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Lakeshore
An author of no particular popularity

Jay Lake
Date: 2011-02-02 19:15
Subject: [personal] Anonymity in comments
Security: Public
Tags:blogs, cancer, health, personal, travel
A somewhat snarky comment here on my post about frequent flier status.

I don't object in the least to snarky comments, I don't object in the least to critical comments, but I do have a mild objection to unsigned snark or criticism. By which I don't mean everybody should have an LJ handle or blog ID, but posting such comments anonymously is a lot like sniping from cover.

Also, the commenter's logic is rather flawed. I really don't buy that spending a year being treated for cancer is functionally or socially equivalent to choosing to spend a year caring for a child. For one thing, there's that whole voluntary/involuntary thing.

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User: barbhendee
Date: 2011-02-03 03:36 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
I feel bad saying this, but I've only--and I mean only--received these kinds of trollish posts from anonymous folks.

It's shocking the things people will say when the post is completely anonymous. I finally turned anonymous posting "off" on my journal, and I have not had a problem since. Recently, I turned it back on, but I retained the right to screen the posts before they became visible.

Part of the reason I prefer Facebook is that people have to "own" the things they write. It changes the dynamic over there. One of my former editor's brother's wrote a right wing rant, which of course did not go over well, but I respected him because at least his name and photo were on the rant.



Edited at 2011-02-03 03:42 am (UTC)
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Bruce E. Durocher II
User: bedii
Date: 2011-02-03 12:39 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
http://www.penny-arcade.com/comic/2004/03/19/ may be of interest. I'd be happier if Facebook showed any understanding of the concept that protecting user data is a feature, not a bug.
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Jay Lake
User: jaylake
Date: 2011-02-03 13:56 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Snerk.
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Danny Adams
User: madwriter
Date: 2011-02-03 03:42 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Now I'm starting to have bad thoughts about Frequent Child Miles and getting my own cable channel show.
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Lorraine with the heaving zombie bosoms
User: blucola
Date: 2011-02-03 03:42 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
I don't agree that you're being punished. However, it's a rough economy and you'd think United would want to have a customer who has proven (through his history with another airline) to be someone who spends quite a bit on air travel. Now you're pissed off and have gone back to AA, United loses.
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User: suzan_h
Date: 2011-02-03 04:36 (UTC)
Subject: Huh?
What a troll!

And the bullshit logic? As someone who's dealt with a spouse's cancer and who has a child, that's like comparing apples and dwarf planets.

But then United breaks guitars as well so I'm not th least bit surprised they screwed you over on your f.f. status.
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User: quantuminsanity
Date: 2011-02-03 05:32 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Geez I can't even begin to comprehend the sort of person who would equate being struck down by cancer with choosing to have a child...
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Bruce E. Durocher II
User: bedii
Date: 2011-02-03 15:14 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Unfortunately, I can: I've met them. Many give the impression that they have lifelike John Gault dolls stored away for personal stimulation as well...but that might just be a run of bad luck on my part.
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Danny Adams
User: madwriter
Date: 2011-02-04 01:40 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
I've seen such folks as well; the ones I've met didn't necessarily want to have children, but they did because it was what everyone else was doing / what family or society expected of them.
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bram452
User: bram452
Date: 2011-02-03 05:44 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
I absolutely understand how it would feel like punishment, but I would suggest that the frame of opportunity cost might fit better. Cancer has taken up time and effort and attention and money that you would have rather used on something else, and the extent of that cost is still becoming clear.

And as to your anonymous, I think the evidence is in that the Internet has the capacity to discourage empathy. When I read your original post, I can see that you're talking about the burden of the losses you've suffered and how one relatively small but unexpected one makes all the rest seem more oppressive. That your anonymous responded to that real human emotion with legalism suggests that she (and oddly, I do think it's a woman) hasn't engaged with that level of your post.

No, you aren't being punished by United. You're being punished by God, and United is merely the latest and most petty of His instruments. (Or so I imagine it must feel.)
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oaksylph
User: oaksylph
Date: 2011-02-03 21:02 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Ditto your analysis of the flaw.

"Free market economics," and its related silly concepts about deserving and the equation of time off for this to time off for that, doesn't apply any more now than it did before interstate highways or in the Gilded Age or at any other time. Business has always been about shifting alliances between those with economic force, sometimes in situations without ideal source material to processing to delivery conditions, always subject to someone's idea of regulation, whether angry plebs clubbing a gouger or our sofistukatid federal government's insanely complicated new business tax regime. The fundamental, underlying principle, the basis, of the entire current economic system's raison d'etre, can be summed up with the phrase "all other things being equal." But they aren't, and can't be in any situation involving more than two consenting adults, sometimes not even then. So any argument about taking business to one company or another is going to be a little fragile to begin with, and any analogy between situations similarly fragile.

What I find irksome, however, is how much effort our financial world has put into making sure your credit card interest rate goes up if you miss a mortgage payment - requiring a harmonization of two different industries' reporting systems - and so little effort into figuring out a way to share information about good customers. That utterly and preemptively destroys any chance of anything ever being equal, since everyone gets turned into an equation of which only one side is sent through a number wringer, resulting in a system in which consumer action on an individual level, an ideal based on an idea based on the idea of all other things being equal, becomes meaningless.

I am sorry that you are still suffering outriding ripples from your illness. I hate the cruel ways it's still affecting you. If there were anything I could do to prevent you from dealing with garbage like this, I would. All other things being messy, probably most people would like to be able to help people. Now if only there were a way to base an economy on that....
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(no subject) - (Anonymous)
Jay Lake
User: jaylake
Date: 2011-02-04 18:41 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
1) You're absolutely right they have no reason to care. My reason for them to care is the 15-25 flights I will be taking this year. As American has offered me better treatment (via my lifetime Gold status) I'm moving my business. I don't appreciate United's treatment of me in this instance, as I believe my own situation reasonably calls for an exception to their policy, but they are under no obligation to respect my beliefs. Just as I am under no obligation to respect their policy.

2) I don't believe I insisted anyone give up anonymity. After all, I approved the anonymous comment. I merely compared negative anonymous commenting to sniping from cover. Which you essentially have agreed with, albeit with a substantially different framing.
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