It’s pathetic, and it’s why the internet is such a broken, stupid, aggravating place. It’s why nothing ever changes. Because nobody who has any clout, visibility, or stature is willing to risk their position at the party. Because it’s more important to defend stupid then to correct it. But there’s no reform possible; if any of them find this post, they will ask the crowd, “should we take this criticism seriously, crowd?” and the crowd will soothingly reassure them. It’s all very elegant. And it’s exactly these people who will complain the most about the stupidity and the brokenness. They create the conditions they say they hate, and they live in them, and they deserve to.This is Freddie deBoer explaining why he left a comment calling a paragraph "monumentally stupid" and why he hates calls for "being nice" on the internet. Temperamentally, I fall into the "why not be nice?" camp, but it's disturbing to think of that habit as a norm whose existence serves to protect my status on the internet.
Then again, there's probably a difference between people who get paid by publications to write things on the internet and some nobody teacher trying to think through his teaching life with friends. I'll stick to being nice until I grow up.
(By the way? That back and forth between Chait and Coates is great.)