left biblioblography: WHEN SOCK PUPPETS ATTACK!

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

WHEN SOCK PUPPETS ATTACK!

Recently, I did a post mocking a biblical story. True enough, I got the idea from the Evangelical Atheist (who did it first, and better), but when I AM voiced a desire to move on to other things, I was so impressed, I decided to take a swing at it. My readers seemed to rather enjoy it, and being a bit of the extrovert, I decided to pop a few of these out.

Then, this Sunday, I received this commentary:

You know, I’m not impressed with posts like these. If we are going to make a difference, we need quality not quantity. They think were stupid because of posts like this. It’s getting old.” Claiming to be from PZ Meyers, no less.

Now, this threw me for a distinct loop. I have the good Professor on my blog roll: I’ve never commented at his blog, we’ve never had a blogversation, and I am but small fry in the vast swarm of bigger fish in the blogosphere. I have a small readership – in some ways, it’s easier for me: I rarely get trolls, only the occasional blip of the wack-a-doo bot, I don’t feel the need for a lot of pictures or embedded graphics (as a writer, I feel that my prose, such as it is, should suffice to paint the image in the reader’s mind, but maybe I’m old fashioned). Besides which, the Professor and I are of two distinct genres: he is of the more scientific bent, and by far smarter than I, while I am but an unlettered Everyman simply sharing my opinion.

So when I received this…how shall we say it?...unceremonious dump in my sandbox, I just about went cross-eyed. There are other, larger blogs who are by far much more antagonistic than I. So, why me?

In retrospect, clicking on the name takes the reader to his website, rather than his profile. All I can say is, “D’oh!” in best Homer Simpson fashion.

Here’s why I didn’t suspect foul play at first.

I am like anyone else: if I wouldn’t do such a thing, I (somewhat naively) assume that others won’t either. I’m a fairly honest fellow (true, I use a nom de plume, but anyone interested enough could figure out who I am: some minor investigation at best).

So I thought to myself: is this the end of my blog? I mean, someone as illustrious and as popular as the good Professor leaving such commentary, well, I fancied I could smell the smoke from the burning wreckage, I did.

So, I puttered around in his blog. From what I could cull from context, it seemed very out of character for Mr. Meyers. I am a long time fan: he comports himself in a respectful manner, and as far as I can tell, is very polite. So I sent off an email. He replied it wasn’t him, left a comment on the post saying so, complimented the post (high praise indeed) and posted on it. Apparently, there’s a surge of imposters on the rise.

As far as I can tell, it must’ve been a theist. Why? The post itself takes some cheap shots at the beloved story of David and Goliath (some rather sophmoric ones, I’ll admit freely, and without shame). And for someone to actually go out of their way to masquerade as another atheist, a highly respected one at that? It takes a special sort of cognitive dissonance, not only for the wearing of the mask, but to try to generate some infighting in such a spectacularly dishonest way. So I cry ‘J’accuse!’

It takes a true sock puppet extraodinaire. Answers.com has this definition – “Sock puppet (sometimes known also as a mule, or a glove puppet) is an additional account created by an existing member of an Internet community. This account allows them to pose as a completely different user, sometimes to manufacture the illusion of support in a vote or argument. Other reasons include a desire to support or vote on an issue coupled with a desire to have one's "main" account stay away from the issue.”

Oh, foul varlet! If it IS a theist, then I feel obliged to point out that this bears a distinct violation of one of their tenets, to wit, number 8:

“Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor.”

To which I say: “Howdy, neighbor!”

I have absolutely no desire to track down the perpetrator. I leave the ethical considerations of such ploy entirely to their conscience. Not to mention the fact that not only did the effort fail spectacularly, but my readership nigh well quintupled today, and so, gee thanks! Unless this is some ploy to ambush me out in the open (hey, I’m up for it, so bring it).

Fact is, whether or not it is a win, lose, or draw, the inherent deceitful effort pretty much results in what’s known as a Pyrrhic victory – that is to say, the ethical underpinnings of the manuever is a distinct loss. How can one take the higher moral ground, when it requires subterfuge of that sort? Machiavelli would hang his head in shame at such a ruse.

I freely admit, I am an instigator of sorts. I will take a swing at anything I find silly or foolish.

But I will not wear a mask as I do it. I am not a superhero, with an alter ego. I am a WYSIWYG sorta guy.

I’ll end this post with a quote I once saw, on a bathroom wall in the Graduate (a bar on the main street of Chico) some two decades ago, which stays with me to this day:
”What a man is begins to betray himself when he stops doing. Doing is a talent, talent is a finery, and finery too, is a hiding place.” - Friederich Nietsche

And here I am, hiding in plain sight.

Till the next post then.

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19 comments:

Dawn said...

I followed over from the link on PZ's page and have to say that so far I've enjoyed what I read so added you to my blog list. Too bad about the sock puppet, but from my point of view, I discovered a new blog!

Krystalline Apostate said...

dawn:
I followed over from the link on PZ's page and have to say that so far I've enjoyed what I read so added you to my blog list. Too bad about the sock puppet, but from my point of view, I discovered a new blog!
Thanks dawn, I'll return the favor.
& hey, it's a minus that has thus far turned into a plus.

