mercredi 30 janvier 2013

The end

For six years now I've enjoyed running this little blog which now comes to an end. And the reason is that I've just learned that we have been duped by an impostor who, from the begining, made himself pass for a woman whose name was supposed to be "Ned", whereas we were dealing with a 65 year old man.  

As you can imagine I'm upset, not only because I've been lied to for such a long time -and you along with me- but also because this event forces me to close down Shall We Talk  which has been so important to me since I published the first post Sept. 27th 2007. 

I have shared a splendid time with you and thanks to you but now, who would still want to carry on exchanges with someone -whatever his intellectual qualities- who took advantage of the Internet to abuse the trust we commonly shared with each other over the past years?

So goodbye to you all

42 commentaires:

Anijo a dit…

What a very sad day this is. I'll miss you Flocon. I leave best wishes to SemperFi, ZapPow and Jan.

I learned a lot here at Shall We Talk and will always be grateful for the discussions we had.

Flocon a dit…

Thanks for your kind words Anijo, (err.. are you really Anijo by the way?)

I send you a message asap in your mailbox anyway.

Anonyme a dit…

Flocon: This is sad. I am crushed with work this evening. I would prefer to write more than a brief thank-you for all the effort you put into these exchanges. If the site is still up tomorrow, I will.

You were also a key contributor to Superfrenhcie's blog. The superior tone of both sites attracted those who took no pleasure in the spiteful insults that make up so much of the internet world. I always learned something.

Bye the way, I am still the same man who first responded to a post by JoAnn on Superfrencie in 2004. The subject was a claim by MaryEllen that the 400-year-old common law rule of employment-at-will was an invention of George W. Bush.

I have changed. I am no longer on active duty as a Marine. But I can still fit into my uniform at least as well as General Mattis (pictured by Flocon in a recent post). I am wiser, more restrained, and less quick to rise to the bait.

But I am a litter poorer without this blog.


Flocon a dit…


We've all been aging along this blogging years but not that much yet. SF started his blog in March 2005 and it really took off in September of the same year before he stopped it in May 2009. So you're one year younger than you thought and probably two or even three since I don't remember you participating before 2006 or even 2007 but I may be wrong.

As you know I don't have any uniform to fit in and this is much detrimental to my relations with the other half of the planet but now I'm working hard on this in the vain hope it can compensate...

Thanks for taking part to the exchanges and bringing opinions from a quite different point of view from the ones exposed on this blog, both eventually showed they could peacefully live together.

I don't close down the curtain, the blog will stay open like a radar which will detect passing UFO.

Ned Ludd a dit…

That comes from an email I sent to Flocon after he asked for pictures of us. I sent him a couple, and I told him I would come out, not as a gay, on this blog. I didn't think it that important, nor that it would affect him so and thought instead he would laugh about it, so I'm sorry about the whole thing and apologize to him. He can post one of me if you want to see the evil little thing. I never lied about my age though.

It all begin at SF by a typing accident in which I spelled bernarda. Then I thought it might be interesting to continue and try to put myself in the place of a woman. I told Flocon because I thought I had gone on long enough. I should have done it earlier, even when I signed up here after leaving SF. I didn't expect this reaction.

At SF, only JoAnn expressed suspicions from the beginning, as I remember. I almost came clean then. I didn't think it was important, but rather a joke. I hope Flocon is just in a poor mood and will reconsider. But the words he used are quite strong. Still, I don't take offense about them, though they do touch me.

I also apologize to Anijo, Semper Fi, Jan, ZapPow, and other contributors for being, against my wishes, the cause of this demise. To quote Semper Fi, "I am wiser, more restrained, and less quick to rise to the bait." as sometimes happened at SF. I have learned more here than at any other blog and have been pushed to think through and question my certainties.

I have all of you, especially Flocon, for that.

I hope this is not really Adieu. In any case, I wish you all well. I feel that I have broken up a family and lost brothers and sisters.

Anijo a dit…


It feels strange to think that I had been speaking to a female (who I figured was gay as you have a way of communicating that comes across more as a male). Yes, I was curious about you in the beginning, but I was eventually led to believe that you were a woman. And then you made a lot of references to gays and transexuals, so I always figured you were a bit different, but I didn't care about that.

It's strange to suddenly know that all this time I've been communicating with someone who wasn't what they held themselves out to be. When I first learned of this, I felt that it was a rather sick joke to play.

I too feel that you have broken up a family of brothers and sisters.

Interesting that this comes along after the post about forgiveness.

I can continue, but I'm not sure that Flocon is up to it. If not, I want to emphasize how appreciative I am for all that I learned from everyone here. I feel that these exchanges helped me to become a more mature and civilized debater.

