Greedy Goblin

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Welfare, /ignore and Hitler

I usually get comments claiming that I am Hitler. Even to "buy Glacial bag CDs and sell the bags" posts. However to the post where I compare being in a guild doing Ulduar drake runs with a /trade pug failing on Ulduar weekly, I got 28! (other negative historic figures included) Record.

I don't write this post because I care if some moron compares me to Hitler. I think they miss the significant difference between my philosophy and the one of the genocide-makers and many other non-commenting reader do the same mistake.

Let me set a zero point: "I do not exist". Any action of mine that has the same effect on you as my non-existence, is at zero. The "helping" is when I do something that is better for you than zero. "Damaging" is when I do something that is worse for you than zero. Seems obvious and it is even for socials with out-group members. When some African die in hunger, you just shrug "it's not my fault", referring to the above defined zero-point. If you wouldn't exist, the same African would still be hungry.

However socials use a different zero-point for in-group members. These people are magically entitled for my help. The real zero point is considered "damage" from the social viewpoint. Example: if you fall in the lake and I watch you drown, I'm a terrible person, despite you'd still be drowning if I haven't even born. The "moral" move would be to risk my life to save you.

Hitler, Stalin, Pol Pot and other historic figures mentioned by Anonymous actively killed people. The victims would be alive if the murderers would not exist, so their actions are below zero point. I do not want to kill or even damage anyone. I simply refuse to help them. Why do socials see me similar to Hitler? Because of the similar outcome. If everyone would act like me, the M&S would be similarly dead. For M&S, not getting welfare is just as deadly as a gas chamber. However it's not my fault. It's their own. If the hard-working, not-stupid people would not exist, they would be equally dead.

Now back to WoW: I cannot stop any M&S from killing the LK. The instance is instanced (Surprise!) so I can't even go to their Lich King. Their inevitable wipefest on the big skeletons before Marrowgar cannot be my fault. However socials think different way, they think the M&S is entitled to be carried by me. They believe that the failed raid is my fault as I forced them to be there by rejecting them from my own raid. I refused to help, despite I must have received the same help (or was lucky) when I was new. From that standpoint I am evil. Many non-M&S socials keep carrying M&S exactly to avoid being labeled "evil". That's exactly why I believe that without asociality, progress cannot be attained: "being social" = "morally and by peer pressure forced to carry M&S".

Bottom line: socials calling you elitist, asshole, jerk, Hitler is just as normal as their empty gem slots. Ignore their opinion and them.

Selfish-asshole-jerk-Hitlers like Virendra kicked Pwnu (why, oh why do they always have names like that?), most probably because he has life, unlike them. If you check the link, you can see that his colorful personality induced him to collect DPS, prot and holy gear approximately equal ratio for tanking. Below you can see his mature, helpful and world-improving philosophy:


Espoire said...

You claim that refusing to help someone is a neutral action, and I would definitely agree if helping costs you more than or even close to what your benefactor gains, but helping someone when it costs you comparatively little seems like a good way for everyone to go through life, because all of these positive-sum actions collectively raise the quality of life for everyone.

Maybe I'm just a naïve idealist, or maybe my philosophy leaves anyone following a potential victim to "predators" that take and do not give in return, but you definitely cannot deny that positive-sum help, wherein one person gains significantly more than the other loses, or both gain, improves the average quality of life of everyone.

Gevlon said...

@Espoire: There is a system for positive-sum help: business. He pays for my help, the payment is more than my costs and less than his benefits (it is possible exactly because of positive sum).

Selfless positive-sum helping is bad for the world as it motivate people to do noting but wait for positive sum helps. Soon no one will work.

Cantar said...

"Selfless positive-sum helping is bad for the world as it motivate people to do noting but wait for positive sum helps. Soon no one will work."

Just look at the deterioration of society here in my USA. It proves you are correct.

Andru said...

Ah, too bad I'm a paladin tank myself.

