I, For One, Welcome Our Tweenbot Overlords

A fun little item about some fun little items, and the people who help them: tweenbots | kacie kinzer.

The results were unexpected. Over the course of the following months, throughout numerous missions, the Tweenbots were successful in rolling from their start point to their far-away destination assisted only by strangers. Every time the robot got caught under a park bench, ground futilely against a curb, or became trapped in a pothole, some passerby would always rescue it and send it toward its goal. Never once was a Tweenbot lost or damaged. Often, people would ignore the instructions to aim the Tweenbot in the “right” direction, if that direction meant sending the robot into a perilous situation. One man turned the robot back in the direction from which it had just come, saying out loud to the Tweenbot, “You can’t go that way, it’s toward the road.”

43 Responses to “I, For One, Welcome Our Tweenbot Overlords”

  1. enkidu Says:

    A wonderful experiment and awfully cute robot (his fragility and lack of traction/horsepower makes the lil tyke all the more cute and approachable). Ya gotta love the ranger helping lil tweenbot over the uneven walkway. In certain cities and areas, they would have called in the bomb squad… sigh. i still love ya NYC… ya gotta love boingboing.net (my home page =)

    also from boingboing, I linked to the funny pics of prominent Republican clowns pshopd w clown make up. Delightful. Even more amusing was the conservative outcry (you aren’t fair and balanced!) So as counterpoint to a bit of light liberal pshop humor, someone posted a bit of typical conservative humor, the “liberal hunting license” bumper sticker (now with trucknutz!) More hilarity ensued.

  2. knarlyknight Says:

    I love that bot.
    I’d like to see this repeated with modifications to assess success rates under various conditions, e.g. have the bots carry a little present like a small box of chocolates to some address, or would the success rate drop a lot if instead of a smile the bot were frowning or had an evil face? What about adding racial stereotypes to the bots appearance and assessing success rates? Why? Well, why the hell not? Just because.

    Another Topic: Loss of ice … http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chacaltaya

  3. CKL Says:

    See, the terrorists should just make the bombs more cute.

    Seriously, though, old news… I’ve seen this elsewhere over a week ago. On top of that, I fail to see how this is relevant to this site.

  4. knarlyknight Says:

    How could it be any more relevant? You touched on the relevance with your terrorists should just make bombs cute joke.

    What was the writing on those little flags? How did The People know whether the text was True or a fiendish Lies that, to use your example, aided part of a terrorist plot?

    Did The People have some great insight or do anything to verify the authenticity or Noble cause of the bots stated purpose as set out on those flags, did they use intuition and some Faith or did they just act in ignorance with a heart full of Kindness without giving it much thought? From the video it’s clearly primarily the latter. And that is also how We The People have responded to far too many of the Lies emanating from our human Overlords.

    There is also a relevance in that it illustrates Fate to be little more than willing support from People encountered along the way. Just like the various Ideas that succeed into Bills that die or Bills that get passed into Law, these little bots succeed or fail depending on the People they encounter. The People think they are doing something good by helping them along, like Congress-People who support noble sounding Bills based on the little summaries tagged to the Bills’ cover pages without truly knowing its ultimate purpose when it reaches its destination. Like over-de-regulating financial markets (that probably seemed like a good idea from the little summary tags on the Bills, and it certainly made a lot of people rich) but in the end the economic disaster inflicted by those little Bill-Bots were all but inconceivable to all, but, perhaps, the Overlords who set those Bill-Bots in motion.

  5. knarlyknight Says:

    Consider the Not-so-cute Meme-Bot being helped along its way by some people, the one that says “torture works”. Is that true, or is it a pack of Lies, and what happens when this Not-so-cute Meme-Bot reaches its destination???

