fellow ... Do you think he likes older women?"

Maxine, this calls to mind a post I wrote about a year ago. I linked to and quoted an MSM story to the effect of "Kennedy key to result on Court" and added "Sun key to life on Earth." And that comes to mind because the MSM's observation there was an exercise in stunning perspicacity compared to the above-quoted observation about my aesthetic preferences.

Bobby Meachum's Aunt said...

I only ask because my husband has passed some years ago.

Do you like you some brown sugar?

I like to dance.

I only have to use my walker some of the time.

Amerigo Vespucci said...

Ive probed many an inlet and passage to find my goal. Always to be the dissapoint.You must of forgive as Englesshe is not my primero. But I stand at your serive. I Amerigo Vespucci say it so it must be so.

1jpb said...

Simon,

To be sure, it's lame that I'm commenting this twice today. But, I just found it and it may help with your quandary.

according to the definitive and infalible Urban Dictionary, a w***nut can be:

"3. ...all-around tough motherfuckers. Will fuck you up without a second thought if necessary, but will have your back and get you shitty in your hour(s) of need..."

This is great on many levels, but the idiom with a plural for hour is particularly amusing.

To atone for the second take I offer new right wing content:

http://directorblue.blogspot.com/2008/07/afps-exclusive-new-photo-of-irans.html

Ann Althouse said...

LOL. Hi, Amie.

Ann Althouse said...

I think most of the commenters here have the kind of distanced or complicated relationship to politics that I have...

Amerigo Vespucci said...

Ciao Bella. I kissa you hand and lick the small hairs on your wrist with my praticed Florentine tongue.
Your salon reminda me of the court of my patron Lorenzo de' Medici. Tell me, is it all such ina the
Mundus Novus. Its been many a year since I have been back.

blake said...

I think most of the commenters here have the kind of distanced or complicated relationship to politics that I have...

I've always felt that politics were a huge waste of time as such, as they tend to be arguments about things we don't really understand or things we're being obtuse about to score points. I prefer honest history, when it can be found.

You write less about political ground wars than you do about the tactics, perspectives and oddities. That makes the politics we have to live with a little more bearable.

Bobby Meachum's Aunt said...

You know Simon, they make edible Depends.

Simon said...

1jpb, I thought it was just a trite leftospherian insult for anyone to the right of Joe Liebermann, but Verso's usage suggests middle ground.

Bobby Meachum's Aunt said...

They come in vanilla, banana and chocolate.

sean said...

If you want a blog with serious yet civil discussion in the comments, probably the Volokh Conspiracy is your best bet. On most blogs, those in the majority political preference tend to mob any dissident voices and drive them away. If there is a dissident voice who won't go away (see, e.g., the comments section at Balkinization), the level of invective gets very high, much higher than the level at which most people are comfortable, so the number of participants declines.

This blog is a lot of fun, but most of the time the discussion is not that serious, so it doesn't meet Wright's challenge. This blog is also different from most because it always seems as if the commenters are seeking the approval of the blog proprietor, which is the reverse of what Wright and Kaus are discussing. This feature is doubtless the product of some rather obvious sexual dynamics.

Ruth Anne Adams said...

always seems as if the commenters are seeking the approval of the blog proprietor

/Harvey Fierstein voice/
I just wanna be loved. Is that so wrong??
/Harvey off

Meade: Now if you were a knee-o-liberal, we might be able to come to an arrangement.

rcocean said...

"This feature is doubtless the product of some rather obvious sexual dynamics."

Is "sexual dynamics" like Dynamite sex? If so, I'm for it.

1jpb said...

rcocean,

I think sean has a message for you:

http://www.urbandictionary.com/zoom.php?imageid=2337

rhhardin said...

I can't follow what they're talking about.

Comments are basically one-upping.

The same thing happens with comedians (real audio, Nov 3, 2001) in a room together.

Meade said...

But Ruth Anne darling, that is what a neoliberal is - it's just an alternative spelling, that's all. Now will you leave your loving husband and adorable children and run away with me? Say yes and I will ride all night to swoop you up on my motorcycle before the cruel Carolina sun rises.

Paddy O. said...

I'm at Volokh a lot as well and while I find their comments quite interesting I think it's a huge miss to think they're more civil or balanced than here. Over there, for instance, religion gets jumped on rather heavy, making for quite uncivil.

To say this there isn't seriousness here is to really miss the level of the discussion that weaves high and low quite intelligently. People have more of a sense of humor here, not less seriousness.

