Too true. It's getting tiring reading the comments of posts like this because I know it's going to be filled with people boasting about how they've already deleted their accounts/just did it. The HN crowd is a tiny, tiny minority in the pool of Facebook users, our actions are hardly representative of sea change.
The problem is you might identify as "fool" someone who simply doesn't agree with you or the established groupthink. Re-read the first few paragraphs and replace the word "fool" with "person who doesn't agree with you" -- now it says something very different.
Now replace fool with dragon. Says something different again. Whoa!
Good mods can tell the difference between people who have other views and idiots. If the moderators in your community of choice can't, you should probably choose another community. But your equivocation between silencing other viewpoints and eliminating unhealthy voices is not useful.
I upvoted you before you added the second paragraph because I thought your joke was funny. "But your equivocation between silencing other viewpoints and eliminating unhealthy voices is not useful." Why not? I was making the point that it's often not easy to tell the difference.
I mean, the body of the blog post you're responding to is claiming a) that it is, and b) that even when it isn't, you can just leave a poorly modded community. In the face of that, I don't find "replace-the-word" rhetoric very compelling.
If it were shown that even in good communities with solid mods, a primary use of moderating power was to silence dissent.
For example, in this community, anti-startup articles get posted occasionally. I'd expect to see far more dead comments from people who post agreement with such articles. But I browse with showdead on, and I see no such thing.
Basically, the rhetoric needs to line up with the evidence at hand. If it doesn't, it's unsound.
More accurately, in this context, "person who disregards the purpose of the community". Communities are created to serve certain purposes (quality discussion, for example) and the risk to a community is that users eventually disregard that purpose and the community is no longer useful for the original purpose. To avoid this a community should be very explicit about its purpose from the beginning (and the means that will be employed to defend the purpose), should regularly remind users of the purpose, and should aggressively question behavior that undermines the purpose.
There's a fine line between disregarding the purpose of the community and attempting to change it, and it's often difficult to distinguish between the two.
For example, when 4chan became Anonymous, a lot of people objected to the politicization of the community. They felt that it was a betrayal of the original purpose of the community. But communities evolve. Purposes change. We don't live in the Founding Fathers' America anymore. It's not easy to ban people who "disregard the purpose of the community" without also trampling on nascent attempts to evolve that very purpose, and I suspect that this is where accusations of censorship most often arise. Strong moderation, on its own, can't solve this problem.
Good moderators should be wise enough to make subtle distinctions like this and humble enough to confer with long-time users on tricky issues.
The fact is that at every point in the development of our culture, most people have been horribly misinformed about many important things, and when someone came on the scene and questioned one of these things, he was thought a fool by the majority or even imprisoned (Galileo) or burned at the stake. There is no reason to think this groupthink isn't integral to our present culture, including by scientists and professionals; quite the contrary.
"Some people say shyness is like gayness, something your born with. I haven't observed that to be the case, not that I've researched it."
It actually is the case, for those who have researched it. Simplistic example that demonstrates this: I have two 1-year-old nieces. If you say, "Hi!" to one she gets excited, looks you in the eye, and smiles and giggles. Do the same with the other and she'll smile but immediately bury her face in her shoulder.
I think what you're talking about -- and many of the other comments on this page -- isn't shyness, but something completely different that actually has a much more descriptive name: Social Anxiety Disorder.
Didn't read the article, but I read the headline to my wife who has a Masters in Clinical Psychology and is studying for her MFT license exam. Her response, "That's garbage. Shyness isn't a bad habit, it's a personality trait; and it's perfectly normal." She went on, "The American culture tends to favor the extraverted, but studies show that introverts have just as meaningful lives as extraverts. They tend to have a more refined sense of self, they tend to know what they like, and they tend to be more selective with their friends. Introverts make great leaders and work well in groups, they don't demand extra attention."
She points out that people conflate anxiety with shyness. Same with anti-social habits and behaviors. Being under-socialized and not open to new experiences... I'd guess that's what this lifehacker article is doing. So if it's encouraging people to open themselves up a little more, more power to it. But please stop making "shyness" out to be some kind of defect!