|03-13-2014, 12:24 AM||#1|
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Dr. Pierce analyses usefulness to Alliance of the Internet
Dr. Pierce analyses usefulness to Alliance of the Internet
Commentary by Dr. Pierce to his members in August 1998 internal National Alliance BULLETIN:
Staying In Touch
In the past four years the Internet has grown from practically nothing to our single most powerful medium for reaching the public with our message.
At our two sites -- hxxp://www.natvan.com and hxxp://www.natall.com -- we offer a very large quantity and variety of materials in text, audio, and image files: nearly 100 megabytes of information capable of providing literally hundreds of hours of reading and listening to interested members of the public, free of charge. We are adding to this material almost on a daily basis.
Parts of our material are available in German, French, and Swedish as well as English. On an average day about 6,000 visitors avail themselves of information from our sites. It is estimated that this year more than 80 million people around the world will have access to the Internet, and this audience is growing at a rate of about 30 percent per year. Furthermore, the Internet audience is a cut above the general population -- i.e., the television audience -- in socioeconomic and intelligence levels. Joe and Jill Sixpack are far less likely to be serious Internet users than are professionals, executives, academics, and university students.
Unfortunately, however, as the number of people using the Internet has grown, the average quality of the users inevitably has declined, and certain pathologies have developed in association with Internet usage. One sees evidence of this most often in Usenet, an Internet adjunct consisting of so-called "discussion groups," where anyone can join -- or eavesdrop on -- discussions on virtually any subject. Theoretically, discussion groups might seem like a wonderful idea; an opportunity for everyone to have his say on an equal basis, without Jewish censorship. People can say what they really think about the government, about race, about the Jews, or about anything else. And many people do.
The reason people are willing to say what they think on Usenet is that they can do so anonymously. Miserable cowards, who would never dare challenge the Politically Correct party line in real life, do so in discussion groups without fear, because no one knows who they are or where they live. This feature has a terrific attraction for a type of person, who is unable to cope with the real world but can feel himself a hero in cyberspace. It also has an attraction for many with an excessively verbal personality, who are hypnotized by any flow of words, especially their own. It has long been my observation that people who talk the most do the least, and Usenet has picked up a following of ineffective people: losers and non-copers who like to talk.
For a while the Alliance had a Cybercell, whose members would participate in discussion groups in an organized way, dominating the discussions. The theory behind this activity was that most people have no strong convictions and have weak, feminine natures. They will adopt as their own whatever party line seems to have the strongest support: whichever side in a debate is able to shout down its opponents will be able to sway the crowd toward its position. The theory seemed to work well enough, and the Cybercell made its presence felt in many discussion groups, one at a time -- although it is by no means certain that our success in shouting down our opponents had any lasting effects on other discussion-group participants.
Eventually I decided that it did not behoove the Alliance to continue to participate in discussion groups, and the Cybercell was disbanded. The reason for this decision was the total lack of self-discipline in the discussion groups. Of course, members were free to continue participating in discussion groups on an individual basis if they wished.
In the real world people understand that their words have consequences and that they must therefore choose them with a certain amount of care. What other people think of them will depend to a large degree on what they say, and almost no one wants to be thought a fool. Furthermore, in the real world careless talk can result in one getting punched in the nose or worse. It is for this reason that our race developed, through the evolutionary process, the value we place on politeness and decorum; down through the ages our politer ancestors got into fewer unnecessary fights and were more likely to live long enough to father children than were their peers who shot off their mouths too recklessly. In cyberspace, however, none of these considerations apply for most of the people involved in discussion groups. Their behavior is very close to infantile, and their talk is foolish indeed. Discussions very often degenerate into name-calling and tantrums. Even some Alliance members succumbed to this general atmosphere of indiscipline and began swapping insults with their opponents. The general level of debate sank so low that I decided discussion-group activity was too undignified for us to continue participating; better to let someone else become the undisputed mud-wrestling champion of the topless-bar circuit.
Since the disbanding of our Cybercell I have continued to sample the activity of discussion groups occasionally, and I have detected another pathology, in addition to the indiscipline and lack of dignity. There is a loss of contact with the real world in these groups. It is as if the words being spewed by all concerned have some claim on reality of their own. Perhaps one should not be surprised by such a development on the part of people who have grown up believing that the world shown to them on their television sets is more "real" than the real world.
One change which should go a long way toward restoring a little self-discipline and contact with reality to Usenet discussion groups would be a tag attached to every posting, with the poster's real name and address something like caller-ID for telephones. Such a development would send about 98 per cent of current discussion group participants scurrying back in to their closets and substantially raise the level of the discussions, much in the way Caller ID cut the number of telephoned death threats to the National Office to virtually zero. Since such a development is quite unlikely, however, discussion groups will remain for the foreseeable future much like playground sandboxes filled with spoiled, hyperactive four-year-olds, many of them suffering from motormouth disease.
Since most of the people the Alliance is interested in are mature and receptive enough to respond negatively to this childish, and undisciplined, and unrealistic environment and are therefore not likely to spend any time in discussion groups, it is really questionable whether or not an Alliance member can serve any useful purpose at all by participating in these groups.
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