Greedy Goblin

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Ban Matticus!

This post was more sarcastic than informative, so I've rewritten it.

There is an asshole in the blogosphere! We must get rid of him, since no matter how useful information he posts, if we tolerate his existence we make him and others believe that "If you’re really good at what you do, you can get away with being a really big asshole.".

What this monster did? He has "1823 readers by feedburner" on his blog. A number that I don't and may never have! And it's not enough for him to tell me once that my blog sucks! Every time I look at his blog, no matter which page of his I open, his reader count laugh into my face! And not only me, he treats everyone like this.
  1. I feel oppressed, humiliated, de-energized and belittled!
  2. He does it only to the weaker bloggers. Those who have higher count most probably don't even notice it!
Get rid of him! Just like get rid of my old history teacher who gave me mark 3 (C in USA)! No, it wasn't me having no idea about the date of the battle which changed my nation's life for a century, it was him being an asshole! Oh, and don't forget the cop, who followed me with red-blue lights, made me stop front of all the people on the road, made me just stand there judged and laughed at until he gave me a ticket! No, it wasn't me traveling at 160% of the allowed speed, it was him being an asshole.

Am I insane? Luckily not, but Robert I Sutton obviously is, and Matticus spreads his poison. He suggests to get rid of those who "make" other people feel bad.

I am in full control of my life. No one but me can make me feel oppressed, humiliated, de-energized or belittled. Other people have no magical powers on me. No one can make me feel bad, just like no one can turn me into a frog. Wait a second, people were burned alive for turning others into a frog, so there must be some truth in it, just like in "interacting with assholes often can lead to physical health problems like anxiety, fatigue, anger and depression".

People have constitutional right to have and to voice their opinion. They have the right to have bad opinion about you and say it. You are not entitled to be loved and adored by everyone like Kim Jong Il. Just like you have the same right and also the right to ignore (and /ignore) them.

"The human brain perceives negative interactions in a bigger way than positive interactions. Sutton states that negativity can have an effect that’s five times more powerful than a positive statement. It takes a lot of support from positive people to help counteract the energy drained by one asshole."-he writes. What "energy" are we talking about? How is it measured? Energy is a scientific term but this "mental energy" is just crap. The closest to it is Fraud's obsolete libido theory. Anyone, arbitrarily can claim that his energy was taken by you! Let's sue Matticus for $100000 because he took our energy!

You may think that I was just lucky avoiding "assholes" and if I'd be their "victim", I'd be more understanding with this policy. Well, due to the controversial ideas on this blog I gather huge amount of trolls. On every post I get couple of "you heartless piece of s$## go to hell" class comments. Am I happy about them? Of course not. Do I feel humiliated because of them? Why would I? They are merely annoying.

Matticus mentioned that "assholes" "continues to belittle them [the victims] with questions like “Why are you so bad?”" Well, I just got this question after healing Sarth. The answer was: "because I played mostly as mage nowadays and when I saw the firewall coming, I finished the cast and blinked away". He answered "lol" and the topic was closed.
Did I felt belittled because of his question? Of course not.
Did I felt belittled by the fact that I died on a flame wave because I tried to blink with a restodruid? Of course I did, strike that, my "healing done" was belittled significantly.

You know what the two ultimate ways to get rid of people who tell "you suck"?
1 Stop sucking!
2 "Can you elaborate that?" - by Automated Goblin Therapist.

Of course those who try to stop you from telling (or having) your opinion, will claim that "constructive critism" is welcomed, you "just" have to formulate your opinion "properly". Notice that they vindicate the right to label your opinion and dismiss it (and gkick you) without debate if they find it "not constructive". It is nonsense. They have the right to ignore your opinion but don't have the right to punish you for it. Obviously if you mock everybody, soon you find yourself ignored by everybody. That's the only punishment that annoying trolls deserve. Anything more is violation of the right of speech.

PS: if you think I really want to ban or sue Matticus, I unleash all my magical belitteling powers on you! :-)


Kurt said...

It makes as much sense to invoke the constitutional right to free speech in a discussion about a video game in which no governmental restrictions on free speech are discussed, as it would to invoke the constitutional right to assemble as a counterargument in which I claim that my right to gkick you for being an asshole is constitutionally protected. It's even the same amendment, right?

Your point about how he can't "make" you feel down is technically true, but it's a bit of a straw man in that Matticus's argument was stated unnecessarily strongly. All he needs to say is that an asshole makes the guild less attractive to non-asshole talented members, and attracts more assholes so that the guild becomes even less attractive, in a continual cycle. If he states his argument like that, your counterargument doesn't really fit.

I must admit that the guilds I've been in, across different MMO's, which contained a high percentage of assholes, were both more interesting, and often more successful for a time, as they found it very easy to kick baddies. I don't think it's a recipe for longevity, however.

Marc said...