I never got to see an ex...exo...exo...exorrrciiism paladin tank in action.

Also, did we read the same comments? I only saw some back and forth academic discussion about you calling them 'filth' or something.

There were some hints about 'genocide' or whatever, but I thought those were just harmless random musings.

Zandathor said...

If you were really evil you would 'exploit' the ignorance of others and... keep it to yourself. There is always the possibilty thet whoever you 'exploited' will learn due to information being spread more widely.
Likewise the Moron of the Week et al. holds up a mirror so others learn how not to be morons.

Anonymous said...

@andru: the comments need approval for a reason! He filters out all the lolkids that go along these lines "lol u meen, u r hitler lol"

Twiliak said...

Cantar, if you had any idea of the difference between government in the USA and those in the other developed parts of the world you might understand how nonsensical that post was.

Kudos for uninformed opinions Mr. Beck.

Anonymous said...

As an aside (and possible derail, I apologize), I think that Gevlon's idea of a "zero point" works well enough for individual actions but breaks down when discussing larger scale events such as, for example, nationally-sponsored genocide.

The "zero point" view takes a "Great Man" ( approach to how the world is shaped. That is, individuals create the times in which they live. This makes for great stories with powerful heroes, but often the truth is that the times in which we live create us. Oftentimes the languages we speak, the books we read and the people we have the opportunity to meet are shaped by 'accidents' of when and where we are born. In this view, which is in opposition to the Great Man view, events would often occur even without the presence of a particular individual.

As an example, consider the simultaneous development of calculus by Newton and Leibnitz. Many mathematicians were trying to resolve the problems that they solved, but Newton is generally credited with the solution. Would calculus still have been discovered had Newton never been born? Probably. Similar examples of this phenomenon can be found in Berliner/Edison, Janssen/Lockyer, Bell/Grey, Turing/Zuse, and many others. In these cases, it seems that the problem to be solved provided the impetus to its solution and that a 'Great Man' would naturally be drawn from a pool of people struggling with that problem. In light of difficult economic times, loss of national prestige, a history of antisemitism and pogroms and the Dolchsto├člegende, it is difficult to say the Holocaust would never have occured were Hitler never born.

Ismaele said...

Those who claim about positive-sum help should read "The Devil and the Good Lord" by Jean-Paul Sartre.
In this drama a local good lord decide to free his people donating them his land, so they will be able to live and prosper. Result? Nearby lords, worried that their peasants would claim the same, move war to the good lord and kill all his people. Those few people lucky enough to survive, hate the good lord and love the nearby lords who spare their lives...
In history no country has been saved by positive-sum help, few cases of improvement have always been the results of own sacrifices.

@Espoire: "positive-sum help, wherein one person gains significantly more than the other loses,..., improves the average quality of life of everyone." If someone lose he can't improve, this is a contradiction. It can only be true if both gain.

Zazkadin said...

Sorry I cannot help but to "lol" @Cantar.

If the USA is to be an example of "selfless positive-sum helping" gone wrong, I weep for the rest of the world!

Derrek said...

You've mentioned that the M&S or socials view you as "evil" which I agree with, it's normal. In truth, you're not good, but neutral. Obviously, neutral isn't "evil" but it's worse than being good (I'm referring especially to the drowning part). I believe that, if everyone had been neutral as you, the world wouldn't have been what it is today... To tell a little secret: when a group/team/society/world is united, as one single entity, then the best results come and everything is possible.

Anonymous said...

There's a difference between doing nothing in game and letting someone die in real life. There's a big difference between doing absolutely nothing in real life and doing something.

Take your example of drowning person. Should you risk your life to save them? Probably not, especially if you are not a professional lifeguard/rescue worker. should you just walk by and let them die? Law calls it negligent homicide. How difficult is it to call 911, call for help? Letting someone drown is not much different then actively pushing them into a deep end when they cannot swim. Its still homicide.