    It seems that at least one person as given the subject some intelligent thought and has dug infiniely deeper than the WWNJ sound-bites, and thus warrants a link on this Lies site:


  6. shcb Says:

    Of course if a conservative would have built it there would have been sufficient wheel size, controls and power to get where it wanted to go without help, the sign would have said “get the hell out of my way” and by the end of the week there would have been six of them racing through the park. All this would have been done without government funding at a profit to the best. All the while the little liberal robot would have been driving around aimlessly pointed in the wrong direction half the time by well wishing people without a clue of what they are doing.

  7. knarlyknight Says:


    What was the point of that, other than to take silly partisian potshots?

    Try thinking before posting next time: here is the logical result of your post:

    …and thus the “conservative” student who built the efficient Tween-Bot would receive an “F” on her Psychology or Sociology thesis for (1) completely ignoring the original purpose of the thesis, (2) showing an utter lack of comprehension for the subject matter and (3) failing to add anything useful to the discipline. (Par for the “conservative” camp.)

    However, the engineering or physics students might be mildly amused at the “conservative” Sociology student’s excessive efforts, as even the “liberal” engineering students had built far superior Bots in their first year than the “conservative” fool.

    At the risk of appearing self-centered, might I suggest that your real purpose was to divert discussion from the excellent article link that I posted immediately above? If that article was too much for you, then I have just two words for you: “Matthew Alexander”. As in:

    Matthew Alexander spent fourteen years in the U.S. Air Force. An “investigator turned interrogator,” he deployed to Iraq in 2006, where he led the interrogations team that located Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, the former leader of al-Qaeda in Iraq, who was killed by coalition forces. Alexander was awarded the Bronze Star for his achievements. He is the author of How to Break a Terrorist: The U.S. Interrogators Who Used Brains, Not Brutality, to Take Down the Deadliest Man in Iraq (Free Press, 2008).

    Cheney and Bush were short-sighted “conservative” fools. Mathew Alexander is neither short-sighted nor a fool, but may well be in the tiny minority of decent conservatives.

  8. shcb Says:

    It all depends on your objectives

  9. knarlyknight Says:

    Okay then, so tell us how Kacie Kinzer’s objectives have anything to do at all with these unnecessary & stupid pot-shots: http://www.lies.com/wp/2009/05/07/i-for-one-welcome-the-tweenbot-overlords/#comment-147988

  10. enkidu Says:

    The point of the tweenbot (to me anyway) is to explore human interaction with a simple machine that is obviously not a threat (it is easy to see that it doesn’t weigh much, so it can’t be a bomb). I am sure if it looked like the conservaDeathBot wwnj wants to build the bomb squad would have destroyed it on its first run.

    But instead in one of the toughest cities on the planet, in a busy, drug selling, hippy drum bangin hot spot, not a single tweenbot was damaged or lost. Even more surprisingly, they all made it to the other side.

    To me it says something important about basic human decency. Also interesting is wwnj’s ‘joke’ post. Can’t stop being a partisan tool for even a moment… I feel sad for you yet again.

    I lived in NYC for a few years and they were wonderful, incredible, world changing years. The people I met nearly everywhere in NYC were the nicest, most decent salt of the earth people I have ever met. Greatest, most liberal city on Earth barring perhaps SF (where I live now… better food, cleaner air and more wilderness close by, plus few wwnjs)

  11. shcb Says:

    He just has different objectives. His objective as you guys point out, is to see how people react to something that is helpless, some people ignore it, some help it, and some make matters worse in their help (sending it in the wrong direction). You made it into something else when you started to analyze it in your 11:00pm post. So I continued to analyze it from a different direction. That people reacted the way they did doesn’t surprise me, I wouldn’t have wasted the time finding out something I already know.

    I think this shows how different the objectives of liberals and conservatives are, he is pleased that with a bunch of help of strangers his little guy will eventually get to it’s destination, spending most if his time wondering aimlessly in the wrong direction. As a conservative I want my creation to get to it’s direction in as efficient a path as possible, depending on the good grace of strangers as little as possible. Now that doesn’t mean my little guy might not need a little help along the way, and it would be appreciated, but while his is begging to be put on the right path mine will be forging along that path well on its way to its destination.