Wouldn't you agree that it's all in the mind?

Then one way of dealing with things is how Matticus suggested. If that doesn't feel right to you, one is free to use their own methods. There is no good or bad way of doing things.

spinksville said...

You rock :) Some people really do need to grow a spine and learn that out in the real world, everyone is not your mother who will take care of your bruised feelings.

Hagu said...

I agree with your point that being attacked by a stranger in a game shouldn't make you feel bad. To continue the metaphors in that anatomical vicinity: "There are no ballbusters, just bustable balls." But that seems irrelevant to Matticus's thesis. Most people *do* feel bad about public ad hominem attacks. And *pointlessly* making people feel bad tends to hurt their and the raid performance.

Going thru a WWS log and pointing out their 436 mistakes could be constructive. Having performance metrics and ruthlessly enforcing them does help performance.

Frequently these comments are made as a ghost with little analysis - perhaps it wasn't healer's fault - they were silenced because of a kick not being made.

Best case, the comments are to GG and a complete waste of bandwidth, frequently when the time could be more profitablely spent on figuring out what went wrong and how to fix it. Worst case, the recipient is part of the 99.9% of the population that irrationally lets the criticism make them feel worse.

Either way, it seems to me that guilds that care about performance don't let this happen.

Doug said...

First off Matticus is popular enough to be blocked at work which is an auto-fail in my book. Second, every guild has an asshole (as in the one that does the dirty work that noone else will) sometimes they take it too far, or are just an asshole irl.

You know that guy flaunting the DPS (or healing) meters, see feedburner+blog. They may just be inappropriately celebrating success, one may never know.

Lilivati said...

You know, being an asshole probably doesn't enhance your feedburner numbers either. ;)

Opinions like yours remind me of when I did my student teaching in a middle school. Every kid is tough as nails and more than ready to laugh at the kid that's hurt- until it's them. The toughest acts cry the hardest when this kind of stuff comes their way.

Just my personal experience.

That said- people CAN overreact, and the point at which it stops being an overreaction varies considerably from guild to guild, and indeed person to person. Hopefully people find a guild whose tolerance level is similar to theirs.

Megan said...

The problem with most of Matt's posts I find, is that they preach to the choir.

For example, in the asshole post, you take away all of the copied and pasted Sutton stuff, you get a basic story about someone hurting someone else's feelings during a raid. Do you know what would happen if you posted that anywhere else but your own blog?

"qq moar"

Not to mention, it's human nature to think everything revolves around you.. when in reality you're probably the asshole they're talking about, you just can't see it.

Neil said...

There is a difference between legitimate criticism (a teacher giving you a poor mark, a police officer ticketing you) and simple vindictive nonsense. One serves a purpose as part of the established system, and the other is simply the malicious act of a juvenile person. The act cited as an example in Matticus' post - another player calling him undeserving after he received loot - is juvenile and malicious. That player had the option of approaching Matticus in a way that anyone with common sense knows would work better in most cases, offering constructive criticism about healing style and specific methods. He could have said "I noticed you're using Spell X instead of Spell Y, that's a bad idea in these situations because of Circumstance A." Instead he just called him undeserving. How has that improved the situation? What has been gained from this action other than the taunter getting a quick emotional thrill? I lead raids often, and when a player is underperforming, it has been the case 100% of the time that offering actual suggestions on improvement has been more effective than simply saying "YOU SUCK GTFO".

Your suggestion that anyone who feels bad when criticized is nothing but a crybaby is ridiculous. In a world where everyone were perfectly impartial, logical, and unemotional in all their dealings, it would make sense. But this is Earth, not Vulcan :P People are driven as much by emotion as by logic, and deliberately disrupting another player's emotional state is, to me, just as bad as deliberately posting false information regarding DPS rotations or boss strategies. Both have noticeable (if not necessarily numerically quantifiable) adverse effects.

Ultimately, most people play this game to have fun, and if the game ceases to be fun, they will stop playing. If player X's actions drive players Y, Z, and Q away from the guild, then the loss is three players and the gain is one player having the right to be deliberately and unnecessarily malicious. Speaking purely from the perspective of profit and loss ... does that make sense?

kyrilean said...

The fact you felt you needed to include your postscript at the end was the best part of the post! :) The problem is you probably did need to!

It's true that no one can force you to feel bad about yourself in this game, but it's fairly common for most people to take negative comments to heart.

People shouldn't feel obligated to put up with anything they don't want to whether it's the asshole or the crappy player.

Lupius said...

"Fraud's obsolete libido theory"
I love it. Is it an intentional pun or did you mean to write "Freud"?

Jesse said...

Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me.

Gevlon said...

At first: I'm aware that this sarcastic post is not perfectly written. I am writing a more informative version.