Are you like Hitler? You have some of the tendencies, yes. Dehumanizing other people, calling for their extermination from the game in one way or another. You are not telling other people to merely ignore bad players, you are actively encouraging them to perform actions that would discourage those bad players from continuing to play (ganking is one of those actions btw).

Did Hitler himself personally pull triggers, switches, etc? No. He just gave the orders. Doesn't make him any less guilty.

Anonymous said...

I used to subscribe pretty ignorantly to the ideals Kant (I think it was Kant) presented as the GHP or Greatest Happiness Principle. If you don't know what I'm talking about Wiki will inform you in a quick and efficient manner. When I look at the manner in which I play WoW I certainly do not see a manifestation of such idealism. Example; Good guild leader, but also a miserable failure of a hunter expects to be carried through ICC10 for her Kingslayer title. No way Jose! Why should I carry a hunter who refuses to utilize her pet in a fight because "It dies; the healers have to keep it up." Perhaps if she turned off the taunt and kept her eye oh the HP - mend pet? - it wouldn't be such an issue. But yeah, my pet dies on the LK too; when everyone else dies at 10%. Most of the times within the confines of a guild I find myself working to promote the GHP but sometimes the M&S just don't allow such things to happen. I'll be damned if I waste my time on such a futile endeavor so a social can possess a title which would only serve to hurt her and those around her.

Hitler? Nah I don't see the similarities. Unless your talking about ruthless efficiency.

Bobbins said...

I have a feeling Gevlon wants to be a pure capitalist. However we all know (even Gevlon perhaps) that pure capitalism is evil and will and does eventually consume itself with greed and self interest.

The comparison with Hitler is obviously false but there are many unpleasant 'capitalists' and free marketeers out there.

arthur said...

At the United Nations prior to 2000, the advanced western nations set out "Millenium Goals". This was to give a proportion of their GDP to the third world over the coming decades to lift the inhabitants out of povety. Morally this looks right. But how does it fit in with zero sum?

Britain is one of the few nations that has met the Millenium Goals over the last decade. Despite the fact that the new government is about to impose harsh fiscal measures over the next four years to reduce government debt, the aid to Africa will not be reduced. Why has Britain been so assidious?

Why if your standing on the edge of the lake seeing someone drowning should you throw them the rope that is nearby to save them?

Britain has been so detailed in giving aid to the undeveloped for three reasons. One it slows attempts at illegal immigration from those countries, two it creates infrastructure that allows British companies to produce cheap goods there to sell in Britain and the rest of the world, three, it generates wealth in those countries allowing British companies to sell to those 3rd world nations increasing the market. It's called "pump priming".

Why should you throw the rope to the drowning man in the lake? one he might have a direct positive effect on you (he is rich and grateful), or two he has an indirect positive effect on you (he fell into the lake experimenting with a new invention that later will be a boon for you), or third the hardest to gauge, your own mental health. It is said one in seven adults suffers a period of mental ill health at some point in their life, ie grief/depressive episode after the death of a loved one, loss of job/relationship etc. Saving the drowning man might help protect your mental health at a moment when the crisis hits you.

Thus in rl as in wow, it is necessary to help others, the issue is when and why. Thus Gevlon is right about zero sum and positive sum, but the apex of difficulty is the analysis. The test must (a) be an objective test, and (b) beware of hidden values.
Therefore do save the drowning man in a lake if you can throw him a rope, or a life ring since these are no risk to yourself alternatives that might gain you a benefit. Be extremely cautious before jumping in yourself to save him, since the risk to yourself might outweigh the potential benefits.
Think rationally, calculate carefully.

Anonymous said...

People take strong offense to any kind of dehumanizing because it removes them from the zero-point sphere of awareness. Crushing rocks for gravel, harvesting trees for lumber or slaughtering animals for food are strictly negative interactions for those objects but we have few issues with those acts because they're not people and outside of any neutral interaction concerns. Attempting to maintain a zero point interaction with a group while dismissing them as mere filth is considered mutually exclusive.

