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Of cabbages, kings and a meeting of Blog war protagonists

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Leon Bertrand and I have   a face to face meet up with Scott Bridges planned for today which should be quite interesting to say the least, because how often do you get a chance to meet up with your online “enemy ” after a decade long blog war?

Hold on comrades this could be an interesting ride

 

 

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The late #Charlotte Dawson, Twitter and easy anonymity on the internet.

TV personality Charlotte Dawson, who was found dead in her home in inner Sydney on Saturday. Photograph: Don Arnold/WireImage

TV personality Charlotte Dawson, who was found dead in her home in inner Sydney on Saturday. Photograph: Don Arnold/WireImage

Ah be prepared for another large outpouring of “grief” for the death of another “celebrity” and the scions of our own media go into overdrive to praise Charlotte Dawson who committed suicide in Sydney on Saturday . I have been quietly watching this story unfold and examining the reactions from the social media . Especially interesting has been the attribution of blame to those shining lights of humanity who populate the nameless denizens  of Twitter. Apparently Dawson was seriously addicted to arguing with them and subject to some rather nasty taunting and suggestions that she should kill herself. Now its probably impossible to quantify just how much this sort of online cruelty influenced that fatal appointment with a rope but given the revelations that Dawson’s whole life and career was in some sort of meltdown and her underlying depression  I tend to think that such a suggestion is rather too simplistic.  None the less there has been quite a few commentators to the news story suggesting (quite correctly IMHO) that easy anonymity is a great contributor to the meanness, cruelty  and level of rancour shown to Dawson in her social media immersion.

At the very least there is a good argument that Twitter and all social media should be required to know who it is that is signing up for access to their service so that those who are using it as a medium for harassment or pernicious cruelty can be both traceable and accountable. Of course there will be those who will make the counter argument that ” the internet” should be free and that there is no need for any accountability beyond the disdain/disapproval  of other users. From my experience this is a nonsense especially in something as ephemeral as Twitter, even more so when those who misuse social media just keep reinventing themselves if it becomes untenable to continue with one particular online identity.  More and more as the boundary between our online and “In Real Life” existence become ever more blurred and merged the more we have to extend the accountability that we have in the real world to our existence online and the sooner that this is achieved the better all of our lives will be.

With respect Comrades

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September 14; world Zombie day for Rudd??

brother-number-one-border1It looks to me like Rudd is finally warming up just as Labor’s fortunes are at their lowest ebb with Gillard about as popular as a bad case of gangrene. the question is will the party take that one last gamble with Brother Number One?

True believers Like Ray are holding onto the possibility that Rudd might save some seats but I have my doubts simply because I think that having abandoned Labor and have gone to the coalition already most of those mythical “swinging voters” will not be easily lured back from their decision to support Abbott over Gillard with the possibility of a recycled leader. Those who have decided to vote Green are irrelevant because their preferences will mostly go to Labor anyway. In any event before Rudd can go to the people as leader of the ALP he has to convince the caucus to vote for him, they certainly have to be desperate but I just can’t see them falling over themselves to abandon Julia Gillard no matter how many pre-emptively empty out their offices in Canberra start making plans for a life after politics. No I just can’t see a leadership spill happening in the next 9o odd days what I do think we are seeing here is Rudd positioning himself to take over the leadership AFTER September 14 when he can be a new Labor Messiah and set them on the path out of the wilderness.

To be honest I doubt that many of the current government really care that much who leads them at the moment.and when apathy is the order of the day the incumbent will always be the winner no matter how loathsome the incumbent, Labor already knows that it is dead and all that we will see is a Zombie shuffle between now and the middle of September.

Over to you Comrade Ray

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The million hit Blog

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If you are reading this it means that the hit counter for the Sandpit has ticked over the one million hits milestone  which is worthy of note in anyone’s  language, more so in the case of this blog because for most of its existence there has been a sustained campaign to harass and denigrate yours truly and the other authors who post here.

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I started blogging on a whim mainly because I needed to register with Blogger to comment on an Anti Andrew Bolt  blog, I have  changed the name and the platform on which this blog is published several times until I settled upon the current title and I am  very happy to n0w share this blog with three other regular contributors who ad greatly to the diversity of  the posts published here. The heart of blogging is not so much the posts themselves but rather it is the comment threads that those posts inspire and over the years we have had some very lively discussion threads that have given their participants lots of fun.

