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Friday, July 28, 2006

The Usual Suspects

Post "I like pie" on the forums.
Some people will answer that they like pie too.
More people will answer to say that they don't like pie, and why you shouldn't either.
Someone will say that the like (or perhaps the dislike) of pie is a cultural or racial slur.
Someone will mention that Hitler liked (or didn't like) pie.
Someone else will say that they would like to taste pie, but the bugs in it make it inedible.
Insert postings about the availability of pie bringing in more underagers, griefers, furries, goreans, robots, christians, black people, white people, and blue people.
Express worries that the commercialisation of pie will spoil it's flavour.
"Pie wants to be free."
30 people start arguing about things that have nothing to do with pie.

And everyone thinks they're being novel and unpredictable.

Repeat for differing values of Pie.


  1. Tateru Nino has mastered the art of the Really Redundant Loop.

    I salute you!

  2. And that, in a very cozy nutshell, is why you will NEVER see me on the Forums.

  3. In the Ancient Days of the Internet, people simply had The Rules. And The Rules were simple, they were called Netiquette. You either followed them, or you were out. Plain and simple. If you didn't want to follow The Rules, forums were not for you.

    Everybody knew The Rules. This did not mean that people ignored them; of course not, there were as many flame wars as nowadays (people are people). The difference is only that everybody on the Internet were willing to read up The Rules, and if they violated them, they did so *deliberately*.

    Today, they violate The Rules because they ignore them.

    Many others even go a step further. Based on an abstract concept that freedom of opinion means that you can insult everyone around you (and that everyone is FORCED to listen to your insults!), that's the attitude one enters the forums these days (in SL or elsewhere). One arms oneself with the Armour of Ultimate Freedom of Expression. If you get criticised for insulting your fellow forum posters, well then, it means that others are simply Fascists (or Communists, or Nazis, or whatever you fancy). This is a redutio ad absurdum like one does not find elsewhere in the history of freedom of expression:

    *I* talk. *You* listen. If *you* don't want to listen, you're a fascist and should be immediately labeled as such, and ostracised by the whole community. *My* right to speak (to insult, to offend) is more important than *your* right to refse to listen. *I* am right. *You* are wrong. If *you* CLAIM to be "right", you're a danger to *me* and have thus to be stomped down.

    Some illustrious forum poster once wrote that she felt that she was surrounded by children on the forums all the time (ie. most exhibit the totally egocentric behaviour of 2-3 olds). Sometimes I agree with her on that specific point. What is ironic is that this particular person also behaves *exactly like all the others* (ie. she's also the only one entitled on an opinion, and all the rest of the world are morons...).

    At this point I really wonder what's the point? I've been to several meetings and discussions in-world; and hosted literally hundreds of discussions myself. Things NEVER were like that in-world; actually, people were encouraged to discuss freely, but emit their opinions fundamented on good, solid arguments to defend them. What I saw happening very quickly is that the "I, pie" crowd slowly disappeared from the in-world discussions (only to reappear during the Town Hall meetings, of course).

    When the only argument you have to sustain your opinion by insulting others, just because your "freedom of expression" *allows* it (a most strange ethical concept), it's pointless to insist: this argument is as void as deep space. You're not "getting it" at all.

  4. ... and that, to an extent, is why the SL blogoshpere grows, and the forums dwindle to non-existence :)

  5. I, of course, did my own litmus, er, Kool-Aid test:


    for the record.

    "... and that, to an extent, is why the SL blogoshpere grows, and the forums dwindle to non-existence :)"

    I'm prepared! Well said.

  6. I briefly considered changing the name of my personal blog to something else, but your comment, Gwyneth, made me realize that 'Akela Is Howling' was just fine, for many different reasons.


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