Kicking people from the game would be a negative interaction, merely excluding them from your guild is a neutral. You're merely impotent in implementing the former.

Honestly, I found this post and the comment prompting it to be hilariously over dramatic and exaggerated for a blog that promotes unemotional and rational thought.

Ephemeron said...

"I do not want to kill or even damage anyone."

Ah, but if you had absolute power and no accountability whatsoever, wouldn't you be tempted to solve the M&S problem... permanently?

Aljabra said...

@09:26 Anonymous
"Letting someone drown is not much different then actively pushing them into a deep end when they cannot swim. Its still homicide."

It is not. Why it is? Why is this man is someone, who you must help? Why you help him, and not run away to save someone else? There are plenty people in trouble around, it's homicide to leave them all without help. No matter what you do, with your position you need to do way more than you can just to remain neutral! Just like Lewis Carroll's "You need to run as fast as you can just to stay in one place, and twice as fast to get somwhere" (don't have exact citation, sorry). It's insane. So no, not helping someone is not bad. Nor it good. It's completely ethically neutral, no matter, how hard you look.

Gevlon said...

@Ephemeron: yes I would and my solution would be "No governmental help to anyone!"

format said...

"Selfless positive-sum helping is bad for the world as it motivate people to do noting but wait for positive sum helps. Soon no one will work."

Do you mean to say that the starving African children are just lazy? And that sacrificing a few dollars to feed the child for multiple meals just reinforces his laziness?

Sure, selfless positive sum helping is bad when the party receiving aid is perfectly capable of taking themselves out of their predicament, like the tank casting exorcism. But when a child is born into a situation they have no control over, shouldn't they be allowed to live long enough to actually exact change in their life?

Altruistic acts like donating an insignificant amount of money to allow a child to live can't be bad for the world.

Gevlon said...


Sjonnar said...

Thank you Gevlon. This is a point I've been trying to make for a while, but I could never quite explain it properly. Saying 'You didn't fail because I didn't help you, you failed because you are a failure.' seemed too obvious, like saying 'The sky is blue.' From now on, whenever I get into this particular discussion with people, I can link to this post.

Brian said...

Neutral might not be "bad" in the sense of Hitler or Stalin, but it's not "good" either. If everyone aspired to be truly neutral, our society would have no way of dealing with truly bad luck situations (natural disasters, etc), because people would still be too neutral to care.

However, the real point here isn't what Gevlon's actions are, the real argument is what the M&S actions are. Despite demanding "good" behavior from everyone, M&S are themselves not even neutral. Their actions are uniformly bad since they almost always have a negative affect on someone. Time, money, effort, etc expended to help M&S negative impacts the giver. And there is no way to balance that out, since the M&S could never actually help anyone in return. And beyond that, the M&S hurt people who actually might NEED help, since the helpful folks are too busy helping the M&S.

To use Gevlon's logic, imagine if instead of "no Gevlons", we had "no M&S" in WoW. The overall quality of the game would go WAY up, especially for the people who feel compelled to help others, since they would no longer be bogged down carrying idiots who should have improved a long time ago.

Gevlon said...

@Brian: there is a business solution against true bad luck: insurance.

Squishalot said...

@ Gevlon: "Let me set a zero point: "I do not exist"."
"When some African die in hunger, you just shrug "it's not my fault", referring to the above defined zero-point. If you wouldn't exist, the same African would still be hungry."

I think you misinterpret your emotional response to this. When some African dies in hunger, I shrug and note that "I cannot possibly have changed the outcome", not that "I do not exist". Given that I am unable to influence the outcome, the net result is not a moral consequence of my inaction.

However, were I in a position to place myself in a non-zero point (using your terminology), the net result *is* a moral consequence of my action / inaction.

In any event, I think you completely miss the point that I was making in the comments of your previous post. I have no qualms with an '/ignore' attitude. My point was that you're not "simply refusing to help them", as you claim in this post. Instead, you "want to expel them from the gaming circles I'm in... [you] want them out!"

