xenologer: (objection!)
Pteryxx on the AtheismPlus board provides my quote of the day on people who walk into big kid discussions with Privilege101 questions that they demand be addressed RIGHT NOW no matter the opportunity cost.

The post itself lives here.

I assume you haven't yet discovered this, but newcomers who SAY they're here in good faith but persistently ask "why are there still monkeys" level questions? Generally are not here in good faith. In my experience (going on two years now) they're greater than 95% trolls. In the first year past Elevatorgate, on Pharyngula, the regulars dealt with *hundreds* of these good-faith trolls and I only saw six that ever said "I see what you mean now / I didn't know that, and I'll reconsider." SIX. Maybe one every two months. (On A+ so far? I've seen four. The ratio's still roughly 20:1.)

This "potential allies" argument elides the cost TO THE EDUCATORS and the silencing effect on the community. Innocent-looking questioning is a tactic used to derail productive conversation, sap the educators' time, resources, and trust while forcing them to constantly defend their own validity and personhood, and to obscure the few truly honest questioners. It is NOT productive to suggest that more and more effort and good faith should be expended across the board for a tiny gain in capture among supposed Goldilocks allies. The vast majority of newcomers who show themselves to be willing to learn, do so by their own actions with hardly any extra expenditure of effort from the regulars.

The primary purpose of this space is to foster *advanced* discussion, not to provide volunteer remedial education to the general public. 101-level education is a side effect and should not be allowed to detract from discussion beyond the core concepts. Heck, there are discussions I'd LOVE to have about sexuality, rape culture and navigating consent that can't possibly happen because of floods of Just Askers misrepresenting the extremely basic concept of Schroedinger's Rapist. Arguing over the fundamentals can and does happen in every other place on the Internet. It serves no purpose HERE.

I should think this phenomenon of flooding the field with basic misapprehensions long since addressed would be familiar to anyone fighting woo or creationism. Maybe other skeptics see their core purpose as debunking the same myths over and over and over again, but here we have better things to do.


This is why I feel so good about this place. I can read threads and not feel like I have to post, because there are lots and lots of people who already have this shit under control. For once there is a corner of the internet where I can read some person's arseness without any pressure, because there are so many people available to deal intelligently with arseness that the pressure on each of us to do so is minimized.

Also so far the mods have demonstrated themselves to be trustworthy, which is not an evaluation I make lightly.

Overall it has been a good place for me to find, and even though I don't post a whole lot... it's a relief not to feel like I need to.
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