That's also a lot more of a blog with a particular focus. This is more of a general interest blog, making for varied conversations.

"This feature is doubtless the product of some rather obvious sexual dynamics."

I think this is a pretty chauvinistic thing to say. Volokh mostly has men, ergo it is more intelligent and comments are all about just making balanced points? That's where the men go to have their brandy and smoke cigars and talk about the serious issues?

Ruth Anne Adams said...

No.

Zachary Paul Sire said...

1. Bobby Meachum's Aunt is NOT Maxine. Trust me.

2. I don't want to sound shallow, but I see the screenshots of the big faces of these Mickey Kaus and Robert Wright people and I have no interest in pushing play and having to listen to people who look like that actually speak.

3. This is the only blog I comment on (aside from my own). I like it here because only about 10% of you agree with what I'm saying 5% of the time, at best. I don't like hanging out in an echo chamber.

4. Ann is the only blogger with a likable personality who doesn't force her views down your throat. It's something I've come to love more and more as I've entrenched myself in the blogosphere this past year.

Ron said...

Jeez, Ann should leave money on the dresser for Bob! ...and his investors!

Meade said...

And I'm guessing, trying to stay calm and rational here, not overly emotional but logical, reasonable, even predictable, that down there in the Tar Heel state the word "no," with a capital "N" and a small cute-as-a-button and oh so feminine "o" probably means pretty much the same as it does in, oh say, South Dakota?

Ruth Anne Adams said...

You'd guess correctly.

Simon said...

Zachary Paul Sire said...
"1. Bobby Meachum's Aunt is NOT Maxine. Trust me."

I've been here for a while, and I'll bet a dollar that it is.

"I like it here because only about 10% of you agree with what I'm saying 5% of the time, at best. I don't like hanging out in an echo chamber."

Ditto on both points.

reader_iam said...

FWIW, I'm thinking that in Bob's final comment (in terms of the excerpt), the key word of circumscription is "civil," and with some specific, more traditional meaning attached to that. Just an observation, based on some experience with both sandboxes (and, if I may say so, a host of others).

***

I love BHTV, which should come as no surprise to any longer-term, regular commenters here, much less Althouse, who knows that full well.

The thing is, I was one of the earlier "transistors" to the podcasts, to which I listen inveterately (and every once in while, in specific cases, more than once). Due to my consumption mode, the comments aren't immediately, much less pressingly, relevant. On occasion, I travel over specifically to read them, but, so far, have not been drawn in. Even if I grant that this is totally about me (the IRL me, not specifically the part that is reader_iam--though, yes, also the read_iam part), it still is what it is. And yet I'm in one of the demographics which BHTV has indicated it would like to suck in more.

Since, when I get right down to it, I don't in fact think that RIA's IRL person (or reader_iam's personal, for that matter) is unique in a rather large number of key respects, what does that tell you? Or, more to the point, Bob?

(Also, maybe Mickey, but that's a whole 'nother thing.

I like Mickey, by the way.

Bob, too.)

Meade said...

You're sure?

Ruth Anne Adams said...

Quite.

reader_iam said...

That should be: "reader_iam's persona"

blake said...

2. I don't want to sound shallow, but...

You shoulda stopped there if you meant it.

Also, you don't HAVE to look at it. Heh.

reader_iam said...

HAH!!!

I betcha Ruthanne would meet ME for a drink, if I asked.

Hey, baby, if it can be squeezed in this summer or fall, ya want that my kid and your kids should meet up? I'll pay for the sitter.

Meade said...

Well then, just for the sake of clarity, let's review:

>Neoliberal/Knee-o-liberal/neat-o-keen-o liberal - all meaning pretty much precisely the same thing

>Crazy about one specific charmingly fun and funny cute fellow commentor

>Harley

>Night Rod®

>High-revving, liquid-cooled V-Twin surrounded by the diamond-like precision unique to Harley-Davidson. The fiery soul of a dragster gone way beyond the quarter mile.

>All

>Night

And "No" still means what I suppose it has to mean?

Ruth Anne Adams said...

RIA: Absolutely.


Meade: It's not you. It's me.

Ruth Anne Adams said...

RIA: We can do a short road trip to see Annie G.

Meade said...

*sigh*

In that case, I must beg your kindness, lovely lady, that I shall retire to my lonely bed of nails to dream my fleeting dream of a certain "bare exquisite [Wisconsin/Carolinian] aristocratic elbow" and hope to find a way to face another dawn. Alone. No dog. No maid. No joy. With only my high-revving, liquid-cooled V-Twin and half a box of high fiber cereal.