So your argument in this post is baseless, because you're coming from the flawed assumption that you're somehow indifferent to the M&S, when your entire blog is based on the premise that you're not.

@ Aljabra: "So no, not helping someone is not bad. Nor it good. It's completely ethically neutral, no matter, how hard you look."

The act of not doing something is as ethically consequential as the act of doing something, providing that the net result is the same. If you have an opportunity to help someone and you choose not to, then their final predicament is a consequent result of your inaction.

Notwithstanding the 'blame' you can place on the precedent events that led to that situation in the first place, the key point is that you are still responsible for continuing to keep them in their predicament.

Riptor said...

After reading the enraged reactions to Gevlons’ Posts I am truly happy to play in a Guild where terms like Scrub, Filth, Randooms, etc are the usual terminology when referring to Players we deem to be less skilled then us.

But BT: Hitler was a cunt because on his orders, People were killed.. So were Stalin, Pol Pot, Mao, Castro, etc.
If you watch someone drown in a lake and not help him you, in many countries, go to jail. Not helping or boosting lazy moronic Beggars in WoW does not have fatal consequences for anyone. In WoW you are free to look away. You are free to dislike someone for their gear, behavior, social status, etc. It does not have an impact on anyone’s life if you leave a group destined to fail utterly.
And honestly I find it highly disturbing that some readers actually compare rl Genocide with the words of a Blogger who claimed that he regards some WoW Players as filth….
Also claiming dehumanizing other Players is a bad thing? It’s a Video Game. Dehumanization as well as escape from the real world is the whole freaking point of Video Games. Or has that become obsolete as Social Networking Sites spread their influence into every aspect of electronic Entertainment?

Anonymous said...

The problem with the avast ye text are people that indeed are incapable. Let's take the child of a person who did exactly that: Take a job in the crime sector and getting killed in a triviality. or a (real) retard/blind/cripple/whatever.
The second problem here is the question of risk and legal. the society needs to keep the 'good' people safe from the criminals. so cutting welfare to goblins who turn to crime is precisely not what we want as a society.

my solution would be much simpler: remove welfare as such but create (meaningful) government jobs where they get their minimum wage and some pointers for how to get a job in private economy (if they want to). let them plant some corn, work in some industry (similar to the work in prisons). and if they arrive drunk or don't show readiness to perform -> let them die of hunger. just make sure they don't drag anyone with them that can't decide for themselves (like their kids or mentally ill parents) yet.

Squishalot said...

By the way, I don't think you understand what 'morality' means. You and Aljabra keep using it as if it's a social construct.

I suggest you do a bit more research before making claims like "being social" = "morally and by peer pressure forced to carry M&S".

Vesoom said...

I'm not a philosopher so maybe someone could expain this better than me. Is there not a difference between helping someone that could help themselves and someone that can't?

It seems to me that someone who is drowning can't help themselves and needs/deserves our help. Someone who simply wants our help because they didn't do it themselves is to be ignored.

However, in game, this is in total agreement with Gevlon. Everyone falls into the second catagory. There are no activities in wow that you can not take responsibility to learn about and work towards.

Gevlon said...

@Squishalot: there will be a post about education

@Vesoom: the M&S and their supporters always claim that they can't help themselves, even when they obviously could. The famous "I have life" refers to that. He claims that he needs helps because he can't play enough (that's something he cannot fix as RL > WoW)

Aljabra said...

"our society would have no way of dealing with truly bad luck situations (natural disasters, etc), because people would still be too neutral to care."
Still, there are plenty of ways, and mostly only less effective ones require people to step from neutral position. Look at the buisness world - there are rarely even neutral competition (most competitors actively seek ways to get rid of each other), still even major disasters don't break down economy or even disable competent companies.

