Lately, there’s been an uptick in a specific type of foolishness, and I wanted to address it: The ridiculous comment. You don’t see too many of them around these parts, because I simply don’t allow them.

I really don’t care what your views are about global warming or the CRA or what really happened on 9/11. If you want to push a nonsense narrative, you can 1) start your own blog; 2) join a community of liked minded loons; 3) comment on the blogs that don’t care about (capital “T”) Truth.

Sunspots cause global warming? The CRA caused the crisis? Its actually getting colder? Congress mandated NINJA loans? Bush ordered 9/11?

Go sell crazy elsewhere, we are not buying.

Here is the thing: I don’t have time to vet every comment — there have been nearly 400k of them. The default setting is comment moderation, and most people move off that status. (I have better things to do than moderate comments). You have to really go out of your way on the wrong/creepy/jackass scale to get put onto the permanent blacklist. But once you cross that threshold, your done. I have no time or patience to deal with your ongoing nonsense.

5 years ago, I gave Scott Adams some good advice (here). I am following it myself.  My apologies to those of you who get caught in the filters . . .

Category: Weblogs

Please use the comments to demonstrate your own ignorance, unfamiliarity with empirical data and lack of respect for scientific knowledge. Be sure to create straw men and argue against things I have neither said nor implied. If you could repeat previously discredited memes or steer the conversation into irrelevant, off topic discussions, it would be appreciated. Lastly, kindly forgo all civility in your discourse . . . you are, after all, anonymous.

43 Responses to “The Ridiculous Comment”

  1. biscuits says:

    Didn’t catch the advice before. Thanks for reposting it.

  2. jaymaster says:

    I was “off moderation” here for about a year, and then for some reason went back on.

    I’ve never figured out why, but, whatever…

  3. vachon says:

    The 7 bits of advice you linked to is hilarious! Subtle indeed (:

  4. philipat says:

    Hey Barry, bad hair day?

    I suggest a bottle of red (preferably a Petrus 1982) whilst reading your advice to Scott Adams, which is priceless.

  5. Jack Damn says:

    I think sometimes the ZeroHedge kooks bleed over onto your blog.

    I believe, at one time, they thought of you as “one of their own” or a like minded kin due to your harsh stance on banks. I think back in the early days of blogging, many traders perceived you as “anti-Wall St.” and therefore, when ZeroHedge is in between posts, they pop over here to post their tinfoil hat paranoia thinking it’s relatively safe.

    Also, as the market grinds higher, I have noticed people tend to become more angry that they are missing the run (because of their doom and gloom beliefs) or they feel a great sense of injustice due to QE and Operation Twist.

    Hot cat on a tin roof, et al.

  6. The Window Washer says:

    When do the Fucking filters kick in?

    Not yet.

  7. The Window Washer says:

    Amazed you managed to hold of this long. Over the last few years you’ve looked at few directions to take the site, but in the end it’s your voice we’re here to for.
    You took quite a ride on the way up. If it’s time to bust your ass and bleed for some other challenge, do whatever it takes to keep TBP enjoyable to write.
    I’m sure I speak for many when I say I’d miss you if you quit but MUCH worse would be The Big Picture becoming lame. Keep it fun for yourself even if that means posting in Wingdings. 

  8. loweralabama says:

    Smile.. Barry, Your Advice to Scott Adams was perfect.

    Life is sweet and short. Never invest a minute more with anyone who is ” nuts” or a World class asshole. Sometimes we discover the ” Crazy” a bit later in a realtionship.. Be it business or personal relationship .

    Life is Sweet when we allow only people into it that add value. Those who add anything else should be dismissed and ignore..

  9. crutcher says:

    “I don’t have time to …” usually denotes failure, as does “I don’t have time (or money) to hire someone to…”

    I doubt that your clients have reflected on the fact that you consider moderating blog comments a part of your job. The time to delegate (and supervise as necessary) was years ago.


    BR: Its a personal blog, not a media business. I am not spending $40k per year to pay someone to moderate comments

  10. yuan says:

    sorry but the idea that zeroIQ is hard on banks made me guffaw. the jealous admiration of the eponymous tyler durden for the vampire squid from hell is not even disguised.

  11. eliz says:

    As for labeling people “kooks” and only engaging people that add value (how is THAT determined?):

    Chester Carlson, who invented the photocopier we have all become familiar with “was turned down by over 20 companies, including IBM and General Electric—neither of which believed there was a significant market for copiers.” (link)

    Australian MD, Barry Marshall, was ignored and ridiculed for years after he proposed that peptic ulcers commonly had a bacterial cause. (link)

    Do you think there were people who thought Copernicus a kook because he proposed the earth orbited the sun?

    Do you think there was resistance to Thomas Young’s theory of light as a wave?

    Surely there are kooks who espouse nonsense, but just as surely, there are people labeled kooks who are brilliant.

  12. howardoark says:

    Hey BR – you have 66344 readers just here and many others linked to here. You provide a hugely valuable service for no cost. So thank you.

  13. lunartop says:

    You should do one of those lists for commenters, I suspect it would be very similar.