    Leadership is contagious, this little robot was wondering aimlessly so people didn’t know which way to point it, they just set it on its way and then went on theirs. I would like to see this same experiment with a similar robot under control moving decisively to its goal, my guess is that people would start to follow it, if it got stuck they would instinctively put it back on the right path.

    Does that answer your questions about my “pot shots”?

  12. enkidu Says:

    Your last post shows how poor your reading comprehension really is wwnj.

    Let’s make a list shall we?

    1) the tweenbot maker is a woman

    2) if you had bothered to actually read the link (rather than just bloviating) you would see that the flag asks for help and gives the helper a destination location (SW corner of the park)

    3) tweenbot doesn’t wonder, he wanders in a straight line

    4) this project was not funded by the government (she’s an art student)

    5) you miss the point of this experiment entirely

    I signed up for her mailing list to see some of the rev2 and rev3 bots. http://tweenbots.com/newBots.html I’d also like to see the same experiment done with decreasing levels of cuteness. Will a plain box make it? What % of times? What if it looked like wwnj’s DeathBot? What if it said b-o-m-b on the side? What if it had a $5 bill stuck inside it? What if it had a destination across town?

    wwnj doesn’t need to experiment in the real world, his 4th grade (ooops, 3rd grade) math and reasoning skills are all he needs to understand everything, ever.

    When ‘analyzing’ things that aren’t facts, you leap to ridiculous conclusions and skewed opinions. So releasing a cardboard robot in the world’s toughest city, that depends upon the kindness of strangers to provide the intelligence for its direction, isn’t a worthwhile experiment? That is your opinion.

    I’m sure if wwnj had met tweenbot his reaction would have been to kill it or wet his pants, maybe both.

  13. shcb Says:

    I would have turned it up side down to see how well it was constructed, but that’s just the German in me.

    So it had the destination on it and still people turned it in the direction it just came from? I’ll stick to controling my own life, thank you.

  14. enkidu Says:

    you just don’t get it
    I feel sad for you lil ricki

  15. shcb Says:

    oh, I get it, I just have different priorities.

  16. shcb Says:

    In 2007 and 2008, Murtha, Rep. Jim Moran, D-Va. and Rep. Peter Visclosky. D-Ind., directed $137 million to defense contractors who were paying PMA to get them government business.



    and then we have this:


    are the Dems starting to eat their young or is someone wanting Nancy’s job?

  17. knarlyknight Says:

    No, it’s clear shcb does not get it.

    I was thinking much the same as you were Enk about shcb’s lack of comprehension etc.; by the way, shcb also asserts wrongly that the Bot spends most of its time going in the wrong direction when the finding was that the bot almost always was heading in the right direction. So much for shcb’s comment that he “wouldn’t waste the time finding out something I already know”! That’s a tiny example of where shcb knows virtually squat but thinks he knows a lot because he fails to question whether what he know is true; again, in his own words: “I wouldn’t waste the time finding out something I already know.” As such, shcb is an easy mark to be taken in by lies that sound plausible to his pre-existing biases.

    CKL wondered about the relevance of TwenBots to this site, I think it’s done wonders to seperate the arrogant, biased, bigoted partisan fools from those of us who try to live up to the Lies.com manifesto.

    There’s just so much error in shcb’s “reasoning”, as JBC has so aptly desribed in previous posts, that it becomes absurd to attempt to address all his mistakes. So I’ll cut this short.

    shcb, ignoring for a moment that you’ve entirely missed the point of and inherent value of TweenBot experiments, do you have any compelling facts or figures (i.e. your silly anecdotes do not cut it here) to back up what sounds like your utterly prejudiced and bogus stereotype assertion that “conservatives” would build better robots than “liberals”? If so, please enlighten us. If not, please shut the fuck up already.