"the real argument is what the M&S actions are."
True, still we need some zero point to work from, so proper definition why it's nether good nor bad is essential.

"Their actions are uniformly bad since they almost always have a negative affect on someone."
No, they actions are not bad, especially from the normal social point of view, on the contrary, socials need M&S exactly because they suffer from a "shifted zero point" syndrome. Socials need to help someone just to stay "neutral", they feel good while doing so, and they don't give a damn about the result as it never mattered to them in a first place. Therefore system balances itself just fine and only ones at loss are those, who don't want to carry others, don't want to be carried and, for some reason, don't want to abuse the system for personal gain.

"The overall quality of the game would go WAY up, especially for the people who feel compelled to help others"
It will go up, sure, but mostly because people, who fell compelled to help others just because others exist will be forced out. It's only known way to keep M&S out - leave them to care for themselves and they'll move to some other place, where they can be carried by someone. If you have one person, who think, that people deserve your help just because they exist, you can expect M&S to arrive very soon.

Format said...

The problem with the avast ye admiral article is you ignore those that are indeed incapable. What of infants? Taking care of a baby is a selfless act and the orphaned infant even more so. Should the orphan infant be left to the street? He should learn to pickpocket even though he can barely walk.

Aljabra said...

"The act of not doing something is as ethically consequential as the act of doing something, providing that the net result is the same."
It is only in case they current predicament is the result of my actions. If they got themselves into something without my action (not inaction), it's they problem and not mine, though I sure can make it mine.

"If you have an opportunity to help someone and you choose not to, then their final predicament is a consequent result of your inaction."
In fact, it's very modern concept. In medival, it was just the opposite - if you saved someone by your action, then everything that man did after was your fault by default.
The very idea that your inaction is in fact an action, which you may be guilty of, is very nice tool of mind manipulation, as it is totally alien to any normal mind and causes it to stop resisting for a while. And, if administered at early age, it can produce some very twisted concepts later, cause major depression and even "what if" syndrome, that killed many nice people.

"You and Aljabra keep using it as if it's a social construct. "
It is well known fact, that morality is indeed a social construct, that mutates according to the needs of the society and, at times, pretty fast too. It is also well known fact, that many people, for many different reasons, try to make it look as something absolute and above any social background. In most cases it is used to manipulate masses of people to some desired behaviour or accept something, done by others. Quite well known man, that used it this way, was, in fact, Adolf Hitler.

Bristal said...

"the comments need approval for a reason! He filters out all the lolkids that go along these lines "lol u meen, u r hitler lol"

I don't have any problem with bloggers deleting the posts of trolls. But writing a post refuting unreadable deleted posts isn't exactly up front.

Now we're discussing and postulating about what someone said someone else said, maybe assuming it was LOTS of stupid someones. We have created an enemy (or army of enemies) that is in our imagination only.

I'm an American, I've seen a bit of that. And I don't like it.

I like the M&S posts, because I can make up my own mind about the exchange. Although you can marvel at their apparent stupidity, you can also realize that it was a few seconds of exchange, and how do you know that that Virendra wasn't being a total asshat to pwnu prior to the screenshot?

Duskstorm said...

I think Gevlon's approach actually is altruistic. "Tough love," if you will.

M&S will never stop being M&S if they are enabled by others. If left to fend for themselves and actually compete, a moron will either get smarter or quit -- a slacker will either get motivated or quit. Both outcomes are good for those of us who enjoy raiding with good players.

Syto said...

You do hurt the MS though, and the more you're successful in your proposed aims the more you hurt them. See your arguments makes sense if you merely withhold your own aid from the MS. But that's not all you do, you explicitly state that your goal is to make the non-ms socials cease helping the MS. To the extent you are successful, your existence is actively harming the MS since if you didn't exist more socials would be helping the MS.

Anonymous said...

Obviously, the decision on whether you should help or not help someone depends on the situation.