  14. Mr.Tuxedo says:

    Few people are capable of expressing with equanimity opinions which differ from the prejudices of their social enviroment. Most people are incapable of forming such opinions.”

    (Essay to Leo Baeck, 1953)”
    ― Albert Einstein

  15. seanpj says:

    there, is a ‘technical’ solution. Use others user rating (likes/dislikes) to pre-screen comments and do your screening afterwards on those with higher counts.
    cheers, sean

  16. seanpj says:

    Oooooops, OTHER USERS’
    sorry, sean

  17. VennData says:

    As a frequent, biased commenter I strenously object to being labeled ‘ridiculous’ and demand from this so-called blog the more sensative “logically-challenged, factless, cracker-barrel buffoon’ or so help me, I’ll buy my Broadside Books without using your link…. which I find difficult to operate anyway with only the one crayon they allow me here, in my mouth, to press the keyboard …and I vote.

  18. jnkowens says:

    Amen brother. The only blog I frequent with fewer loons is Scott Burns. And that’s because the curmudgeonly Mr. Burns got exactly 1 comment he thought was disrespectful and shut down comments altogether. This is a great service and I thank you for it. Let the haters go visit Henry and the crew at BI where that crap is tolerated.

  19. Moss says:

    Probably another good timing call given the US horse race for the W.H. now at the gate.

  20. Oral Hazard says:

    My experience as reader and occasional commenter is that Barry will generally tolerate views expressed in comments that differ from his own — provided the comments don’t contain those certain “tells” that the commenter is parroting talking points from some interest group’s Mother Ship or just an a-hole troll.

    Back up your position with data and at least try provide a compelling causal connection between Condition A and Effect B where that relationship is controversial, and you’ll usually be okay in terms of moderation. But that doesn’t mean Barry won’t say he thinks your position and reasoning are bullshit, so thick skins are probably in order when you go to post here.

  21. jab says:

    Global Warming. I have educated myself on a great many things, but not Global Warming. Why not? I’m not sure. It’s not because I think it is an unimportant subject, but I guess it’s an example of not being able to “kiss all the girls.”

    I have read Global Warming denial claims from the usual suspects. I don’t trust what they say for a minute. However, I have also read stuff from people that I respect for their intelligence, honesty, etc. that does not buy into the global warming hypothesis. That is, they do not agree with all of its components. And some might even accept that there has been climate change and that it is man made, but they do not agree that current proposed solutions are create a better alternative than doing nothing.

    Remember: even if we can all agree that burning fossil fuels pollutes the environment, that does not mean that it would be better for mankind to stop burning fossil fuels altogether. Now, I don’t give this example to create a strawman; I give it to demonstrate that whatever proposed solution is on the table needs to help more than it harms.

    I can also say that I see plenty of people trying to make a lot of dough from this. Al Gore. Even finance. For instance, who would benefit from “cap and trade?” Who would create the exchanges and buy and sell this stuff. i.e., cap-and-trade could be yet another finance-government-boondogle created in the name of “saving humanity.”

  22. Jim67545 says:

    Even though I seem to be on permanent double secret probation, I appreciate the degree of moderating you do. It has driven off some folks with quasi-radical but sometimes insightful comments. I guess it’s a matter of the BS setting on the moderator.

    In the process of suppressing uninformed optimism and focusing on seemingly insoluable issues, this blog’s comments tend to be pessimisticly/negatively oriented. Perhaps in viewing such topics as prosecuting the banks that is justified. However, it could be balanced with some more BR wisdom and even commenter wisdom on the direction of the economy and market. Now may not be the time when a “it’s going up!!!” call is justified but it certainly is not always “it’s going to hell.” Just saying.

    This is the only blog I go to where it is worth reading the comments. The rest seem to be worthless smarmy chit-chat or grounded in outer space somewhere. Keep up the good work – please.

  23. James P says:

    The comments to posts are just that as Berry is pretty prolific and things move pretty fast. I am usually late to the game and commentors have moved on. I enjoy thoughtful discussion on threads that span days or weeks but too often those end up as a pingpong match between two opposed narratives rather then anything conceptually rich. I come to this site at least once a day simply because Berry has winnowed the relevant. I read comments to take the temperature of the patient or to know the enemy although to get a real cross section of the myopic belief spread one must read comments in the NY Times.

  24. slowkarma says:

    I’m another occasional commenter here who may be included among the crazies. I’m not crazy about factual matters — I think we should be worried about global warming, don’t think Bush knew about 9/11, do think Obama was born in Hawaii, etc. etc. — but I’m also an extreme skeptic when it comes to the media, though I have worked in and around the media for forty-five years. My problem is that I forget that Barry is embedded in the media, with his WP column and this blog, and may, from his position, see my commentary as sometimes nuts. My viewpoint is that Barry, in his position, can’t see how crazy most of the media really is. The WSJ is a consistent denier of the reality of global warming. The New Yorker is a rabidly partisan magazine that no longer provides reliable political commentary on anything. Does Barry really think a cartoon makes a valuable point on anything? The televised media thinks that putting two crazies on a panel to assault each other somehow reveals the truth of the matter, when what you actually get is two opposing sets of lies. The New York Times has become a mouthpiece for the Democratic Party. And so on. So why do I keep coming here? Because Barry *does* provide a valuable service with his readings. In trying to figure out how to get through these very difficult times, it’s hard to keep up even with the thoughtful (and technical) advice that Barry provides links to. So, I’d keep coming back even if I got kicked off the comments section.