  18. shcb Says:

    People in engineering, machinists, mechanics etc tend to be more conservative than artists, teachers, psychologists etc. right brain left brain thing.

    It’s not who builds a better robot per se, but who builds a better robot for the intended purpose. This person built a good robot for this purpose, my purpose would have been different.

    If this project were done for research I would be more interested in the number of people that paid it no mind, the number that noticed it was in trouble but did nothing, and the number that helped it on its way, rightly and wrongly. Maybe she did, this may just be a little side note she put out there because it is cute and the boring research is on her professor’s desk.

    If this is all she has this shows another problem with research today. She went out to find something we all know, there are people out there that will help you if you ask, and then she continued to do the same thing over and over just to reinforce her own ego “I’m doing something good, I’m showing there are good people in this city”.

  19. shcb Says:

    By the way, there is nothing wrong with my reasoning ability, JBC is simply wrong there. But it does bring up a couple other traits of liberals, they attack their opponent’s intellect or some other aspect of their opponent, they are fat, ugly, whatever, instead of attacking their ideas on a rational basis. Secondly, liberals will say their opponent is doing or is what they are doing or are whether their opponent is or isn’t doing what they claim.

  20. CKL Says:

    1) What does WWNJ mean exactly? I keep reading/hearing it. I feel that, since I’ve been fed up for nearly a decade now with the circle-jerk of American politics that keeps every mouthbreather fighting with each other while they’re being robbed blind, I’ve missed out on a key phrase. Something tells me it’s yet another passive-aggressive shot by one political party at another which keeps getting recycled because people aren’t interested in creating positive outcomes through civil discourse, instead content to argue and bicker and act as children in a grown-up world.

    2) Wow, this is older than even I thought, hackaday.com had it posted on April 11: http://hackaday.com/2009/04/11/tweenbots-rely-on-human-help/

    3) Seriously, guys, you aren’t getting it even though the writing is on the wall. NOBODY is. I don’t know if you’ve been paying attention to what the current administration is doing, but it’s pretty much “splitting the difference” between party lines. Are you aware of how your rights are being impinged? Do you care?

    Maybe if you actually PAID ATTENTION you’d see that we should stop fighting with each other based on political ideals and actually do something to stop those who are using the political system against those whom it is supposed to serve. Maybe stop grumbling about what the government should or should not be doing and start focusing on what you can do to CHANGE things, and not by tossing into office some other jackass who DOESN’T represent you but isn’t as bad as the other guy.

    It’s very much a class struggle. How many of us are in the same tax bracket to hang out with our elected officials? I don’t mean seeing them in person once in a while at a rally, or shaking their hand on the campaign trail. I mean lending them your lawnmower when theirs breaks down. Oh, wait, that’s right… they don’t even mow their own lawns. THESE are the people you’re willing to fight with each other for, because their life of privilege and comfort makes them relate to your personal struggles due simply to the word “democrat” or “republican”?

    When this country was founded it was based on the idea of all men being created equal. This isn’t a “liberal” or “conservative” idea; it’s the idea of freedom. When every single person in the US sincerely believes that they could run for president and win we will be the nation we were meant to be. Every single one of us has failed the vision our forefathers had, and the longer we take to rectify things the harder it will be.

  21. shcb Says:


    WWNJ stands for “wrong wing nut job” (I think) as far as I know it was coined by our own Enky. If memory serves it came from Rush’s “left wing nut job” which probably came from someone else’s “right wing nut job”.

    I am REALLY interested in a rational discussion with someone here, so what is your idea for a revolution of our system? I’ll let you know where it sit before we get into where I stand. I think we have a very good system as far as the way the constitution is set up, republic instead of a democracy etc. and I like a two party system. But, that doesn’t mean it needs to be the current two parties. So, I’ll be a fair devil’s advocate, I’ll probably agree more than disagree with you, but your ideas will need to be at least somewhat doable or I will point politely that they aren’t. Fair enough?

