Daily Kosplay (or Conversational Parameters)


Will Truman

Will Truman is the Editor-in-Chief of Ordinary Times. He is also on Twitter.

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48 Responses

  1. Avatar Kim says:

    DailyKos has republicans that post there. Yes, the site is explicitly designed to elect Democrats, but that doesn’t mean they don’t have crack citizen reporting some of the time.

    DailyKos always does a bit of a “falling apart” when Presidential Time comes ’round. People get way, way more heated about it than about anything else… So a repetition of the rules is getting thrown out there… Again.Report

    • Avatar Morat20 in reply to Kim says:

      They’re actually pretty light with the ban-hammers, at least historically. The two biggest waves I recall were 9/11 Truthers and “Kerry Won Ohio” folks — they banned anyone posting the first, and started banning the second a week or three after the election.

      They don’t like crazy people, on their side or not.

      And they’ve always been, as noted, pretty firm on “Once there’s a nominee, we tighten up. Don’t come spewing right-wing BS in here, and don’t play the “I won’t vote” card, we don’t care and we don’t want it”.

      I peruse the site every few weeks to take a pulse on things, and I have to say it’s just not worth it to wade into half the election diaries, and doubly so for the comments. People get so thin skinned during primaries. And then they get over it.Report

  2. Avatar Damon says:

    “Places like Daily Kos or Redstate have it a bit easy because there is no pretense of aspiring to a free exchange of ideas. ”

    Of course not. People don’t generally go there to “discuss”. They go there to have their opinions validated and vent against the other side. Kos is just ensuring that his site aligns with “the program”.Report

    • Avatar Will Truman in reply to Damon says:

      They do discuss, though. They just discuss within more specific parameters. (Strategy rather than goal.)Report

      • Avatar Chris in reply to Will Truman says:

        I’d compare it to Shakesville, where there is discusison, but the stated and unstated parameters of the discussion are extremely limiting. Even though at Shakesville the initial reason for limiting the discussion is to make sure people who’ve historically been too intimidated to speak feel comfortable doing so, while the explicit reasons for limiting the discussion at Kos involve promoting a candidate/party, the results are going to be pretty similar: an echo chamber with an extremely narrow range of views.Report

        • Avatar Kim in reply to Chris says:

          Um, Okay. So when DailyKos is posting legit engineering articles about the potential for our world ending (10% chance, granted)… this is what part of this “limited discussion”?

          There are explicitly banned things on DailyKos, as they’re seen as corrosive to the general debate/discussion and tenor of the site.

          That doesn’t mean that the exact opposite is all that they do.

          (or that they get all the investigative reporting right…)Report

    • Avatar Kim in reply to Damon says:

      And how is this any different from /b/? Granted, they’re generally anti-pedophile and anti-FBI…

      The people who don’t go online to have their opinions validated are generally trolls.Report

      • Avatar Damon in reply to Kim says:

        Most people might, but quite a lot do not. I certainly don’t visit this site to have my opinions validated.Report

        • Avatar Kim in reply to Damon says:

          I’m smiling sweetly over here, and thinking on how I had you down as part of the trolling contingent.Report

          • Avatar Damon in reply to Kim says:

            I do not intentionally troll. I gave that up when the Anarchy Online forums got aggressively moderated. And my trolling skills always were only fair. Perhaps you confuse me stating my opinions as trolling? Note that if I play devil’s advocate I’m not trolling. And I do like playing that advocate.Report

            • Avatar Kazzy in reply to Damon says:

              Damon is quite clearly not a troll. He’s got a particular worldview (don’t we all?!) and a terse, sometimes provocative way of offering it and a constructive willingness to poke and prod.

              I don’t always agree with you, @damon , and sometimes find myself frustrated by you… but that is a good thing.Report

              • Avatar Kim in reply to Kazzy says:

                Trolling is also a provocative way to poke and prod at people.
                If and when my latest two reviews (one as yet unwritten) get published, I may take a stab at explaining a bit more about this. School Days makes a great story to review, anyhow, and it’s a seriously fine game.Report

              • Avatar Damon in reply to Kazzy says:

                Thanks Kaz.

                My terse-ness is a product of my occupation. I’m not a write by trade. I deal in numbers.Report

            • Avatar Kim in reply to Damon says:

              I do intentionally troll, when I can. I find it’s a good intellectual exercise.
              I was not behind the neopets debacle, I swear (though I do know the guy who was…).

              I was more speaking to your tendency to munch popcorn rather than getting overly involved in things.