1. Is the person who needs help at fault for needing such help?

2. What would it cost you to help them?

Lets take the previously used example of someone drowning. If it was a person who decided to go jump up and down on the middle of a frozen lake, and trying to help them would risk your life, then most people would say that you should not (or if it was someone who decided to ride their segway along cliffs . . . ).

Now, if the person drowning in a lake happened to be someone who was injured and was pushed into the lake by a robber, and you could easily save them w/o risk to yourself, then you'd have to be seriously demented not to help them.

Basically, it's smart to help people who are worthy of help. But helping idiots just encourages more idiots. Many of today's governments have unfortunately moved from helping hardworking people, to punishing hard work and helping slackers.

Bonebeast said...

I agree. If someone constantly is whining and crying for help, ignore them and let them struggle.

But let's say a friend of yours is in need, alltho he refuses to recieve any help, you would help him (I would anyways).

Anonymous said...

first lol(with all forms of scorn) @ cantar - no, just no.

second RE the helping of starving infants in Africa.
yes you are right he or she has done nothing wrong but being born.
however we have fed the Africans since the fifties with not a lot to show for it, it might be morally right but in actuality its just pointless.
the actual way is to help them feed themselves, compare India to Africa.
removing our subsidies for farming and tariffs would do more for the Africans than the entire I- worlds foreign budgets) yet we continue with giving them food.
thirdly letting a drowning man drown would in almost no country's be a crime since laws forcing you to intervene are relatively uncommon and they always have clauses stating that it must be to no or minimal risk to help.
trying to with no experience and training rescue a drowning man will more than likely get both of you killed. (Arthur made a very eloquent paragraph on that subject)

and finally i must say that no goverment help is stupid.
one way or another you wind up paying, either you pay the poor kids school or you pay his lifetime incarceration.
whether you like it or not everyone has to pay the piper.

Phelps said...

It's simple. Socials are socialist.

However we all know (even Gevlon perhaps) that pure capitalism is evil and will and does eventually consume itself with greed and self interest.

No, we don't all know that. In fact, those of us who actually understand history know the opposite.

Free market societies committed zero genocides in the 20th century. Socialist societies (and yes, Nazi/Wiemar Germany was socialist, Nazi stands for National Socialist Party) accounted for well, well over 200 million deaths -- most of those in the undeniably socialist Russia and China.

Free Market societies don't commit genocide, because genocide isn't cost effective. It's a luxury that only happens in socialist societies (even when we stray into socialism, like FDR's internment of the Japanese in our own socialist/fascist period.)

Lighstagazi said...

@Syto: How will an M&S ever learn to stop (if that is possible) if people continually support them? If you take Duskstorm's proposed view, by continuing to help the M&S, you are harming them in the long term by failing to teach them to fish.

Alternatively, through his "damage" to M&S, he supports more goblins. Through more goblins, the core pillars of productivity are increased, resulting in more socials. More socials results in more support for M&S.

Really, those are just spin though.

What I really wonder is: by removing M&S from the game, how is he actually harming them? I mean, "it's just a game", right?

Taemojitsu said...


Thanks for the story on cannibals, Silence of the Lambs is generally viewed as better than the sequels by a different director. The pirate analogy is basically invalid (especially for pirates from Somalia), because the point of view that results from following news networks in most countries is often different from the informed view of someone involved in a circumstance, so the superficial judgement of someone in a distant country is not always consistent or relevant. There are NOT always options that a person would see as leading to a "better life", this is just a fact. It has no relation to actions regarding starving children in Africa, just the conclusion of the linked article was maybe debatable and is a distraction from the current context.

I think mopping floors might be more relevant, even if unemployment in some countries (the 30~50% incidence of unemployment ones) is due to structural/security problems where no jobs are available, even poor ones, and it is not possible for a single individual with no capital to improve the situation on a short-term time scale.

Aljabra said...