I actually had tears well up in my eyes when I first read Flocon's post.

Flocon put so much into every post and into every response. I know that we all have a high regard for his intellect and sincerity and we'll all miss him.

This little blog has become a part of my life that I look forward to. If it really does come to an end, it will be like suffering though a death in the family, as though I lost my conservative marine brother, my two French brothers, my Canadian brother and my older lesbian sister who I just discovered is a man!

Flocon a dit…

I'm not upset nor am I angry about you Ned, the coming out is already a thing of the past and also you so very much contributed in an intelligent way to the blog that I am somehow indebted to you.

But this little event in the virtual world doesn't fail to raise some issues though.

Pretending to be a woman or a man when reality is quite the opposite is somewhat "bizarre" to say the least. All the more when the deception lasts on years and also isn't limited to one blog.

When I once posted on One Good move in June 2010 (and which drew you back on Shall We Talk?) you were also commenting under the pseudo Bernarda afair unless it was Ned, I don't precisely remember. And the same goes on Pharingulla (spelling?).

So we're dealing with some kind of systematic behaviour here which raises personal questions about you but that isn't none of my business.

The abuse you made of our mutual trust wasn't just an incident since you also chose the pic of a woman (Polaire) for your avatar in order to further give credence to your pseudo female identity.

This very much looks like what the Feds do when they want to infiltrate some networks of drug dealers, paedophiles or wanna be terrorists.

So I am probably not the only one to think there's something really weird when you seem to believe we all would share a good laugh when discovering we've been fooled for so many years.

You cannot possibly believe that would be the case or there's something really wrong with you.

We may all be prone to commit benign lies on the Internet but lying about one's sexual identity isn't an insignificant lie, all the more when you played with sexual innuendos or linking to risqué sites.

All in all, you had a good time at our expense, something Kant would certainly condemn in the harshest words so much you behaved in opposition to his formula of humanity.

Even if we put Kant aside, at the end of the day your Internet identity is based on a lie and there's no way that can't be understood as something other but a very deceitful moral behaviour.

Again, I'm not angry but I am annoyed for my blog and for the other participants, Anijo in particular with whom you played the game of female complicity and the only result of all this is painful to her of course and I object to this outcome.

So eventually, you've ruined your credibility all by yourself and there always will be suspicion about your purported sister, brother, father who was a Marine, you being married and then divorced as you introduced yourself at SF's and even the opinions you've expressed here, be they political, philosophical, you name them.

I don't put any blame on you, eventually I don't care for myself as I am much busy with my life and my other activities such as Wikipedia for example.

Flocon a dit…

"but that isn't none of my business." should have been "but that is none of my business." of course.
"the words he used are quite strong" do you write. Is it the word "impostor" you find strong?

This reminds me of the Catch me if you can movie.

As Anijo writes, there's some irony that this little event happens in the wake of the post about forgiveness. Well, it's not that I forgive or not (which would mean that I'm in a position to dispensate some blessing to my next), au fond cela m'est déjà égal et il n'y a pas mort d'homme après tout.

Anijo a dit…

To add to what Flocon said. Ned, you began to post on OneGoodMove as Bernarda. Was that also a typing error? Remember Jonathan Becker from 1gm? He referred to you as a 'he' one time and I corrected him and said that you were a female. He responded by saying that you 'didn't throw like a girl'. You didn't correct this misconseption. So Flocon is right. You also held yourself out to be a woman on OneGoodMove. Perhaps you felt that this was a fun little game, but it's not that funny, particularly considering (as Flocon said) that I eventually communicated with you as though you were a fellow female.

Anijo a dit…

Here is where it all began. Ned had the opportunity to correct the misconception at that time and didn't.

And here is where Ned had the opportunity to correct the misconception the first time on 1gm, and then it came up later (with the 'throws like a man comment by Jonathan) and so two times on 1gm Ned enjoyed playing this little game.

Anonyme a dit…

I don't give a hoot about Ned's/Bernarda's Y chromosome.

Clearly, the long pretense gave him/her some pleasure. I don't begrudge it. It didn't harm me. The California funeral was a delicate touch, and I was taken in. I am probably easy, because I am not cynical.

Perhaps it would be different if we had ever exchanged in more personal comments. We were always at sword's points.

But if I am to be denied Flocon's comments on my analysis of secular forgiveness, I shall be put out.

So let's cover all the bases. I will forgive Ned/Bernarda as a religious duty. This will annoy Ned and amuse Flocon. Everyone else can forgive Ned and just move on.