@Kurt: you can kick anyone from your guild who you don't like. You are not forced to play with anyone. Yet it is your arbitrary action and not "rightful punishment". They did nothing wrong, you just couldn't get along

@Hagu: balls are existing object in the real world. "feeling bad" happens in your mind, it's not an existing thing. The hyperbole that Matticus belittled me by posting his subscriber number shown that. Prove it that I don't really feel bad!

@Lilivati: it comes to me all the time! I'm cleaning lot of trolls. They can waste a little of my time but cannot make me feel bad. My mind is my own and no one else can control it.

@Megan: that's the point. The guy did not do anything wrong, just voiced his bad opinion. While Matticus has all the right to dislike him, trying to punish him is QQ

@Neil: what if the other person thought that he is underperforming but had no idea about improvement. I have absolutely no idea how can a 800DPS rouge improve. But I know for sure that he must. I'm *not* calling everyone who feel bad a crybaby. I call those crybabies who want *others* (mummy!) to punish those who criticized them.

@Kyrilean: we live in a sad world...

@Lupius: he would say it was a subconscious attempt to belittle his work. :-)

@Jesse: indeed

Druanor said...


You could have the opposite reaction to "bullies" and have it fire you up. Some people enjoy knocking bullies down. They are so easy to mess with. There are psychological techniques to do so. Some are in Sutton's book, some are learned over time. The one that really gets to them is standing up to them and facing them down. See? Most bullies operate on bluff, and when you call their bluff it embarrasses them. Whether it be done in public or private. But then you have an enemy for life, so some people feel this is not the correct response. Albeit the most gratifying one.

But beyond how to treat with bullies I thought this particular post was out of place. For a couple of reasons.

First and foremost is that this is a "button pusher" post. Designed to get peoples emotions to run high. Aimed at one thing and one thing only: to increase Gevlon's number of readers of his blog. Whether Gevlon really believes what he posted is moot. The topic AND the fact that he posted the link to his blog (on Matticus' blogs comment section) shows that clearly.

Secondly, I really feel that Gevlon should stick to what he knows best. That is WoW's economy (which you have to admit he does know well). I really like the way he experiments with things to see what turns a profit or not. He is willing to share that information with others and even to admit his mistakes. All very altruistic Gevlon (well done). But to use such cheap theatrics to garner a bigger readership is beneath you. Just keep posting interesting (though grammatically incorrect)articles and your numbers will go up over time. Literally, I put up with your grammar or lack thereof because I am more interested in the topics being discussed and the information contained in them.

And something Gevlon might want to consider is that this article may just put you in that "asshole" bracket himself. There is justification to think that by posting a cutting thread about Matticus on his blog and then posting not a comment but a link back to it might be considered to be hypocritical. At the very least, cynical.

I can't (won't) tell Gevlon how to act or what to write about. Just pointing out some differences of opinion is all. The cynicism I can put up with, however if I feel that Gevlon is turning into a hypocrite then I will CHOOSE not to read his blog. And after all, that does seem to be a concern for him. Gevlon REALLY doesn't need to get more readers in this fashion, it's just not necessary.

Kurt said...

If someone is trying to build a guild with a friendly atmosphere, they would be kicking the person because they didn't fit with the kind of guild atmosphere they were trying to build. Someone who doesn't fit in will hurt the performance of the guild (Like I said before, 3-4 skilled players will leave over one asshole, in a guild that was predicated upon not having assholes), but sure, that's not "rightful punishment", that's just pragmatism.

But if Matticus wants to call it rightful punishment, that's his free speech right, yes? Which is where your argument breaks down.

You say in your reply to me: "you can kick anyone from your guild who you don't like. You are not forced to play with anyone. Yet it is your arbitrary action and not "rightful punishment". They did nothing wrong, you just couldn't get along"

I.e., you don't object to his prerogative to gkick, you object to calling it rightful punishment.

But in your reply to Megan: "The guy did not do anything wrong, just voiced his bad opinion. While Matticus has all the right to dislike him, trying to punish him is QQ"

Here you object to the gkick, but maintain his right to dislike him. "
People have constitutional right to have and to voice their opinion. " You maintain he has the right to voice his dislike.

These are contradictory replies, you can't have it both ways.

Matticus said...

What concerned me the most is that you had to actually make a comment with a direct link back to your post here.

It means the trackbacks section at the top of my comments page didn't pick up your post. That is something I'll have to look into. Thanks for the link back!

Gevlon said...

@Druanor: I already accepted that this post was not well written. I'm currently writing a more informative one and I hope it will explain why I consider this topic very important on a moneymaking blog. In short: if you make business, you surely make some enemies who give you "nice" comments. If you can't handle them, you are going down.

@Kurt: yes, Matticus is free to tell any opinion, just like I'm free to disagree.

What it's about: disliking him, ignoring him, not playing/working with him is your right. However trying to make it look like that he is "bad" and deserves punishment is wrong. "Not playing together" is not punishment, just like not dating someone is not punishment, just personal preference.

