Zap’s Freenode IRC Channel ##political_reality

I can be found almost always hanging out in an IRC channel I founded to provide a refuge for sane, safe, in-depth discussion of political and economic issues, since sanity and safety tend to be in short supply in most political chat forums. Ok, maybe sanity isn’t always possible. But it is, at least, safe.

This is a highly international channel, and multi-ideology. We run the gamut from commie-pinko-tree-hugger socialists to rabid libertarians and everything in between. People will make you angry. Count on it. Consider it an opportunity to see how the other side thinks, practice your persuasive skills on changing their minds, and cultivate your own equanimity.

We especially welcome reasoned debate, supported by real world data, presented logically and reasonably dispassionately. Any point-of-view is welcome, as long as it’s presented with an eye to exploring the soundness of the idea, rather than just defending it to the death whether supportable or not.

Use the /ignore command

We don’t ban for opinion. My preference is that everyone at least try to be polite. Pretend even. However, even that won’t get people banned if they’re flaming out over something they feel very strongly about. You will sometimes see profanity. Either wear your thickest skin or we highly recommend the use of /ignore.

/ignore [their nick] all
and you will stop seeing messages from them. Our position is that they, and others, may be enjoying a pitched battle, as signified by them not ignoring each other, and since everyone else can continue more congenial conversations without seeing them, there’s no reason to ban. We do ban over aggressive flooding and attempts to take the channel down, of course.

We also don’t ban for long pastes into the channel (usually). The topics we discuss are complicated, and often so fast moving that it’s better to paste in a long passage than expect people to click pastebin links–or even take the time to set up the pastebin links. This is also different from most other channels. We assume you can read rapidly. 🙂

The channel ops are on board with the policy, but even they are human and sometimes pop off. If you do get banned this way, please pm me about it and I’ll correct the situation. The command for that is:
/query zapster

We don’t criticize over spelling and language issues. Spelling is optional, as long as you disregard zapster’s wild, unruly a’post’rophes that e’scape at every opport’unity.

If English isn’t your first language, we are most willing to rephrase and help with understanding as much as possible. Just ask.

This is radically different from the vast majority of political discussion channels, and requires a certain willingness to give up on ideas that don’t work. Not many find it congenial, but if you think you might, by all means drop in and say hi! We’re also a very friendly bunch, believe it or not.

To join:

Find a chat client. Firefox has a chatzilla plugin, Xchat2 for windows is good, there’s the old classic MIRC for windows, and linux has a variety of them. Xchat is fairly similar to MIRC and is available for both Linux and Windows. Or you can use Freenode’s webchat portal.

Then, configure your client to connect to Freenode. Most clients have a server list and Freenode should be in it, or you can type /server To join the channel, type /join ##political_reality.

Once you’ve joined, you should register your nick with nickserv. Type /msg nickserv help register.

Here is Freenode’s Website for more information on the network, server commands, etc.

Channel bot

This is a script that monitors the channel and provides services such as fetching the titles of URLs pasted in the channel and providing a steady source of topics with RSS feeds, etc. Dibbles is currently offline, but rabble_bot is standing in for the time being. Type ~list for a list of commands.

For dibbles, see Dibbles the Bot

Looking forward to seeing you!


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