    By the way, did you ever read the Clancey book where most of the government was wiped out and Jack Ryan got to start over from scratch? Use that as a jump off point if you like.

  22. enkidu Says:

    wwnj – your ‘analysis’ is just your opinion

    ckl – ienj, rwnj and wwnj are my inventions, please do not use these ™® marks without the proper licensing fees being paid to progressiveplanet.org

    shcb stands for stupid hypocritical conservatard bum?
    or silly human contra bomb?
    or was it smarmy hubris cretin bumbler?
    o wait! it’s short haired country boy!

    but since right wing nut jobs constantly conflate their label of ‘right wing’ to mean ‘correct’, I changed right wing nut job (rwnj) to ‘wrong wing nut job’ or wwnj which is about perfect (and this is the most reasonable wwnj we have posting here since Craig clutched his pearls and tottered off into the sunset). ienj is islamic extremist nut job (the Bad Guys™!) the flip side of the coin to our wwnjs (its a symbiotic arrangement)

    btw – THX 4 ALL TEH CAPS! ;-)
    to add emphasis, may I suggest using simple html tags to add bold and italic rather than the iSHOUTING? less than and the letter b greater than, write your message then close with less than then slash and the letter b greater than. Like so, but remove all the periods hello world (this may not show up how I intend…)

    My positive outcome is to have dear ol wwnj admit that 36% plus 3% does not equal 51% (wingnutoverse math evidently does not translate to the normal universe, c’est la vie) I know it is a simple yet probably vain hope of ever having reality get thru the thick thick skulls of wwnjs everywhere and say “admit your errors and move on”

    ps – calling everyone else a mouthbreather and then whinging about civil discourse sort of defeats the purpose, eh? But it’s the intertubes, and unless you’ve been living in a cave without net access for the last 10 years, you may have noticed that people don’t mind venting a bit of spleen on these types of blogs. ymmv

  23. enkidu Says:

    funny how 24 and Clancey novels seem to make up such a large percentage of wwnj ‘thinking’… ummmm you guys do know the difference between reality and scary dreams right?

    I’ll answer that: no, you don’t.

  24. enkidu Says:

    shcb will you offer to smash your cocktail into CKL’s face if he says something you don’t like? (you’ve threatened murder before) Or will you fantasize about impaling him or burning him at the stake or worse? (you’ve said that before too) Will you natter on about your militia buddy or that you care a gun (btw I checked with the local law enforcement, you don’t have a concealed carry permit). Or will you politely dream about nuking 10 million A-rabs? And you are the nice ol wwnj! TV (lots of death threats), mcfrootloop (some nonsense about a tank?), sgt slaughter (wanted to kill jbc and his family and make lampshades from their skins) or patriot (wanted us all hung for disagreeing with The Decider) were far more extreme. Oh if I only had a dollar for every time one of those jokers used to say something like “shoot all the libs” etc. I can’t recall Craig threatening me with death, torture – or worse – so, point to Craig.

    If you want to have a nuancy ‘debate’ w dear ol wwnj, have at it, but my money is on standing up to ridiculous bullshit and actually calling it bullshit. Mocking the extremists out of the public square is my shtick.

  25. shcb Says:


    Thanks for the editing note, I like to use the tags if I have the macros set up for them, but I don’t have them set up on all my computers, so it depends on which machine I’m using. I find that if I don’t have the macros set up I tend to forget to turn the tags off and you know what happens next. Which brings up a sore spot, why in the hell did Windows do away with the ability to make custom icons in office 2007? It just seems they take one step forward and 2 back sometimes.

  26. shcb Says:

    Don’t be bothered by Enky CKL, he is just worried that I/we will have a rational discussion and another of his bigotries will be tested.

  27. NorthernLite Says:

    So, when’s Cheney going to jail? What about Dr. Rice?

    If anything, I’ve noticed they can’t even go to the corner store without being harrassed about the shit they caused. I’m assuming it’ll be like that for the rest of their lives.

