In this piece, I intend to repeat four taunts I recently threw at a group of self-righteous fans of another website. This prospect excites me, because this time the taunts will be supported by new evidence which they exclusively gave to me. But to do this, I must begin by discussing something very mundane: this website.
Halfthoughts is not a popular website. That is not surprising. I created it as a hobby project, to develop my skills with WordPress. And it is populated with lots of totally unconnected material, which also reflect my disparate hobbies and interests. There was a time when most of its visitors were interested in what life would be like if zombies were real. Then most of the traffic came from people wanting a poem for somebody’s 30th birthday. Most recently, it receives hits from people who really like, or really despise, Ricky Gervais. So clearly there is no common thread that links these disparate topics, or drives visitors to my site, except the fact that the content is by me. And not many people are interested in me. But recently the site received an unusually large surge of traffic, from people wanting to learn about me. And more than anything else, they wanted to know if I am a racist.
Where did this traffic come from? It came from File770.com, a website aimed at a certain kind of science fiction ‘fan’. I know where the traffic came from, because Google Analytics knows about inbound links to my website. It can also tell me where those people are in the world, what pages they visit whilst on the website, how long they spend on those pages, what kind of device they used, what version of browser they have installed, their annual salary, and the colour of their pyjamas. Okay, I kid about the last two, but you can learn a lot about people from how they navigate a website, especially if it is a mishmash jumble like mine. From the data collected, I can confirm something about every single one of the visitors I received from File 770: they show little interest in science fiction. I wrote the same thing about them before, so this counts as the repeat of taunt one.
My site has lots of posts about science fiction, but the File 770 mob did not look at them. The top post that was listed on this site, before I wrote this one, was about Interstellar, the SF film directed by Christopher Nolan. Not a single File 770 visitor followed that link. Instead, these were the topics that most interested them:
- nationalist politics;
- media bias;
- Paul Krugman;
- trade unions;
- intellectual property infringement; and
This is not a list of interests I would associate with a science fiction fan. These are the kinds of things that obsess people who pursue social justice to an unhealthy degree.
Whilst here, the visitors from File 770 spent more time reading about racism than any other topic. But why would a bunch of self-identified science fiction fans, who mostly live on the West coast of the United States of America, be interested in my views on racism? I have a working theory about that. It is because they wanted to find evidence that I am a racist. If you have a better theory, feel free to share it.
One reason they were upset at me was because I recently suggested they behave like self-appointed thought police. Count that as taunt two. So how do they respond to taunts like that? By behaving just like self-appointed thought police, crawling all over my website in a vain effort to locate any politically incorrect comment they could use against me. But from the traffic data, I speculate they left disappointed. They looked at plenty of my most political essays, but there was no second surge of traffic from a different inbound link. That is what would have happened, if any of them located the ‘gotcha’ revelation they had hoped to find.
Keep in mind that these people repeatedly abuse me on File 770, making up all sorts of stories about what they think I do, who I am, what I believe, and so forth. I do not want to visit that website, because ignoring their bile is better than reading it, and engaging with those people is futile. But given that is the way they choose to behave, literally telling each other stories about me and the things I supposedly think, there can be no doubt that they would share any evidence which supported their beliefs.
Everybody is welcome to enjoy this website. I believe in human liberty. The website is in plain and public view; nothing is hidden. But when people visit, they should not be naive. They do not just learn about me. They give me information too.
This paragraph is directed to any File 770 readers who have come back to do further ‘research’ about me. It is obvious why you obsess about the man behind the arguments. You would prefer to attack the man rather than engage with his arguments. The analytics corroborate that. So let me reiterate a third taunt I previously threw at you: the truth hurts. Everything I write here is true, and pertains to the actual behaviour of File 770 readers. Perhaps you should put more effort into disguising the truth about yourselves, and less into exposing the truth about me. For example, use a proxy server next time you visit, so I cannot easily analyse the interests of a herd consciously sent here by Mike Glyer, a winner of multiple Hugo awards, and a hero to all SF fans who think exactly like him. If you used a proxy, you could spend even more time on my website, without risking comeback like this. But I am guessing you will not come back again. You did not find what you wanted. What you crave is confirmation, to feed your bias. You did not get confirmation here, so you will try to satisfy your hunger elsewhere, picking some other individual to demonize.
Funnily enough, the File 770 thought police could have found their smoking gun, if only they had known where to look. Being American ‘liberals’, they are absorbed by the insular world of American politics, but lack the cultural awareness to relate their obsessions to the specific circumstances of other countries. Like Paul Krugman, if they cannot analyse a foreign situation within the framework of American politics, they cannot analyse it at all. If they knew about British feminism, they would have surely noticed the name of Caroline Criado-Perez, which features in the titles of the two most popular posts I have ever written.
My most popular post was about discovering Criado-Perez had fabricated a statistic purportedly taken from a World Health Organization report. My second most popular post was about the UK press regulator agreeing that Criado-Perez violated the British code of conduct for journalists. So the File 770 mob would have found some evidence of thoughtcrime, if they had searched for more posts about feminism! However, they spent too much time reading posts about guns, which are not considered a big deal by Brits. Guns feature heavily in the American culture wars. The British political axis is not aligned to that found in the USA, despite the disingenuous efforts of American ‘liberals’ like Paul Krugman, who desperately try to pretend otherwise. Put simply, guns do not generate the same kind of political debate where I live, as they generate in the country where most File 770 readers live. Which shows how the American SF liberal thought police suffer from a crippling cultural bias. That statement is a repeat of taunt number four, and so my work is done…