Good night, my dear.

reader_iam said...

Good Lord! What's come over Meade?

Must be all the sockpuppets in neighborhood recently.

Or someone-or-other here who earlier invoked the need for posters with a sense [senses] of earlier eras. Whatever.

This place has begun to scare me... .

blake said...

Reader!

Get out of there!

The posts are coming from inside the blog!

former law student said...

I liked Kaus' "I'll take a nap."

Thank God for comic relief.

That Kaus fella looks like Mickey Mouse's uncle who took him on a camping trip and gave him herpes.

2. I don't want to sound shallow, but I see the screenshots of the big faces of these Mickey Kaus and Robert Wright people and I have no interest in pushing play and having to listen to people who look like that actually speak.

I like Mickey, by the way.


Normally I don't push play on the embedded videos, but insomnia means I have 8'56" to spare.

Every time I see Mickey Kaus's face I think, "Boy, I forgot Robert Klein's brother teaches P.E." And I think the comic relief at that point was not from Kaus's comment, but from the viewer's wondering if Kaus's nose-rubbing was going to become actual nose-picking.

bearbee said...

That Kaus fella looks like Mickey Mouse's uncle who took him on a camping trip and gave him herpes

Mickey Mouse meets Ichabod Crane

Bissage said...

(1) I really enjoyed watching those two guys. They complement each like a good comedy team.

(2) You're spending a large part of your life whoring after the affections of 12 people!

Well . . . maybe so . . . but maybe he needs the eggs.

(3) I know that's true for me, anyway.

(4) cluck, cluck, cluck, cluck, cluck, cluck, cluck, cluck . . .

Bissage said...

And honestly, what kind of a sensible person doesn't whore after Althouse's affections?

cluck, cluck, cluck, cluck, cluck, cluck, cluck, cluck . . .

Michael_H said...

""You're spending a large part of your life whoring after the affections of 7 people!" - says Mickey Mouse to Snow White..."

Richard Dolan said...

"You're spending a large part of your life whoring after the affections of 12 people."

That's (unfortunately) true of a lot of life beyond blogging. A law professor friend once lamented that he had spent a lot of time on an article, eventually published in Minn LR, only to note that it had never been cited even once. The same fellow, who writes commentaries on NY practice, keeps careful tab of the number of times he is cited by the NY appellate courts. Bloggers (and blog commentors) are no different. It's just a truism that everyone likes to have their work noticed and appreciated, and (like my professor friend) it's not so important whether you know the people who are doing the noticing. It seems that there's less to Mickey's put-down than first appeared.

But I don't think it's true that most commentors (here, at least) crave the approval of the blog host, as if Ann were a teacher handing out gold stars on third grade homework assignments. The threads just take on a life of their own, not always for the best and frequently having only a tangential relationship to the original post. In addition, there's usually an interesting mix of give-and-take here, including a lot of thirtysomething cleverness devoted to the find art of insulting one's opponents. I'm always amazed at the energy people put into doing that.

1jpb said...

Richard,

I noticed and appreciated your comment.

Al Swearengen said...

Everyone hates a hooplehead with no sense of humor Dolan.

Thats why I prefer to talk to a dead heathens noggin. Even the decapitated can enjoy whimsy.

Al Swearengen said...

Good thing I aint running this establishment. At the Gem I have the whores kick their customers out of bed by dawn.

Bobby Meachum's Aunt said...

I do not think she is finished vomiting yet.

Poor girl.

1jpb said...

Al,

The quick multi-post redux with the headless theme is uncharacteristically weak.

Revenant said...

I see Robert Wright has discovered something new to be mistaken about.

Henry said...

Robert Wright always makes me laugh. He reminds me so much of Buster Keaton in A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum.

Al Swearengen said...

Everybodys a critic chief. Most don’t know anything about head, decapitated or not. But not shy of voice their opinions. That’s a hooplehead for you.

Ann Althouse said...

Zachary Paul Sire said..."1. Bobby Meachum's Aunt is NOT Maxine. Trust me."

Please explain why. Feel free to use email.

Po said...

I admire Mickey's work in Idiocracy (at 2:32):

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JVPKNIGCztk&feature=related

lurker2209 said...

Hm...maybe I should cultivate a commenter personality by offering commentary from the 24th century...