Saturday, September 1, 2012

SomethingAwful Experiment: Fin

Welcome to the SomethingAwful meta-post. Sorry, everyone, but I'm going to close the comments on this one, because it is a summation, not an experiment. The lizard three posts back has been fully consumed by the ants.

I've always found the disparity between what a person says that they believe and what they actually believe to be fascinating. Do people who claim to be invested in losing weight really want to lose weight in every instance? Do people who allegedly don't care about your opinions secretly want to linger for over a week on your blog so that they can continually attempt to put you in your place?

Well, I decided to find out. I read over the relevant parts of the thread a few times, marveling at the lack of empathy and total disconnect between the posters and their various targets, who ranged from the socially inept to the downright freakish. I was blown away by how the posters had, in essence, taken a chunk of the massive aggregate of public soapboxes which we call the Internet and converted it into another reality show. I was not shocked in the slightest, but I was certainly appalled by their lack of initiative to do something about the trainwrecks that they were posting about.

Like many fine citizens every night watching someone screech horribly and embarrass themselves on national television, these people actually enjoyed the fact that the subjects of their discussion were not so adept at functioning properly in society. They liked that their targets were not making the world a better place, because the targets' role as social parasite was funny to them.

Well, if you spend an inordinate amount of time lampooning the dregs of society and doing absolutely nothing to fix the problem, then consider yourself among the dregs. If you can't go two posts without referring to multiple weirdos as a collective "them," even in spite of their glaring lack of similarities, then count yourself among the racists, witch hunters, and neo-Nazis. Never mind the irony in jumping all over me for my apparently poor comparative ability; two people who have nothing to do with each other are similar only in that they're weird or bad at something, so that means that it's okay to lie about them and promulgate the lies until they become fact.

The point that is lost on these people is that it really doesn't matter whether your targets are terrible human beings, idiotic, or doing harm somewhere in society. None of this gives you the excuse to slanderously generalize people away, at any scale, as petty statistics. For the final time, you are not partaking in something as horrific as genocide by perpetuating these cognitive propensities; you are allowing for the possibility of genocide by perpetuating these cognitive propensities. Quality A and quality B must not be asserted to have an absolute correlation where quality A is not inherent in the definition of that which always exhibits quality B.

But if you can have fun laughing at people for what their environment has shaped them into, I can, too -- only I make sure beforehand that all of my targets are malicious and pompous. I very easily could have made the SomethingAwful post a reply to an attack on some other person they'd deemed a "loser," but replying to the part about me was much more fun; there's no better way to say, "I can spy on you, silly secret Internet champions!" than to make a humongous post saying just that, then watch as it gets over a hundred comments in a few hours. I guess that, for these people, it's far less scary to talk about a blog somewhere other than the blog -- but then, when it becomes apparent that the blog owner knows about your secret discussions, it's time to react!

So, for the ten of you interested, here were the methods employed to this end:

1. Dismantling identity and forcing them to cowardly retreat to anonymity. Note that very few comments after this one were made using an alias of any kind. Also note that I generally would never do something like this, but I did not throw the first stone, and they're strong enough to take it.

Ultranerd HunterAugust 25, 2012 5:22 PM


Ultranerd HunterAugust 25, 2012 5:30 PM

By the way, I love having sex with children.

2. Persuading them to actually provide critiques after frustrating them by not blocking them, cussing them out, or having a "meltdown." This is the beginning of something that goes on for quite a while, and I manage to get them to divulge their views on racism, art, and the education system, among other topics. So much for just trolling and not getting defensive!

AnonymousAugust 25, 2012 6:09 PM

I don't think anyone can refute things like "calling me an ultranerd? That's JUST LIKE calling someone a racial slur."

AnonymousAugust 25, 2012 6:24 PM

The stupidity of your position lies in you writing that, looking it over and deciding it's good enough to publish for the world to see.

And then demanding people refute it when you are rightfully called out.

