Burning old love letters

October 14, 2017 § 21 Comments

I first ‘met’ occasional commenter and current knight-of-the-blogroll Semiotic Animal in the comment boxes of the Acton Institute.  It appears though that the entire comment thread at Acton was deleted, at some point: at least I don’t see any comments when I call up the page.

That’s too bad.  That particular comment thread was an interesting exercise in schooling ideological free marketers on the actual medieval understanding of usury, as opposed to strawmen crafted through extremely selective curation.

An explanation for the disappearing comment thread is as mysterious and impenetrable as an explanation for the Las Vegas mass shooting.

UPDATE:

The Acton moderator replies:

Thanks for bringing that to my attention, Zip. I stand corrected. Not intentional. Probably a WordPress or Disqus issue created when we updated blog theme earlier this year and brought over comments. If you care to repost a comment and discuss specifically, feel free.

Mike T made the original thread available on archive.is.

§ 21 Responses to Burning old love letters

  • TomD says:

    This why conspiracy theorists are so sad; they refuse to look big enough and instead settle on “it was the CIA/Jews/FBI/Illuminati/Opressors/Sub-human/Nazis what ruined it all”.

  • LarryDickson says:

    I do not understand TomD’s remark. I looked up the Acton thread that Zippy referenced; zero comments indeed. Has anybody tried poking other Acton threads of about the same time and see if their comments got stripped too? Maybe Acton has a policy of removing comments after exactly two years (the thread is dated Oct 7, 2015).

    The main thing I know about Acton is their book “The Hobbit Party”, in which they try to co-opt J. R. R. Tolkien for corporate gigantism, which is about equivalent to co-opting Alexander Solzhenitsyn for Stalinism.

    I have a conjectural explanation of the Las Vegas shooting, based on no secret information. The man was childless and apparently led an empty life. What if he thought like the famous commenter CBSExec? What if he admired the Scalise shooter and hoped to do a better job? Maybe there is a whole subculture of liberals who think of self-reliant pioneer types as “Repugs” and are OK with killing them, just as feminists (enablers of Harvey Weinstein) are OK with pro-life women being raped.

  • […] Subjugator of Liberals, Conqueror of Conservatives, Besieger of Baradur, Defender of the Faith by a Single Provident Beneficent Act has both established the Noble and Honorable Order of the Blogroll and knighted me, lowly servant […]

  • The Acton blog recently went through a revamp and perhaps that was the cause because the site says 35 comments though none are displayed. For what it’s worth I’ve requested the comments be put up again.

  • Zippy says:

    LarryDickson:

    None of your suggestions about the Las Vegas mass murderer sound implausible to me. And childless narcissism probably makes someone more susceptible to a temptation to murder; but it hardly seems adequate in itself. The explanation for which we have actual concrete public evidence is violence induced by psychotropic drugs.

  • Zippy says:

    semioticanimal:

    Technical glitch does sound plausible. But now I wish I’d saved off a copy of the comment thread.

  • Wood says:

    Well as an aside and as someone who “met” dear Zippy through comments at WWWtW years and years ago when I was a Protestant and yet phoned my priest to enroll in RCIA while reading the Usury FAQ, I could not agree more with SA’s post. Many happy returns to Zippy, his friends and relations, and his readers.

    So very strange that reading about free markets and usury – former bedfellows of mine – led me to rejecting bad ethics and bad religion. Zippy, in all seriousness I hope you’re never tempted to lay down your keyboard!

  • Mike T says:

    All,

    Archive.is is a great site for quickly creating a high fidelity snapshot of a web page. It’s highly useful if you run into a controversy and want to make sure the “Internet never forgets.”

  • Zippy says:

    Thanks Wood.

    I’ve always ended up writing about unexpected (to me) subjects. By temperament I’m a pretty stereotypical born-in-the-heartland American. (I thought the recent movie “Logan Lucky” was genius).

    I hope you’re never tempted to lay down your keyboard!

    All the time; but I keep learning stuff from you guys.

  • Zippy says:

    Mike T:

    I didn’t think of Wayback and wasn’t aware of archive.is. Thanks.

  • TomD says:

    The internet – preserving all the crap you wish it didn’t, and none of the stuff you find out you need. Perverse!

  • How in the world do you even obtain numbers for how many people are living in “extreme poverty” in the 19th century? I also can’t find anything in the links that defines “extreme poverty.” I rather imagine that the numbers and definitions are somewhat tainted by what moderns would consider “great need” compared to what those in the 1850’s would consider “great need.”

  • Hrodgar says:

    Re: Tim

    I expect what they did was make a model for years we did have data for, though I doubt they accounted for varying methods of collection, and then assumed that this model (which, remember, is only a model, not the data itself; WMBriggs would have a field day with this) would extrapolate cleanly into the past. Notice how smooth and parallel the curves are up ’til about 1950 or a little later?

    To add to the ridiculousness, if you look at the bottom of the chart, the phrase used is “absolute” poverty. Is that like absolute zero? The only indication I can find of what they mean is that at 1820, the line for people who don’t qualify is practically at zero. Apparently pretty much everybody in the world lived in absolute poverty until 1820, though I expect most would have been surprised at the news.

    I do think it is interesting that we have this fetish for precise numbers but are so sloppy with definitions, even definitions of what we’re measuring.

  • TomD says:

    Reminds me of The Chart and its variations.

  • Mike T says:

    I rather imagine that the numbers and definitions are somewhat tainted by what moderns would consider “great need” compared to what those in the 1850’s would consider “great need.”

    The life of a person on the full suite of welfare programs in 2017 has the buying power of a solidly middle class person circa 1917.

    “Your poor can buy cars?” said the middle class professional of the progressive era. “Are you sure they’re ‘poor’?”

  • Mike T says:

    Also, our poor are in the top 5% of quality of life on a global scale today. I would imagine there are a lot of people in India who’d give a kidney to be an oppressed minority in Baltimore or another city.

  • Rhetocrates says:

    Also, our poor are in the top 5% of quality of life on a global scale today. I would imagine there are a lot of people in India who’d give a kidney to be an oppressed minority in Baltimore or another city.

    Something something migrant crisis something something…

    Turns out, yeah, they would – in fact, they are.

  • […] broke out at the Acton Institute blog in the comments to this post.  [Link updated 10/18/2017: see here.] My latest comment has not been approved as of this writing, but I thought y’all might be […]

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