Stef and I have become very concerned about your language lately. I’ve been kickin’ it with Stef a lot these days. Turns out, he’s a pretty good guy to hang with. Wicked fun on karaoke night, too—he’s not a half-bad singer.

We love to sit in his living room and banter back and forth about the whole FDR enterprise and how things are shaping up and stuff. Sometimes Christina will bounce in with a big tray full of poutine and some frosty Moulson’s and we’ll kid her about that whole ethical violations thing. She’s a good egg.

But boy, she can give as good as she gets. As you know, the ol’ spam filter “accidentally” doesn’t work very well when screening new members for FDR. So even though it appears as if “the largest and most popular philosophical conversation in the world!” has thousands of members, only a fraction of them seem to be both real people/active.

For a while, the board software would proudly announce all the new members who joined in the past 24 hours, but then everyone could see that most of the “people flocking to FDR” had screen names like lcdtvprice11, samedayloans, christiandating (my favorite!), greenteafatburn, and freeappleiphon.

No doubt they are all perfectly thoughtful philosophers who just coincidentally picked user names that sound like spam e-mail addresses! Well, you can understand why we turned off that announcement feature.

So, anyway, Stef and I will start teasing Christina about how the College of Psychologists in Ontario might yank her license and she’ll yell out from the kitchen, “Oh, Steffy, it looks like your newest member wants a personal convo about his parents!”

I’m telling you, spend an evening with the Molyneuxes and you’ll laugh til your tummy hurts.

But let’s get back to your language. (Stef and I are talking to you, FDR newbs!) We love that you joined the forum and are talking on the board but you really need to pick up on FDR language and codewords and such.

For example, you probably don’t realize it’s a joke when Stef tells people who get suspicious about FDR that it’s “only a Web site”! (That never stops being funny. Come to think of it, you probably aren’t supposed to get that one anyway. Yet.)

But these days we’re getting concerned about another word—the word conversation. You know how much Stef loves to talk about “the FDR Conversation.” Heck, that’s his tagline for the whole freakin’ enterprise! (Hence the clever headline for this Quickie!.)

The problem is that some of you FDR newbs (c’mon, you know who you are!) don’t realize it’s another one of our little inside jokes. You may interpret it to mean that there’s literally a conversation going on and you’re somehow part of it.

In other words, we’re afraid you might think that what you have to say (oh, how do I put this ever-so-delicately…) somehow matters.


Didn’t we already cover this in Podcast #888 (Sunday Call In Show Oct 21 2007)? That podcast shouldn’t be too hard to find now, it’s one of the few that have survived the ongoing “Spring Cleaning”!

(Oh, and you’d better believe we laugh and laugh about that one! No one outside FDR and most people inside FDR don’t know “Spring Cleaning” means “making dozens of podcasts that could possibly get Christina’s license yanked or make Stef look crazy in front of his new celebrity interviewees suddenly disappear.” Priceless.)

But anyway, back to you newbs who think the FDR Conversation is whatever it is you talk about on the board. Here’s the skinny—one more time—from the podcast. Listen up:

5:15: …the board is not Freedomain Radio.

The board is not Freedomain Radio.

Freedomain Radio is the books and podcasts and the back and forth that goes on sometimes in emails.

The board is not Freedomain Radio. It’s not even a core part of Freedomain Radio.

It’s a nice bit of lemon in the icing on the cake…

M’kay? Stef repeated it three times so you’d get it. We know that whatever you’re nattering on about in the forum is probably important to you, but not to us. I mean, don’t let us stop you—babble yourself blue. Just realize you’re not actually part of The Conversation.

We hope that doesn’t come as a surprise, but it probably does to you newbs. Look, we’re just trying to make an honest buck here. We know you’re more likely to donate if you feel like you belong to something important and you play an important role, yada yada. So, once in a while we’ll talk about how important the board is but it’s mostly here so people can feel personally attached to the whole operation and donate more. The truth is you’re not even the icing. Just a little bit of lemon in the icing.

If it helps, whenever Stef says “the FDR Conversation,” just remember that we mean it’s a special conversation—one where Stef talks and you just listen. Just sit there like nice little lemons, please, and don’t harbor any delusions that you’re going to come up with an idea that’s important, for heaven’s sake.

Of course, you can log onto the board and rave about the podcasts and how they changed your life and stuff. And you can ask questions about the parts you don’t understand, if you like. You’ll probably need to, because Stef is Stef and, well, you’re you.

Hey—and by the way, as long as you’re sitting there not saying anything important, would you mind sending in a few bucks for the podcasts you’ve been leeching? They’re not going to record themselves, you know.

And while we’re on the subject, a few know-it-all critics love to point out that even though my friend Stef calls FDR “the largest and most popular,” etc., it usually gets its ass thoroughly kicked by similar sites:

Yes, that’s right. FDR is that little blue line at the bottom that you almost can’t see.

Wow. Stef and I hope that doesn’t mean people do download and listen to FDR podcasts but don’t actually care enough about what Stef is saying to log into the board and get all ecstatic about how mind shatteringly awesome it is.

Because that would hurt.

Actually, just like the majority of podcasts on any subject, most people probably download them and decide they’re not worth the time to even listen to at all. Wait a minute—that actually hurts more, kinda.


Anyway, so why in the world does Stef continue to use the words largest and most popular? Don’t you get it? Inside joke again! You slow, man.

See, we define the “FDR Conversation” as meaning not only the process where Stef talks and you just listen, but also the process where Stef talks and nobody listens. That’s how we keep the numbers up, don’t you see?

The ‘FDR Conversation’ means not only the process where Stef talks and you just listen, but also the process where Stef talks and nobody listens!

As long as you’re downloading podcasts and putting them on your iPods, you’re in The Conversation, baby.

Even if the podcasts eventually roll off and you never listen to them.

Even if most of your fellow “FDR Members” partaking in The Conversation are probably internet spam-bots.

Even if you clearly prefer the actual conversations at places like Mises, Lew Rockwell, FreeTalkLive, etc.

So, even though we’re not listening to you and you’re not listening to us, FDR is still large. In fact, it’s huge. And popular. Real popular, right?

Sorry! Can’t hear you.