3. Demonstrating their confirmation bias and propensity to emotionally overreact whenever certain key terms are used. They're not here to understand or persuade; they're here to "search out" words that will allow them to make someone else seem foolish. Note: This is all in reference to my comment regarding the lack of evidence for the Holocaust being a top-down plan part of the Third Reich's agenda from the get-go.

AnonymousAugust 25, 2012 7:01 PM

You just hit a new low.

AnonymousAugust 25, 2012 7:03 PM

I have no words.

AnonymousAugust 25, 2012 7:10 PM

Sometimes the dissenters need to be silenced.

AnonymousAugust 25, 2012 7:13 PM

Doesn't it just ruin your day when what you thought was just a harmless but amusing ultranerd with the dream of being a robot starts spewing neo-Nazi bullshit?

4. Cutting them off before they can make light of my apparently contradicting myself after making a lengthy post while claiming to not care what others think about me. Come on, guys, I'm not a fifteen-year-old girl wearing some kind of "don't give a fuck, yo" philosophy on my sleeve. Note how this chain devolves into the most banal, uncreative, widely used, and unfunny rhetorical question imaginable.

Wait, I'm confused because you seem to be contradicting yourself a lot on this, do you or do you not care what other people think about you?

Leaving SocietyAugust 25, 2012 6:54 PM

1. I care what people think in general, about everything. What people think about me is a subset of what people think in general, so I care about that.

2. I made this post because I knew it would get like a hundred comments, and that is funny and fascinating to me.

3. Some people actually enjoy their jobs, and their enjoyment in no way indicates that they don't care. Weird, huh?

AnonymousAugust 25, 2012 6:56 PM

Ah, yes, the DANCE MY PUPPETS! card. I was wondering when it would show up.

Leaving SocietyAugust 25, 2012 7:04 PM

Just because human behavior is predictable doesn't mean I view you as my puppets. This, as in the case of the blog as a whole, is an experiment -- not a puppet show.

AnonymousAugust 25, 2012 7:17 PM

Leaving Society, why are you such a racist?

5. Demonstrating how easy it is to take one community, whose self-image is predicated on apathy, and expose them for being pretentious. Note that most of my posts get no comments, while the one referenced above is already almost up to 130.

(the whole discussion)

Finally, check out their cognitive dissonance as on display here, where they rationalize both my lack of explosive reactions and my failure to delete comments as a sign that I'm just "not worth it."

Let this all be a lesson to those interested in the art of persuasion: The average person does not understand the difference between an equation and an analogy, so they get upset when they misinterpret your analogy as being some kind of attempt to equate two very, very different things. Most people are unable to grasp that a comparison can be made for the sake of demonstrating a point regarding a very specific, shared quality, regardless of the overall cultural implications of the things compared -- not because they're biologically inferior, but because they're a product of this poorly planned, inefficient edifice poking out through the "natural" world which we call society.

It's not important, purely for the sake of elucidating the point in question, to understand that pretty paintings and food share the quality of beings things that I have a preference for; what matters is that paintings are not food, and I am therefore a retard for 'comparing' paintings to food, because you need food to survive. Like, duh!

The result of all of this is that these heroes of established cultural norms decide that you're the one incapable of understanding the status quo; next comes irrelevancy in all of its myriad forms. Nothing is more ironic than championing academia as a valid grounds for discussion and then resorting to poo-flinging Internet drama, first as "trolling," then as a pathetic attempt to actually argue back. When was the last time that you called someone names in a college debate course, and why is it somehow only acceptable to do so when there are no consequences for your actions -- namely, on the Internet?

I'm just not worth the real arguments, even though said hypothetical arguments would be constructed out of inaccurate interpretation of the material presented here to begin with. Challenging something that is widely accepted automatically implies that you're not only wrong, but a failure (like being a failure at anything subjective even matters) at the thing as well. There are no logical fallacies in this paragraph, none at all!

Yeah, right. And I really believe that the Holocaust never happened and have no capacity to be moved by art.