              (of course, my friend the troll creates situations to munch popcorn over. See Jeb Bush’s Campaign)Report

              • Avatar Damon in reply to Kim says:

                I understand that my POV is a minority. People make a lot of assumption; I like to remind them that they are just that. Yes, trolling can be fun, but it does get old fast, and I no longer have hours to be engaged in on line commentary, so often I enjoy just watching.Report

              • Avatar Kim in reply to Damon says:

                It rather helps when you get paid to troll people.
                (I’ll remind you that my friend the troll has a longstanding contract with Spirit Airlines…)Report

              • Avatar Damon in reply to Kim says:

                Sadly, my trolling skills are much weaker than my google-fu. But hey, for 250K a year I’ll give it a try!Report

            • Avatar Zac in reply to Damon says:

              Damon: Note that if I play devil’s advocate I’m not trolling.And I do like playing that advocate.

              Who was it who had the famous quote about how the problem with always playing devil’s advocate is that in the end, you’re still advocating for the devil?Report

          • Avatar Michael Cain in reply to Kim says:

            At least wrt things I write, Damon asks questions or makes statements that are quite reasonable given that he starts from a very different set of priorities than I do. That’s cool — it’s always good for me to be reminded that priorities shape a lot of the answers in any systems analysis problem.Report

  3. Avatar Roland Dodds says:

    Much like Restate, I would have to ask why anyone would want to read Daily Kos if it is basically just op-eds in favor of a specific party? I have followed some individuals in the past who wrote columns there, but if they have basically said they will only tolerate those who support a party of ideas/principles, then why bother?Report

    • Avatar Kim in reply to Roland Dodds says:

      1) Human interest. Where else do you read about the guys who sit at the dump all day, chatting and grabbing stuff nobody wants?
      It is a simply great place to learn about the trivial things that you’re never going to find in a city.
      2) Writing Talent: you have people who actually care about things like the nitty gritty of Obamacare, and are willing to explain it in a personable way. (Sunday Kos tends to be good, lengthy articles. If this is your beat, stay off the weekday kos)
      3) Taking the Pulse of Liberals: it’s a grand way to get a birds eye view of people around the country, quickly and efficiently.
      4) They let republicans post there. You can sit around and post unconventional ideas the whole damn day long, really, it’s fine. You just can’t post that you want the Republican to win. (except you can, actually. I’ve done so. It’s probably a bad idea to openly advocate for voting for the Republican, but when he is honestly the better choice, you get a few nice Dems saying “I voted! … for the Republican, believe it or not”)Report

      • Avatar Roland Dodds in reply to Kim says:

        @kim I have not spent anytime at Kos in the last few years, but I will check out some of the columns you mentioned. I honestly have no interest in reading the nitty gritty of Obamacare, but I wouldn’t mind reading about the work local Democratic activists are doing on a micro level (especially if they are working in the larger Bay Area).Report

      • Avatar Kim in reply to Kim says:

        5) Maps. When Kos makes graphics, they get down to the nitty gritty of districts, and give you good stats on each.
        6) Learn about genuine activism, near you or away from you.
        Before I got on dailykos, I didn’t know that white guys were using indian reservations as their own private rape preserves, completely without consequence. And then when someone had the gall to build a women’s shelter, the bastards burned the place down.
        7) Bias, yes, but also links and facts. If there’s one thing I like about kos, they do source their data.Report

    • Avatar veronica d in reply to Roland Dodds says:

      @roland-dodds — But that is not what they said. In fact, they include this:

      Constructive criticism from the Left is allowed. There’s a difference between constructive and destructive criticism. Do I need to spell it out? It’s the difference between “We need to put pressure on her to do the right thing on TPP” versus “she’s a sell-out corporatist whore oligarch.” In general, if you’re resorting to cheap sloganeering like “oligarch” or “warmonger” or “neocon”, you might want to reframe your argument in a more substantive, issue-focused and constructive matter. Again, I’m not interested in furthering the Right’s hate-fueled media machine. If that’s what you want, might I suggest Free Republic?

      In other words, there is plenty to talk about among Democrats, liberals, and those further left from us, without needing the input from the troglodyte set. The heat between the “progressive left” (broadly defined) and the moderate/centrist Democrats can get really ugly, at least as ugly as between the rightist and us. The central point of the article, that “it’s the courts dummy,” is true, obvious, and worth setting as a baseline. As @will-truman said in the main article, you don’t invite the outspoken atheist to your bible study. There are other places to engage with him. (Likewise we don’t invite the fulminating bigot to our fun queer dance party. What on earth will he contribute but aggravation?)

      Anyway, I can see a forum saying, “As a baseline, we insist that 1) the right is morally bankrupt and in fact dangerous (obviously true), and 2) that the real tensions among those on the left are important, but not more important than point #1.” That seems quite sensible.