Jerret said...

I'll add you to mine also, RA. Not that I update much.

Krystalline Apostate said...

Thanks, Jerret.

Dawn, what's your blog's name, BTW?

peter said...

RA, I'm 0.5 of a bottle of red to the good, so I can't work out who was first to the bearing false witness gag. Therefore I declare it an example of multiple adaptive peaks and both of us geniuses.

Krystalline Apostate said...

peter:
RA, I'm 0.5 of a bottle of red to the good, so I can't work out who was first to the bearing false witness gag. Therefore I declare it an example of multiple adaptive peaks and both of us geniuses.
Er, ummm, okay. I don't drink, so I'm not sure of the 'bottle' reference.
As to genius, I will needs to bow out from that, as I'm only a bit above average, in my humble estimation.
Plus, it's that much more painful a plunge when 1 errs.

Spanders said...

Hey RA,
your posts are always top notch. I believe in you buddy.

Krystalline Apostate said...

spanders:
your posts are always top notch. I believe in you buddy.
Thanks. That means a great deal to me, my friend.

say no to christ said...

I am a little embarrassed to say that the name didnt click at first and I just thought that PZ was a theist you knew from another blog. I almost asked you if you had sold your soul to a theist and were trying to find common ground with them, but I figured it was none of my business.

Good thing it was a hoax! lol

Krystalline Apostate said...

SNTC:
I almost asked you if you had sold your soul to a theist and were trying to find common ground with them, but I figured it was none of my business.
If I sold my soul to someone, the buyer sure would've gotten the short end of the deal, wouldn't they? Hehehehe.

Aaron Kinney said...

Hey RA, theres been alot of this going around lately.

PZ Myers also included in the same post a link to my post about the pseudo-atheist ranking blog that I debunked.

Whats with all the imposters lately? Some Christian has a real sneaky agenda here. But it looks like it worked out well for both of us. I usually get about 120 hits a day, and yesterday I got over 1200! And today looks like I will still get quite a few more hits than average!

But hey, great blogging. I like your writing style. Keep up the good work! :)

Krystalline Apostate said...

Aaron:
Hey RA, theres been alot of this going around lately.
Yeesh, I can't stand phonies.
Whats with all the imposters lately? Some Christian has a real sneaky agenda here.
Something to do w/Temporal Lobe Epilepsy? Somebody w/DID? It's a riddle wrapped in a mystery, that's for sure.
But it looks like it worked out well for both of us. I usually get about 120 hits a day, and yesterday I got over 1200!
Yeah, us 'self worshipers' are sure getting a charge outta it, ain't we? ;)
I rather like the attention, but the downside:
I've already been accused of being my own 'troll', & an anti-semite.
Sticks 'n stones, I suppose.
But hey, great blogging. I like your writing style. Keep up the good work! :)
I thank you sir, & likewise, my friend.

Dawn said...

RA--I don't have a blog, I'm just a lurker/commenter (so far...I may take the plunge one day...)but I bookmark the blogs I like so I can read them daily or as often as they are updated. I appreciate your offer to link to me and I'm sorry I didn't make myself clear in the first place.

karen said...

RA
I saw the original PZ Myers post, which turned out to be a phoney, and I thought, "WTF?"
I went over tohis blog to take a look around-hadn't been there in a while- to see if it would explain why he had such a bug up his butt. Couldn't determine anything, so I decided to ignore his comment to you, to see what would pan out.
Glad it turned out the way it did.
Hooray for the real PZ!
Hooray for RA!

Wonder how ImposterGuy feels now, since he's caused a boost in the blogging?

Krystalline Apostate said...

Dawn:
I appreciate your offer to link to me and I'm sorry I didn't make myself clear in the first place.
De nada. I kinda figured that out after clicking on your name. So I forgive you, dear. ;)

karen:
Hooray for the real PZ!
Hooray for RA!

Oh, my. Got me own little cheerleader, hmmm? Did you remember to wear the outfit? ;)

Wonder how ImposterGuy feels now, since he's caused a boost in the blogging?
More than a tad foolish, I suspect.

Maggie Rosethorn said...

Well, now I do have a blog (after thinking about it for weeks). Your offer to link to me pushed me over the edge and I set it up. I put you as one of my favorites, because I really do enjoy what you have to say.

Maggie Rosethorn (aka Dawn)

P.S. I'll have to blog about the reason for the blogger display name... Great...another topic for blogging!

Krystalline Apostate said...

maggie:
Your offer to link to me pushed me over the edge and I set it up.
Oh, my, I pushed someone over the edge? Oh, no. Hehehehe.
I put you as one of my favorites, because I really do enjoy what you have to say.
The extrovert in me thanks you kindly.
I'll have to blog about the reason for the blogger display name...
It is a different name, all right.
You...don't draw blood, do you? ;)

I AM said...

Hey, imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. Thank you for the kind words.

Krystalline Apostate said...

I AM:
Hey, imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. Thank you for the kind words.
My pleasure, sir.