    *Happy Dance*

  28. enkidu Says:

    calling bullshit bullshit isn’t bigotry

    when you blamed the economic downturn on ‘negroes and mexicans’, that was bigotry. Your constant denigration of anyone to the left of you (and considering how far you are to the right, that’s pert near everyone), well I wouldn’t call that bigotry, I’d call that partisan cowardice.

    Sure you can be nice when you aren’t drunk or on meth or reading fox (not sure which is worse, the meth or the wwnj ‘info’ sources… debatable), you’ve traded some swell recipes and told a few avuncular anecdotes, but your far far right ideology is bankrupt. As an life long Independent voter I find your shtick to be sickening, but not as much as some of those other jokers. Is that actually a compliment?

    NL – I doubt we’ll jail em, they covered their asses well (and covered up the worst). Best we can hope for is a truth and reconciliation type lancing of the evil boil. Having the public know that we tortured these Very Bad Guys to provide false info so the oil junta could invade Iraq is what we’ll have to settle for… just being a pragmatist or a realist. Not happy about it, but that is the way it is looking. So many other bush disasters to fix… maybe Spain or the EU will nab em?

  29. knarlyknight Says:

    NL – might be too pre-occupied with crisis management from, and damage control of, the wwnj’s torture policies to redress the past wrongs of Cheney et al …for example:

  30. knarlyknight Says:

    I agree ans sympathise with you about the partisan crap and what we should be doing rather than feuding it out along party lines while those in power milk the system to further their personal interests. (Almost sounds like you’re an Alex Jones fan.) And I’ve heard shcb agree to be “reasonable” before, it lasts about a half dozen posts and then when the discussion turns into debate he resorts to the tactics he says he really likes: throwing a few incendiary bombs or backhanded partisan insults into the mix to distract what he calls his “opponent”. “Opponent” explains why he strongly favors win/lose outcomes as opposed to win/win, and further: pretty much everything Enk has stated about shcb is fair accurate. If you doubt that, there’s ample history in the archives for you to form your own opinion. Perhaps Enk can provide some links to highlights (i.e. lowlights)

    I’ve stated that just so you are forewarned should you choose to engage in this venue further in your quest to change people’s focus away from futile partisan conflicts and towards a useful dialogue. I hope you stay, and attempt to provide a moderating influence, but my assessment is that your chances are about zero percent of fixing this problem here. Maybe it’s a good practice area for you, but my advice is that your efforts would be far more rewarded elsewhere. I’ve become increasingly cynical about the prospects for actually making any difference to people who’ve become set in their ways, and there is plenty of that here.

  31. shcb Says:

    How can politics be anything else but partisan? Are you ready to give up all your beliefs and give people like me complete control of the government forever? Of course not, why should I? Only rarely is there a win-win situation in a competitive world, but that isn’t what you want anyway, you want a win situation and to convince the loser that they won, or for them to just go away so you don’t have to work so hard at the next win.

    That said, I don’t think that is what CKL wants anyway, he seems more upset at the process, the way people are selected, their motivations etc. Now we can’t change human nature but it can be controlled it a little with carrots and sticks, and there are various forms of government, those can be discussed in a civil manner. What I have noticed in CKL’s brief time here is he (she) is a person that has a problem but no solution, this isn’t uncommon. We call it the “mommy make it stop” syndrome. When you fell down as a kid and skinned your knee you just wanted the pain to go away, you just wanted your mommy to make it stop, but there was very little your mommy could do to help maybe a little bactine and a bandaid but that is all, time took its course and eventually the pain went away. Now there were things she could have done to make it worse, but she was smart enough to know that there was little she could do to help the situation.

  32. Smith Says:

    I guess it really depends on what you mean by partisan. To me, avoiding partisan bickering is not the same as letting people you disagree with walk all over you. When I think of partisanship in this context, I think of people casting their full support behind a person because they are in the same political party. You could avoid this form of partisanship and maintain political debate by aligning yourself with policies rather than with parties. Don’t considering yourself to be a member of a party, but rather recognize yourself as an individual with personal beliefs.