BTW Flocon, I think you overreach on your other post where you assert that no serious person claims there is an objective reality independent of our perceptions. Einstein famously argued for an objective reality independent of our perceptions. Check it out.
Actually yours,SemperFidelis

Flocon a dit…


" But the words he used are quite strong. Still, I don't take offense about them, though they do touch me."

Next time we'll learn you're the innocent victim of our wickedness...

Faut pas prendre les enfants du bon Dieu pour des canards sauvages

(Don't mistake God's children with wild ducks)

To Anijo: That is the title of an insignificant French movie released in 1968 whose title has now entered everyday language, meaning "Dont mistake us with fools" as you have already guessed.

Flocon a dit…


#1 I don't forgive I owe you an answer re forgiveness.

#2 As pertains objective reality, 100% of humanity believes in the spontaneous naive representation of the world as existing independently of it and 99,9% evaporates still thinking the world will still exist after they're gone.

Einstein is famous as a physicist not as a philosopher. Just he forgot he needed his brain so that the world exists inside his skull and nowhere else.

The funny thing is that you may be ready to accept the string theory or that of the big crunch (with an amazing animation on the page) but the object/subject relationship apparently is opaque to you.

Now, the underlying reason why you cannot accept this evidence that the world exists only as long as you're here to perceived it lies in the consequence it implies: God cannot exist only as long as I live, it is eternal and so is the world.

That was the conclusion of the first edition of Kant's Critique of pure Reason and the political authorities of the time weren't half educated and perfectly understood that point which was unacceptable to them.

So there was a second edition where Kant said he had to put reason aside to leave some space to faith and the autorities were ok with that.

Ned Ludd a dit…

Semper Fi, the funeral was real. I think that you have the clearest perception of my case. I write on other blogs where I am clearly male or seem to be. I was curious to see if responses were different according to whether one identified me as female or male. I don't have enough clear evidence that that is the case.

Anijo, One Good Move banned me after I responded and made several arguments against GMO's which he is a big fan of. In fact I contradicted him every time he promoted GMO's. Apparently he didn't like that. It had nothing to do with the present case.

I am well aware that I carried on my test far too long. As a former French girlfriend once told me, "I don't understand your sense of humor." That is not meant to defend myself but maybe to explain why some people think I'm a jerk. Sorry, once again.

Anijo a dit…


Betty Jo contradicts Norm vociferously every time he promotes GMO's and he hasn't banned her. In fact, he likes her a lot and they joke and have fun after their GMO debates. Norm got upset at you because when he responded to your contradictions, you did not respond in turn, and it pissed him off that you left his questions unanswered, but then would show up later with another argument. He told you that he wanted you to respond to the prior debate before making another claim.

Be that as it may, I hope that we can all move forward and enjoy the debates we have here.

I find the current debates between SemperFi and Flocon re object/subject relationship and secular forgiveness interesting.

But then Flocon might still feel a bit uncomfortable about flirting with this dude over the years. Unlike you and SemperFi, you and Flocon shared some more personal comments as did you and I, and if I knew you were a man, I would not have discussed some of the more risqué things with you in the manner that I did. I feel rather embarrassed about that. But I'm willing to get over that and move on to other things. This is the most interesting place for intellectual discussion that I'm aware of on the internet and it would be a personal loss if I could no longer be educated by this wonderful blog.


Flocon a dit…


I don't forget of course that I owe you an answer.

And Anijo's links show you were already on duty at SF's as soon as 2006


I'm not sure I can cut the mustard when it comes to your intellectual demands and requirements... ;-)

Anonyme a dit…

Ned: I don't think that "Far too long" is the charge against you. It is the quality of the exchanges, not the duration of the pretense.

For example, you and I are poles apart in our views (with the exception of our claim that there is an objective reality independent of our perceptions - I am with you like ten men on that). Mostly, we just argued.

Now, Anijo and I have had some discussions about life. Once, some time ago, we had an exchange about fidelity. If I were to discover that she was a man, it would, as my son would say, "creep me out."

So I don't think people are upset because you continued in a pretense for a long time. They feel violated because you drew them into discussions that were premised on the relationship between men and women. This is never the same as conversations between men and men and women and women.

For some reason, you enjoyed it. The enjoyment was purchased at the expense of others.

No one went away in an ambulance. But I advise you not to minimize the discomfort of those you fooled. The magician's audience is usually unhappy when the illusion is exposed.

Really, really SemperFidelis

Ned Ludd a dit…

Semper Fidelis, you have a good point, but it is not that after a short while I enjoyed. It started out as an accident, became an experiment--which I have done elsewhere--and became a trap. I shouldn't have done it with people I feel close to. So you can point me out to your son as a creep. My new image is for all Blogger and not directed at you in any way.