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You see fun is what this blog is all about. Even when we have covered the most serious issues I like to think that we can do so with enough levity to keep it friendly.

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So in the style of an awards night I have to offer a very sincere thank you, firstly to my fellow authors Ray Dixon (and his alter ego SockPuppet),  GD and to  Leon Bertrand, further I want to thank our readers for coming back on a regular basis to enjoy the musings on this page especially those of you who disagree with what I and the other authors write because without that disagreement we would not have the lively arguments in the comment threads. I also want to thank my wife and family for putting up with this sometimes grumpy blogger on a daily basis and last but not least I want to thank our family dog Bonnie for reminding me on a regular basis that I am only human and that nothing is more important than “walkies “

Cheers to all of our Comrades

Walkies!!!!

Walkies!!!!

3000

"You will read The Sandpit everyday and you will enjoy it no matter what tosh I publish....."

“You will read The Sandpit everyday and you will enjoy it no matter what sort of  tosh I publish…..”

This is my 3000th post here at the Sandpit, isn’t it amazing just how quickly this milestone has come around?

I like to think that this  blog functions at many different levels and its contents is as varied as life itself .

Its primary purpose has always been to keep me entertained and to give purpose to my morning cruise through the daily news reports and blog updates , to that end I like to write about the issue de jour that has taken my fancy as I sip on my first brew for the day.  Of course I have also shared some of the events that happen in my own life when I have thought them notable enough  and I have tried to do that with a little bit of wit and my rather wry sense of humour.

So for the next three thousand  posts I hope to continue to provoke and stimulate thought and words from you,  my dear readers, even if those thoughts and words are entirely focused on telling me that I have got it wrong in the most fundamental ways! Sometimes I even get feedback affirming that what I have said is correct, frankly either response pleases me though naturally the later has a somewhat sweeter effect on the palette.

Cheers   Comrades

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Why stalkers should be afraid of how they write

As blog master here it is my duty to approve new commentators here and mostly its something that I do with out much thought, If I don’t think that comment is generated by a spam bot it usually gets an easy pass and I welcome a new player into the Sandpit. It is after all more fun for all if I encourage lively debate and lively debate needs differing points of view so I don’t usually care at all what someone believes in as long as they can be civil to others in the comment threads.

In the many years that I have been playing the blogging game there has been a rather long “conga line of suckholes” who have tried to silence me  because they think that I am evil incarnate, or at least a” very naughty boy” that they wish to teach a lesson too. In the process I have had a number of individuals who have reinvented themselves many times under different pseudonyms. Usually I pick them rather quickly and  either give them enough rope to hang themselves or just put them on a watching brief if I am less certain.  It does not take most of them long to return to the tropes and memes that got them banned in the first place others who have been more devious have stayed under my radar for longer until their own arrogance and hubris gives them away.

Imagine my surprise when I saw this piece in the age a few days ago:

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You have to love the way that the Internet makes such tools available to everyone and just how useful those tools would be to someone who has been repeatedly stalked and harassed by individuals flying different flags of convenience.  Surely some of the worst offenders should be less than than sanguine about having to own the words and bile they have sprouted over the years. Now if only I could be bothered to use the software that I have  downloaded…
Welcome to a brave new world Comrades

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Another small step towards civility on the electronic frontier

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Like Ray I find the moves  announced recently by Gillard to hold some internet platforms accountable for their anonymous users activities a good if inadequate start to  making cyberspace somewhat more civil environment for those of us who use it, and lets face it that means just about everyone these days. While many long term users have long resigned themselves to the notion that civilising the online space is “impossible” I am rather more optimistic that civility will be enforced incrementally over time and I think that enforcement will come from the courts acting in both criminal and civil cases to demand that those running the blogging platforms provide the identifying  details of site-owners when those individuals have slandered or defamed real individuals.

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The old aphorism suggests that the longest journey begins with one small step, and I see quite a few small steps happening out there and it may take a while but I expect that like the old wild west civilisation and civility will come to the online frontier eventually.

Cheers Comrades

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Well that is another one….

As I have been recently suggesting the nature of the online environment is changing and one of those big changes is the decline in the acceptability of one having a truly anonymous presence online. With this in mind I was quite pleased to find another example of this trend with the social media app “4square” moving to require real names:

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Personally I find this entirely unsurprising and I tend to think that before too long people using pseudonyms on the net may be about as acceptable as failing to remove a motorcycle helmet when you go into a bank branch.

Cheers Comrades

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