    Stop trying to demonize people simply because they have the wrong letter next to their name. Furthermore, stop staunchly defending someone just because they chose the same letter as you. If someone’s policies closely match your own, then vote for them. However, if you vote for them and then they begin to act in a manner that contradicts their stated policies or goes against your personal beliefs, then criticize them. Don’t blindly defend Bush or Obama when they make a bad choice. Stop thinking in terms of labels and parties, and start evaluating people on individual policy basis.

    Moving beyond labels and parties can end partisanship while still allowing an individual to support his/her own favored policies.

    Sorry if that was a bit long winded. I hope my point was clear despite the rambling nature of my comment.

    P.S. To address the Tweenbot issue. SHCB’s initial comment seems to be “If I were to build a bot to accomplish a different goal, I would build a different kind of bot.” That seems a bit tautological, doesn’t it? I am sure the creator of the tweenbots would have built a different kind of bot if the goal of the project was to get to the other side of the park. You do understand that getting across the park was not the actual purpose of the experiment, right?

  33. knarlyknight Says:

    CKL – see what I mean?

    shcb – for the record, I have always rejectect your labelling of me as a Liberal, I just gave up trying to get you to stop calling me that. I’m strongly ion favour of conservative and free market economic principles, provided that the leaders of industry and regulators act and perform in an honest and efficient manner. Neither is realistic yet, as has been more than aptly demonstrated by the investment banks , Enron, et al ad nauseum, so unfortunately greater public accountability, oversight and control is necessary to protect society from the wolves.

  34. NorthernLite Says:

    shcb’s last post almost made me fall of the chair.

    This guy has analogies for everything!

    But my mom always made the pain go away and always made things better. I guess my mom is just better than your mom. :p

    There, we’ve finally descended into the lowest form of debate possible.

  35. knarlyknight Says:

    Nl – I enjoyed that but we’re not at the lowest form of debate yet. That’s because my mom made the pain go away quicker so I could be on my way to score the next goal sooner. My mom was very liberal, it’s just a fact that they’re so much better than conservative moms – did you also wonder when you were a kid why it was always the Republican moms who would just yell at the referee and try to hit the kid made their kid fall and skin their knee?

    There, that’s close to rock bottom now.

  36. shcb Says:

    There is only one person who is perfectly liberal and one person who is perfectly conservative, and then only because we need a benchmark, everyone else is somewhere in between or outside that box. On balance you are a liberal, on balance I am a conservative. I’m not anti abortion and I am for the legalization of drugs (to a point) and I’m not religious, but on balance I am a conservative.

  37. knarlyknight Says:

    shcb, you’re the last person to be expounding on balance.

  38. shcb Says:

    You guys are pre programmed to give a certain response based on a few keywords aren’t you?

  39. Smith Says:

    shcb, I don’t think the “perfectly liberal” and “perfectly conservative” person must exist. It is perfectly reasonable to set an ideologically perfect standard without having anyone actually fulfill all the criteria laid out by that standard. We can conceive of the perfect person, perfect politician, perfect car, etc. even if none of those have existence. The only caveat is that we must omit the characteristic of “existing” from our definition of perfect. I don’t think that omission presents a problem when discussing ideologies.

    shcb, do you actually define yourself as “conservative,” or do you use that term as a means of convenience. Do you feel that there is a more accurate description of your pattern of beliefs? You stated that you are pro-choice and oppose the War on Drugs to some degree, which fits with libertarian and paleo-conservative policies; however, from your comments on various entries on this blog, I believe that you favor preemptive military interventionism in International affairs, which is a hallmark of neo-conservative ideology. Is there an existing party that you feel sufficiently represents your views?