Anijo, there were two problems with Norm at onegoodmove. I responded to him but he didn't seem to read the references and links that I gave him. Secondly, I didn't like him as he seemed to have his mind made up. Actually there is a third, he never seemed to understand that my argument was primarily economic and social though I think that health considerations have not been fully explored.

Ned Ludd a dit…

Anijo, I forgot to mention that I one year I won the prize for being the best and most polite opposition to GMO's on the site

"Congrats on winning the second contest on Biofortified!" A personal email from Karl who runs the site and who knew me as "Bernarda" and didn't seem offended when I gave him my real name and address to send me my prize.

Anonyme a dit…

Ned: You misconstrue the reference to "creep me out" as descriptive of you.

Get an American English-speaking 30-something to translate it for you.

I can't do the slang justice.

Flocon a dit…


"our claim that there is an objective reality independent of our perceptions"

I'm not sure you realize how much of a materialist this unfounded statement makes of you.

Indeed, if you think that matter precedes the mind, you ipso facto contradicts the tenet of all religions, yours included, that the mind is eternal and exists prior to matter.

I have tried time and again to expose to you the arguments and demonstration Kant (who was as much a believer as you are) developed in order to prove that the world needs a consciousness to exist and yet, you keep on believing the contrary without any other ground that you've always thought the way you've done.

The only "philosopher" who would state that reality exists independent of your consciousness is Ayn Rand (talk of a prominent philosopher!) but at least there's some consistency in her claim since she is a self proclaimed atheist.

Now, that you're siding with an atheist's view regarding such a fundamental metaphysical point that all three monotheism hold to be at the basis of their theology is... unexpected.

Secondly, the open materialism that you profess leads you ipso facto accept the Marxist position that since matter is prior to everything else, there's no eternal mind (or spirit, there are no distinction in French nor in German) and religions are just pipes dreams meant to anesthetize people.

So you've kept on presenting yourself as a believer, whereas when tested, you happen to reject the most intangible tenets of your own faith and religion.

I am beginning to wonder if the blog hasn't been a victim of another attack.

What kind of crypto Trotskyite are you in the end?

Anonyme a dit…

// the world needs a consciousness to exist//

I agree. That consciousness is the mind of God. God's consciousness preceded the material world, His creation.

"In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth." Genesis 1:1

// if you think that matter precedes the mind//

While God's mind existed before his created material world, my mind, and yours, certainly did not, for we are only creatures.

"...for dust you are and to dust you will return" Genesis 3:19


Flocon a dit…


Ça c'est de l'argumentation! It was high time for this blog to come to an end.

Anijo a dit…


You have to admit that was lame answer. Flocon has spent so much time arguing this concept and instead of addressing the points he made you quote verses from the Bible ???

Anijo a dit…


I'm not sure I can cut the mustard when it comes to your intellectual demands and requirements... ;-)

Actually, none of us can keep up with your intellectual demands and requirements. ☺ But we try.

Anijo a dit…

It started out as an accident, became an experiment--which I have done elsewhere--and became a trap. I shouldn't have done it with people I feel close to.

So it didn't bother you, Ned, to deceive people you felt close to?? We're all just specimens for your perverted experiment?? You felt that close to us did you?

Anonyme a dit…

I understand the argument that Flocon makes about matter preceding consciousness. It is persuasive if one assumes his premiss: That is - that the only consciousness with which we must be concerned is our own.

Assume a creator God whose consciousness existed before he created the material world and the result is not the materialist mistake Flocon correctly attacks.

I like quoting the Bible as much as Flocon likes to quote Kant. It's older.

I am happy to hear that Flocon is not a materialist. I wonder about his idea of the supernatural.

But I will probably not get to read about it for a few days. We are trying to figure out how to fund the Defense Department if Congress doesn't pass an appropriations act by 27 March, when the current budget authority expires.

The European Central Bank and the Germans do it to Greece. We save everyone the trouble and do it to ourselves.

Still optimistic,

Anijo a dit…

Assume a creator God

Now there's a fine example of a deux ex machina.

The Bible may be older than Kant, but it is based on faith, not reason, so it's difficult to discuss.

Tepidly optimistic,

Flocon a dit…

Quoting the Bible is as irrelevant as would be quoting surats from the Quran or psalms from the Inca "book of the Sun" whatever, or tao mantra.

