The context: a hissy-fit slapfight amongst competing blogs. You've probably seen it before--one blogger says something about another, and before you know it, people all over the world are puffing out their chests from the safety of their computer keyboards, calling one another out, extolling the virtues of their own side and enumerating the evils of the other. Sometimes the exact same behavior seen as a virtue among one's colleagues is a shocking violation of all that is good in humanity when seen in one's opponents. Our side has intelligent independent thinkers, who happen to agree on this issue because we have been convinced by the data; your side has fawning sycophants, following your leader's whims like some misguided cult.
This particular case study is here. I had thought I was late to the party; my comment is #183. As of this writing, though, there are 398 comments posted (update: 400). There are probably Vegas odds by now as to what the number will be by the time the sun goes supernova.
I have looked six ways from Sunday, and I hope that maybe one day
I'll discover just the evidence to put him in his place;
'Til that marvelous occasion, I'm contented with invasion--
I can comment in the blogosphere and rub it in his face.
I will taunt that bastard PZ, and I think it should be easy;
I've a strategy, dependent on the form of his reply--
He ignores me, he is yellow; he attacks, why then, the fellow
Who invites me to "fuck off" is not a scientific guy.
I will hold him to my standard, and complain that he has pandered
To his suck-ups who, predictably, will praise his every word.
Though my own world-view is vile, if he disagrees? "Denial!"
(Let's conveniently ignore that my position is absurd.)
I don't mean to be so rude, sir, but no matter what, you're screwed, sir--
Our opinions are in concrete, there's no way that they will change;
Once a world-view is cemented, doesn't matter what's presented,
If you disagree with what I think the truth is, you are strange.
If you stick it out, you're bitter; if you leave, then you're a quitter,
If you claim that you are busy, I will simply roll my eyes.
We all have our weak and strong points, good and bad and right and wrong points--
We all play to our advantage: you know science. I know lies.