I'm fascinated by Reddit, Digg, ThinkGene and other social media aggregators. On these sites, people submit articles and then the userbase can vote them up or down. There's no specified rational constraint on why or how you vote.
So people default to the normal behavior: if it sounds pleasant to you, vote it up; if it threatens your view of the world or offends you, vote it down. Censor truth you don't like and overpromote illusions you do like, just like democracy and "voting with your feet" or buying products.
It's a modern thing. Other, saner times have and will avoid this, because the modern time is slowly about to self-obliterate. For kicks, however, I'm going to list the articles here that people found totally offensive. I know they found them offensive, because they voted against them so hard they counted out any votes for them, which basically "buries" them and means no one sees them. It's an extreme tactics reserved for things that shock and offend the monkey house, like reality:
- Why is it ‘Left-wing’ to allow millions of people to remain on benefits instead of working? When did ‘Labour’ stop meaning ‘work’ and start to mean ‘benefits’? (drama)
- One of a person’s most telling moral features, his creditworthiness, can also be seen in his face. (drama)
- Discipline of military redirects dropouts (drama)
- Using cell phones while you walk or drive increases traffic and pedestrian deaths
- Also, some people quite like smelling their own body odor.
- How does a supposedly intelligent species get itself in such a mess?
- World to face water shortage by 2025
- Race & IQ: information will be free, even if right now it's political suicide to discuss it
- For anything that might offend someone: use a proxy to hide yourself from the vengeance of the Crowd
- Darfur and other places have always been disasters. Let's forget them and focus on nature conservation, gifted children, fine art and food, and all the good things in life.
These links fall into two categories:
- Personal responsibility. People hate the idea that their own dumb decisions landed them where they are in life, or that the dumb decisions of others landed them where they are, because that means the same principle applies to all of us.
- Determinism. People hate the idea that some things are decided by something other than conversation, wanting or wishing a different outcome, or "hard work".
- Bad stuff happening that's not Global Warming or Republicans. They hate Bush. Hate him. And they don't like Global Warming. But these things are fond visions: if we deal with X, everything else will be OK.
The idea of voting for which parts of reality you accept cracks me up. It's like editing our knowledge of reality to fit our fond illusions and wish fulfillment, instead of dealing with reality itself. Not surprisingly, Redditors flock to this and then use it as an excuse to banish all the negative stuff that has shocked them in life while keeping happy illusions afloat.