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Friday, February 23, 2007



A few days ago Scott pointed out that Online Integrity is dead. Now, I think there's plenty of actual integrity online, so that's good. But the Online Integrity of the sort sponsored by our good friend Tacitus, aka Josh Trevino -- well, that's gone and buried, done and over. And that's even better.

As any number of people picked up on at the time, last May, the big problem with the "OI" project was that the person who was pushing it, this Trevino fellow, himself lacks integrity, in the same rather spectacular negative fashion that the Sun lacks ice cream. Oh, he talks about "honor" all the time, like he's Worf or something. But when he says "honor" he says it like you'd phonetically pronounce a word in a foreign language that you don't understand.

It was, and is, too rich: here was someone wanting to primarily define "integrity" as "respect for a person's right to anonymity online," who had been notorious for stunts like this. And the incident where he coquettishly let slip Billmon's last name. And other nonsense. The record shows that Tac sees anonymity or pseudonymity solely as an opportunity to whip out a cudgel against someone he doesn't like, because if you can "out" them, oh boy, you've got one over on them! What a mighty little fellow you are! Have a biscuit! Hence his addiction to using real names whenever he can, even when he knows full well that the other person is known online by a pseudonym. And even when it's pointless because the target doesn't really care. (The purpose is to insult, as in the infantile usage, "The Democrat Party." Bonus insulting points in that he doesn't say "fuck" so he's still one "civil" little Fauntleroy!)

So for Tac to start up an "Online Integrity" project where everyone would swear not to out people, well, that was like the Ted Haggard Crusade Against Meth n' Gay Hookers. Just too funny. So my initial response, once I heard it was him behind it all, was to make fun of it. And to complete the joke, this Online Blogintegrity site that began as a parody is still in existence, and indeed about to evolve (more on that soon).

Indeed, from our vantage point right now, it's pretty clear just what exactly Online Integrity always was: the bouquet of flowers the abuser buys in order to prove -- mostly to himself -- that he's... not an abuser. Witness Tac's behavior in this recent Sadly No thread. It's been going on for days now. (Scroll down to the end for the real fun, where Tac reveals the nickname of the sports teams at the CC where I teach, immediately after he has accused Scott Lemieux and HTML/Retardo of being "obsessives" because they read and criticize his blog posts.)

Integrity consists in holding to a principle because it's a principle. If you have respect for the legitimacy of anonymity or pseudonymity online, then you do not under any circumstances violate that principle.

So much for Tac's "principles." He's right now in the process of violating a principle he once launched a public campaign to champion.

I think that's super.

(Crossposted to Whiskey Fire)

Oh, si, the whole sad slow demise of our namesake blog has left me een a sentimental mood as well, eh?

We may see more of these "down memory lane" posts een the near future.

Don't bother just to be better than your contemporaries or predecessors. Try to be better than yourself.

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