    BR: Embedded?

    I’ve been a pretty vocal critic of the media for many years. I refused to sign a CNBC contributor contract (hence why I am never on there anymore). And the WaPo column is a longer-form, prettyied up version of the posts you see here.

    I’m gonna have to disagree

  25. DiggidyDan says:

    “Don’t Be Ridiculous!” was Balki’s catchphrase, Cousin Barry.

    I take it as a given that my comments are gonna get caught in limbo now. I assume whenever I have certain words or links in a post it will get put aside for a while on this site until clearing. It’s unfortunate that we can’t just get a human to view comments for the same cost as a computer filter, and determine what is valid or not, but that’s a fact of life.

    It’s your blog, do what you want to, but please don’t stop the posting! We really appreciate it.

  26. spooz says:

    As a Zerohedge comments poster, I choose which of the many contributors to follow. Most of the posts I respond to are Mises propaganda, and, as a progressive, I do it to be a counterpoint. Chris Whalen lets his libertarian flag fly there, something I haven’t seen on his Institutional Risk Analytics website. Sometimes it seems like I’m the only progressive voice in the comments, but I’ve seen a few others lately who are willing to speak out. There are plenty there who need help with developing critical thinking skills, so I point out propaganda when I see it. As I’ve said before, the only hope in defeating the corrupt duopoly is libertarians and progressives coming together under some kind of rule of law party. So I try to talk to them.

    I’m sure there are plenty of kooks who read the Washingtons Blog posts, plenty of tinfoil material there. But he has the scoop on Fukushima and the oil spill when I wanted it. I’ve also learned a lot about high frequency trading, flash crashes and market manipulation from “Tyler Durden”, financial fraud information from 4closureFraud, and others. There are quite a few contributors and posts that I skip.

    I think people who dismiss the blog as fringe are missing a lot.

  27. philipat says:

    Excuse me but what, prey, is a “Progressive”. In matters economic it has a very specific meaning. But in politics it seems to have become interchangeable with “Democrat” in an attempt to usurp the “Progress” part of the word as an implied slur on anyone who is not, well, progressive?

  28. Defining Quality says:
    That was brutal!
    Fuck ‘em all – God save the CentaMillionaire$ and Billionaire$!
    Might makes right and money buys might and the courts and congress and and and ………………..
    So Fuck ‘em all – they are natures poor and undeserving!

  29. spooz says:

    Philipat, I use the term “progressive” as a euphemism for socialist, since the libertarians see red when I use that term. Obviously, neither of the duopoly parties represents my views. They are both owned and have come to represent pretty much the same crony capitalistic interests.

  30. spooz says:

    Also, I hate labels since “socialist” doesn’t really define me. Maybe libertarian socialist would be a better description, since it allows for more flexibility in thinking.

  31. socaljoe says:

    You mean what I’m reading here is the cream of the crop after all the bad stuff has been filtered out?… Dang!

  32. louis says:

    what the hell are you guy’s talking about?

  33. spooz says:

    Guess it does seem off topic, louis, but i was responding to Jack Damn’s criticism of ZH. Trying to explain why kind of drifted and my last comment was part 2 of a response to Philipat, part 1 of which is in moderation.

  34. end game says:

    Looks like Michelle Bachman wiil have to find another site to troll.

  35. mote says:

    One night, Charles Dickens got moderated. As I recall, he was in there a long time.

  36. tt says:

    ZH is great. because they concentrate on the root cause of the financial problems. the bad money. there is no amount of investing that can make up for an empire crumbling that would save the typical person. why hundreds of millions are going broke. the entire middle class in amerika is being put into poverty. nyc is deceiving, it is a world wide shopping mall. the media and investment guys there are fooled.

  37. Vicious Rejoinder says:

    As many of the past dozen comments strongly suggest, moderation is a blessing.

    We come here to read YOUR thoughts — not random anonymous traders and trolls. Filter out the shit, keep the good stuff.

    I vote for comment ratings system

  38. JimRino says:

    Just to address labels and reality.
    The “rich” are the true “Socialists”, this election being the perfect example.

  39. glenns says:

    The really neat feature of having your own blog is turning off the comment component .Best thing ever for reducing the old heart rate…

  40. end game says:

    Bill Gates actually devoted a page (p. 161) of his book “The Road Ahead” to single-minded, ridiculous, anonymous comments on the web.

  41. StillAboveWater says:

    Barry NEVER wastes our time. We should return the favor by not wasting his.

  42. MikeDonnelly says:

    Dear God, I wish Bill McBride of Calculated Risk would follow this advice