  40. enkidu Says:

    wwwnj, after all the hate radio you ingest and then spew out, your previous post just pegged my irony meter

    Seriously, you should just quietly Go Galt or sublime or secede or just stfu for the next 3 years or so. You and Darth Cheney just have no clue the immense damage you have done to America. Both the country and the Idea. If you have nothing positive or constructive to say, please don’t say anything at all. Every time you post you make a fool of yourself. Quit while you are so far behind.

    The future doesn’t need you and your ilk. We’ll build it without you or in spite of you. If we must fight you (see Civil War) we will. It will be the same result as last time. hey! I have an analogy too! You want to go backward, while we want to go forward. We’re at the wheel, now please stop pretending you are driving.

  41. shcb Says:


    You’re right, there probably isn’t a perfect anything since we all have a different idea of what “perfect is”. Discussions are just easier if you start out agreeing on a benchmark. Better yet are probably several benchmarks. Rush Limbaugh is more conservative than John McCain and less than John Kerry. It is easier to see a trend with a few datum points.

    The Republican party under Reagan probably fit me the best, and even then there were some things I disagreed with. I am probably more Conservative than Libertarian, you have heard people say “I’m physically conservative and socially liberal” I’m probably more conservative on defense and the role of government and socially libertarian. I believe government needs to be more involved in our lives than a libertarian but less than a liberal in general terms. And then I have my own personal views on individual issues that have sometimes changed as my life and the world have changed.

    Fair enough?

    I’ve never put much stock in the neo conservative label, for what it’s worth.

  42. Smith Says:


    I do find it a bit interesting that you feel yourself to be somewhat socially liberal and yet also feel that Reagan best represented your views. I believe political analysts often cite Reagan’s presidency as being the key point at which the GOP became a strongly socially conservative party. Reagan definitely favored an increase in the government’s role in people’s social lives. I assume your identification with Reagan is primarily due to his very aggressive approach to the USSR and his willingness to involve the military in conflicts abroad, and possibly his trickle-down economic theory.

    You mentioned that you feel the government should “be more involved in our lives than a libertarian but less than a liberal.” What sort of involvement are you speaking of here? As far as I can tell, both liberals and conservatives believe the government should be heavily involved in the lives of its citizens. Liberals advocate increased involvement through taxpayer funded social welfare programs, such as UHC and Social Security retirement programs and increased business regulations. Conservatives advocate increased involvement in matters such as defining marriage, prohibiting access to “vices”, and increased search and wiretapping privileges. Do you really feel that one of these ideologies advocates less government involvement than the other? In my mind, it is not the degree of involvement that differs between libs and cons, but rather the form that the involvement takes.

  43. shcb Says:

    I think you have me pegged pretty closely. You would have a different view of my beliefs if you looked at a questionnaire with multiple choice questions as opposed to one that asked me to rate those questions on a 1 to 10 scale. I don’t think I am at all unique there either. I absolutely loathe people like Jerry Falwell but I think the religious right as a whole is somewhere between insignificant and a nuisance. It’s just a matter of my priorities. They happen to be an important voting block of my party but I don’t care much about their issues. If the environmentalists started voting Republican and the Religious Right became the Religious Left so their votes canceled each other out I wouldn’t care a wit.

    I don’t think gay marriage is more or less involvement by government on either side, it’s just a yes or no question and government is going to be equally involved in either case. I think if you look at the issues we’ve discussed I’m fairly consistent in meeting your criteria for less involvement of government. You mentioned prohibiting vices, well, that is one area where I part from my conservative friends, but I’m probably a little more in favor of prohibiting those vices than my liberal and libertarian friends. Legalize pot, yes, cocaine, maybe, heroin, no. Question: are you for the legalization of drugs? My answer: yes.

    Search and wiretapping privileges? Only for the protection of the country. Use the constitution for crimes in but not against the country. Which of course is within the confines of the constitution.

    I agree with your last statement to a degree. I typically am opposed to conservatives butting into areas they should stay out of just as I am liberals… with some notable exceptions.

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