      Whether you want to participate there is a separate topic.Report

      • Avatar Kim in reply to veronica d says:

        Whether or not you want to participate there, it’s still useful as a barometer.Report

      • Avatar InMD in reply to veronica d says:

        Obviously Kos can do what they want but I do wonder if people/publications with that attitude ever stop to ponder their own roles in the rightward drift of the parameters of what is considered legitimate debate over the last 30-40 years. Yes there are some important exceptions like rights for homosexuals but you never see the Republicans bent on knee capping their right flanks the same way centrist Democrats seem to be towards the left.

        The extremes define the center and I think a big part of the reason there is minimal difference between the parties on such a broad range of issues is because centrist Democrats are willing to keep chasing a middle ground defined by conservatives. The only real brake on it is when elements of the right flirt with ideas that became offensive to most people’s sensibilities after the 60’s (like overt expressions of racism).Report

  4. Avatar aaron david says:

    Ah, good to see the Democrat version of the 11th commandment is alive and well…

    Echo chambers are fun for about 2 minutes- you get your hate on, feel pumped up, etc. But after 2 minutes you can see they are just swirling masses of derp*. And when you spend time there without tempering it with other opinions, you fall into the derp land, not seeing that there are multiple ways of looking at issues, that something might not truely be an issue, or that you are goring someone elses ox, an ox they love much more than the issue you are trying to fix.

    *Derp is unthinking partisanship. There are many places to find it on the web, for all parties. Reason, TPM, Redstate, Kos, Breitbart, etc. All become completely usless as sources of information to anyone outside your derp, and using them to change others opinion only makes you look like an cultist.Report

    • Avatar Kim in reply to aaron david says:

      NeverMIND the diaries about talking with republicans, about convincing republicans, about going to a tea party rally for research…

      And NeverMIND the diaries about “a gas well just blew up. I got pictures!” Anywhere else, you’d just label that citizen journalism — because it’s really not part of an echo chamber, at all.Report

  5. Avatar Jesse Ewiak says:

    Here’s the thing, though. The goal of DailyKos from Day One has always been to elect more Democrat’s, not have a free wheeling conversation. Hell, I remember the first time in ’04 when the conservative blogs tried to take shots at Kos for limiting the conversation once Kerry was the nominee and some Dean fans were butthurt.

    I mean, it’s fine to want DailyKos to be different, but it’s like wanting a chicken to fly like an eagle – it’s not built for that.Report

  6. Avatar DensityDuck says:

    “I’m not interested in furthering the Right’s hate-fueled media machine. If that’s what you want, might I suggest Free Republic?”

    See, I don’t read that sentence and think “this is a rational and reasonable person who wants to enforce some basic standards of conversation in order to promote productive, worthwhile discussion”. I think “this is a person who very clearly has a picture of how the world ought to be and I’m pretty sure that I am not part of that picture”.Report

    • Avatar Kim in reply to DensityDuck says:

      I could say some colorful things here involving hypocrisy.

      Nothing’s ever stopped Dailykos from quoting FreeRepublic, you realize? Sometimes with glee (lookithowstupidtheyare), sometimes because “there’s an expert there!”.

      You’d probably be as welcome as the next cynic, cause I’m pretty sure you voted Obama over Romney.

      What kos is not interested in is letting people use his website as a place to start a schism in the Democratic Netroots. For all the shit you love to stir (pot, kettle, black), you haven’t poked that beesnest.Report

  7. Avatar Kazzy says:

    “We need to put pressure on her to do the right thing on TPP” versus “she’s a sell-out corporatist whore oligarch.” In general, if you’re resorting to cheap sloganeering like “oligarch” or “warmonger” or “neocon”, you might want to reframe your argument in a more substantive, issue-focused and constructive matter.”

    But ‘whore’ is okay…?Report

  8. In general, if you’re resorting to cheap sloganeering like “oligarch” or “warmonger” or “neocon”, you might want to reframe your argument in a more substantive, issue-focused and constructive matter.

    This sounds like good advice to me: it invites people who disagree with you to respond in kind, which might lead to a conversation rather than escalating name-calling.Report

  9. Avatar Jaybird says:

    The internet might allow for The Big Sort to re-distribute itself, maybe?

    If I can go to a place at the end of the day where I can talk to my Berniebros about how I just can’t even BELIEVE that I had to talk to someone who supported HITLERY today even though it is 2016!, it might make it a little bit easier to live in a oligarchical warmongering neocon part of the country and make it less important for me to have to move to the coast to be among my peers.Report

  10. Avatar Will H. says:

    TRIP model of conflict:

    Topic / Content
    Identity / Autonomy

    Almost entirely defining relationships by the process involved.


  11. Avatar KatherineMW says:

    This highlights the difference between an site with a specific ideology, and a partisan site. Daily Kos is stating that it is a partisan site with the objective of backing the Democratic Party, not a liberal/leftist site primarily interested in fostering discussion of policy.Report