The QQ: make *others* accept that he is wrong and you are right, while actually it's just two equal people disliking each other.

@Matticus: I'm sorry but have no idea what Trackback is. I will research it tomorrow. I assume as a blogger I should know it.

Kurt said...

"However trying to make it look like that he is "bad" and deserves punishment is wrong. "

This quote is you talking about Matticus, but it is also almost exactly what Matticus said about the asshole, in relation to the asshole trying to make other players look bad. Perhaps this is not a coincidence.

"The QQ: make *others* accept that he is wrong and you are right, while actually it's just two equal people disliking each other."

Could it be that the fact that they are not equal in guild rank is exactly the relevant distinction? If a guild master criticizes badly, or kicks badly, it has a direct impact on his own guild, which he feels responsible for and which others feel him to be responsible for. The asshole who is not the guild master feels neither as much responsibility to criticize constructively and effectively, nor has the power to back up his criticisms with gremoves.

There's also the fact that people don't like to hear criticism from those who are not specifically assigned to do so. I was running H nexus with an alt that had just hit 80 that day a few days ago, we kept wiping to keristrasza when the tank died, so naturally I looked at recount to see what I could discern. It looked like the tree healer had only managed 11 lifebloom ticks and 7 rejuv ticks through the entire encounter, which was 90 seconds or so, so I queried her on that and also the tank hadn't shield wall'd at the frenzy. The tank not only called me an asshole, but specifically stated the fact that I was a fresh 80 as the reason I should not have said anything. He waited until my suggestions had resulted in downing the boss on the next attempt to call me an asshole, too, which I found amusing.

So I sympathize with all those who have been party, raid, or gkicked for being an asshole when they were just making informed and constructive criticisms, I've had all those happen to me even when I was the only person there who'd actually downed the boss before and knew exactly what was wrong. But I find that amusing when it occurs, they are just dooming themselves to more wiping than is necessary, and sparing me from it.

Anyway, that's an illuminating example but a bit off the point. So, the central disagreement is that you think a guild leader shouldn't talk shit about someone he gkicked, even though he kicked that person for talking shit about other guild members in the first place. On the grounds of avoiding hypocrisy, you could construct an argument that the guild leader shouldn't do that, but on the grounds of pragmatism, guild leaders will continue to claim that their gkicks were "justified" because that is what they know the ape-subroutines of followers wants to hear. Since this is a relatively immutable fact about humans, you are in effect pissing into the wind, no matter how well you construct your argument that guild leaders SHOULD not do the pragmatically effective thing to do, they will continue to do it.

I'm not sure how relevant to this situation your comments about businessmen are/will be. Guild leaders have to make statements to play to the ape-subroutines of their followers, businessmen just have to be rational evaluators. Certainly someone like yourself who has often observed what a high percentage of people act irrationally, must recognize that the ratio of guilds with no more than a few irrational people must certainly be about 1 in a thousand.

Neil said...

It's a tool to let you and your readers know who's linking to you. Very handy :)

Leah said...

I was going to type a long post and then I saw one from Neil which expresses my opinion perfectly.

to add to that - not everyone is as thickskinned and perfectly sure in themselves as you are. not everyone can let malicious hurtful words roll off them like water of a duck. and assholes of the world do not dare to aproach people like you (and if they do, they soon learn that its useless), because they will get no thrill from you.

in theory it sounds so simple "no one can make me feel bad but myself" in practice when you are faced with an outpouring of malice, people like me cannot help it but wonder "did I do something to cause that?" at the very least - their enjoyment is ruined by a debby downer of an asshole (like Matticus and his new robe).

people have a right to feel and say what they will and guilds have a right to st the rules for behavior and adhear to them (and if you don't - find a guild that suits you better) no one is forcing you to stick to the rules that you don't like. you make a choice (in case of real life - if you break the laws - you shudl be aware of the consequences and punishment that comes wth it. in a game - you simply leave the guild and find people with attitudes closer to your own)

I liked the articly matticuss posted. I haven't checked his blog i na while, so thank you for pointing it out :)

Leah said...

also - in regards to your question - you see someone underperforming but have no constructive critisism to offer.

telling that person that they suck will not make them suck less, but it will predispose them to discount anything that you have to say, including constructive advice.

IMO - a better course of action woudl be either research the class of person who's underperforming and come back with helpful suggestions, or point out the problem to someone who knows more about a class in question.

there's alwasy a chance that an underperforming person is themselves an asshole and will snap back at you for daring to say anything. There are several ways you can deal with that, I'm sure you can figure something out.

offering constructive critisims might label you an asshole in some eyes, but it woudln't make you one. insulting someone without anything constructive to say, deliberately choosing hurful words? its your choice to alliance people and to get back to your previous posts - people do remember things like that.