The funny thing is to observe a believer siding with a materialist atheist like Rand rather than Berkeley (a Christian bishop; no less), Kant, one of the brightest minds in the history of humanity (and a devout believer too of the same denomination than SemperFi) or Descartes and his famous "I think therefore I am" which means that the only evidence I have of reality is that I think, which entails that the existence of reality depends on a consciousness to assert it exists. Descartes also was a pious Christian believer but he also was a cautious man and knew about the tolerance of the Church vis-à-vis new unorthodox ideas.

Descartes, Berkeley, Kant, Schopenhauer, what a bunch of know nothing when compared to Ayn Rand... lol.

Now, we can exchange the world or reality with god (let's call him the Flying Spaghetti Monster for the sake of the demonstration), it also works the same way.

As everyone knows, the FSM is eternal but precisely, how do we know save through our intelligence? Do animals know about the FSM? Last time I checked they didn't know because their intelligence and consciousness aren't developped enough.

At the end of the day, it all boils down to a very simple fact:the mind through the brain is the ultimate support of the world.

Anijo a dit…

It seems he hangs upon the cheek of night, like a rich jewel in an Ethiope's ear.... a beauty.... too rich for use... for Earth too dear.

Flocon a dit…

Of course I had to search where the poetic sentence was from. And for some reason, I find it fits with the quote by Salvador Dali on the side bar.

Anijo a dit…

Tender is the night.

Anijo a dit…

These various households, all with some degree of diginity,
In fair Shall We Talk, where we lay our scene

From ancien grudge break to new mutiny
Where civil discourse makes civil hands unclean.

From forth the fatal loins of these strange foes
The star-cross'd lovers take their life;
Whose misadventured piteous overthrows
Do with their death bury aforementioned strife.

Anijo a dit…

This is my last post on this wonderful blog. I leave best wishes to you Flocon, as well as to SemperFi and Jan and Ned.

SemperFi, you taught me to have respect for Christians and conservatives and I'll always be grateful for that.

Flocon, you taught me to understand that some harsh criticism can be taken in a loving way.

Jan, you taught me that there are those who waffle in between the waves of consciousness.

Ned, you taught me that people who come across as harsh and heartless are the most vulnerable.

It's been good. Farewell sweet men.


Flocon a dit…


" this wonderful blog."

It's you and the others who made this little blog what you say it was. Just, what would it have been without you Anijo?

Fact is I am currently short of ideas except one on Time and History.

In the meantime, I'll change the quotes and the music on the side bar as well as the Wiki pages.

Besides, SemperFi owes us an answer on the Forgiveness post where I left a comment last week. (Hope it's not some other quote from some purported holy book though...)


Ned Ludd a dit…

I decided to take a look even though I am not welcome. So I am only writing this because of Anijo's comment.

Anijo, if you pass by, thanks for your kind words despite the polemic around me. I have learned to be kinder because of you. At the start I didn't know I would become close those here.

I have quibbles with the logic of some of the things said about me, but they're not so important. Be it presumptuous, I have no hard feelings about it and thank Flocon for the effort he gave. Adieu.

Anijo a dit…

I know we've offered up our adieus. And yet, I've had so much fun and learned so much from all of you, including our evil Ned, that I hope that our adieus might lend themselves to a point where we might all continue to get to know one another even better. There are so few people that I enjoy discussing things with, therefore I value each and every one of you here on this 'wonderful blog'. Ned, it's nice to experience the soft gentle side of you.

Anijo a dit…

All teems with symbol; the wise man is the man who in any one thing can read another

Indeed. Humankind relates to one another via symbols.

Flocon a dit…

Methinks this quote by Plotinus may be a good introduction to psychoanalysis.

He certainly wasn't the first one to express the idea but James Watt's discovery made it even more difficult for us to accept the notion that there's more than meets this eye in the world.

A post may appear before the end of the month...

Anijo a dit…

Speaking of psychoanalysis:

"Les hommes sont si nécessairement fous, que ce serait être fou, par un autre tour de folie, de n'être pas fou"
~Blaise Pascal

Flocon a dit…

La folie à laquelle se réfère Pascal ne doit pas être comprise dans le sens psychiatrique moderne du terme as you know but rather to the unrational behaviour of men.

He then may have started with the unreasonable basis for religion, particularly the Christian one since he was a devout believer and theologian.

Also he may have been a genius in terms of mathematics and physics, psychoanalysis would have let him in a conundrum since psychoanalysis makes laughable the fairy tale of free will which is one of the axioms of Christianism for which men are in the hands of their creator and are free all the same.

Besides, Freud considers religions to be collective neurosis, which is some form of "madness" of the kind Pascal adresses in the quote that you deliver.

Anijo a dit…

Well, I do believe that all of mankind/womankind has some form of collective neurosis in one manner or another. As you have stated, there is no free will, thus, we are all as mad as The Hatter,