I do want to respond to one comment though. It struck me as excessively wrong.
The more distasteful the bashing of Gev, the more I support it. I really hope that someone IRL kicks his ass and spits in his face.
Many may find me to be crossing the line, but in this world some people just deserve it, similar to how all those M&S deserve being taken advantage of and made fun of in return.
As I will talk about in an upcoming post on my other blog, our online selves do not match our real selves. I dislike Gevlon's online self. But his real life self I cannot dislike. I know nothing about it. Maybe they are the same, but I do not know that and I will not sink to the level of attacking people based on how they act in this virtual realm. This is why the comment bothered me: it crosses the line between real life and the internet.
The internet is free speech. It is here that we can say what we want to say without threat of repression. Here we can have the purest exchange of ideas; idea vs. idea in a massive virtual war of ideas. In a situation of only ideas, might does actually make right. But once you bring real life into it, then you bring in all the forces which crush free speech: intimidation and retribution for unwanted ideas. I value this freedom. My country was founded partly on the ideas of freedom (also personal power for the local elite, but that's another story and much less inspiring) and we fought to protect our freedom and rights. Then we wrote them down and promptly started trading them for illusions of security, that's for another time.
It's also uncivilized. There are a few times when the correct response to words is violence. The world would be better off if someone had put a bullet in Hitler's brain when he started screaming about Jews. That is a time for violent response. This is not. Arbitrary violence has no trial or defense or any other recognition of human rights. It is simply violence.
Violence of this sort, an emotional reaction to a negative idea, is part of the problem with the world. Look at so many states in Africa or Asia or South America: shitty places. Violence is the norm, civil wars never end, leaders rise and fall on waves of bullets. Violence begets violence and suppresses the flow of ideas. If you don't like an idea, beat it with a counterargument, show the flaws, show that it is a terrible idea which should never be thought ever again. But don't be violent. That does nothing to disprove the idea.
99.99999% of people in the world are fairly decent. They are sometimes dumb as individuals, though sheer numbers mean that in a given second thousands of people will have done something incredibly stupid. You too. And me. And the commenter, as we can see from his comment. Stupid happens. To lord it over others, to attack them, is to set yourself up. Everyone will fall sometime. Don't stand there laughing because you're not going to like it when you trip and someone else laughs.
No one deserves to be exploited. Not even stupid people. Especially since you cannot accurately determine intelligence. If you think you can, you're either a very rare person with a lot of training, expertise, and experience; or an idiot. Odds are in favor of the latter.
You know why intelligence is still being debated? It's really fucking hard to measure. Cultural factors, language, age, diet, mood, season, lighting, all sorts of stuff can influence tests. No measure is perfect. Practical measures like employment or salary are inaccurate. What we tend to think of as stupidity is most often a set of other factors: different priorities or ignorance. If you claim that 99% of the world is horribly ignorant, I will agree. If you claim they have different priorities and goals, I will agree. If you say they're stupid, you need to think more before you speak.
Up until now I've been pretty happy with comments on my blog. They've not all been positive towards me, but they have been positive in the sense of being honest and not incredibly stupid. I've been blessed by having almost no trolls or e-thugs posting. Maybe it's the nature of my blog: small audience, not jumping into major controversies for the most part, and I try to avoid trolling. Maybe I've wandered into a horrible new territory of e-thugs and trolls and uncivilized people of all sorts. I hope not.
TL;DR: If you are violent on the internet, then you are restricting free speech and therefore I support violence against you. If you call other people stupid, then you're probably in a temporary state of stupidity and should stop talking for a while. Neither Gevlon no the M&S deserve to be attacked or exploited. Don't be a douchebag.
Isn't it amazing how things sound completely absurd when you summarize them? I try to keep summaries accurate by having that absurdity in the original post so that nothing is added or lost.