"Free Market societies don't commit genocide, because genocide isn't cost effective. It's a luxury that only happens in socialist societies"
Your are quite wrong here, free market societies do commit genocide as often, as socialist ones, and history know enough cases of just that.
The very birth place of free market concept, Great Britain Empire and it offsprings (you won't call THEM socialists, won't you?), had commited more genocide, then Hitler could dream of. Concentration camps wasn't invented in Germany, as you may know, China was bathed in opium by very free-market-minded britains, whole American Indian nations was wiped out completely by the people of the country, well known for declared love for free market. Boer people would've like to hear, that free market don't do genocide - that, of course, wouldn't make them less dead, but the concept, that they were killed not in genocide can surely make them rest in peace, as well, as millions of people of India.
Genocide can be cost-effective, therefore free market is no shield from it.

Bobbins said...

'However we all know (even Gevlon perhaps) that pure capitalism is evil and will and does eventually consume itself with greed and self interest.'
Understand the word pure no system is a total free market system. Governments, morals and ethics make such a system impossible. However Gevlon tends to the extreme of free market which if left unchecked produces the undesirable.

'Free Market societies don't commit genocide, because genocide isn't cost effective'
Yes it is! America was built on the removal of the native indians. Australia aboriginals. etc

Jana said...

Yes, in some cases it can be destructive not to save someone from drowning or other form of death, if you are a direct observer and have means to save the person.

However, this and other strawmanish comparisons do not imply that there is any single situation, where it is destructive not to heal an Arthusdkswe character that is staying in some aoe for all its duration and let them die!

Also the "disabled person" argument does not work, since just two words do debunk it: Disabled Olympics.

You can pull all extreme cases you want, still none of them prove in anyway that an average healthy Jason Smith laying all day in the bed, drinking off his welfare and having no intention even to look for a job, is somehow just "unlucky".

And not just that. It's even more interesting. If you have a job, then you are somehow *evil* towards all of them welfare leeches.

Saying out that they should look for a job is totally abysmally evil and destructive towards welfare leeches.

I don't think I need to explain more, how abnormal and irrational both zero points "I deserve welfare, coz I am just unlucky" and "I deserve to get boosted, coz I have a life" are.

Squishalot said...

@ Gevlon: looking forward to it.

@ Aljabra: Morality is not a social construct - what you are thinking of is a particular moral code, which may indeed be a moral construct. This is precisely why I suggest you go read up on it a bit more.

Anonymous said...

As one that called you out as Virtual Hitler, I'll return to follow up on my reasoning. His final solution was not to "kill all Jews," genocide wasn't his aim (as previously mentioned, it's usually not cost effective). What Hitler desired was for his country to be free of the "lazy, Jews" (who sold Germany out in WWI, or at least it was believed so at the time, reality is rather unimportant.) that only survived because of how much money they already wielded.
I compare you to him because you have the same desire, to be free of "the sub-group of society, who are detrimental to society as a whole." What if you got your wish of no government welfare, and the M&S united all their existing funds (obviously under some charismatic intellectual leader) to buy all the banks, and then decided to take x% of all the money to help themselves? Do you sit back or take some action?
The only differences (worthy of note) between you and Hitler are 1) out group designation and 2) proposed solutions 3) the chances of it "getting out of hand." He picked a fight with the richest 1% of his population, you seem determined to pick a fight with the poorest 10-50% so Cheers to picking the easier fight. 2) Your solution "cut off aid" is not in a totally different realm from his original decree that the Jews had to go (they were free to leave, so long as they left). Finally, and most importantly (imo at least) is the difference in the likelihood that your followers will take the decree too far is all but nonexistent. I don't care how many wowheads you convince that the M&S are evil, none of them will show up on the M&S's door to take what the m&s is too evil to possess.
Sorry for the late wall of text, have fun our goblin overlord.

Holy Moly said...

In essence, Gevlon is correct. The world would be a much better place if everyone just fended for themselves. No harming, but no helping either. However, there is a problem... We are emotional creatures. We are also animals, and are governed by these emotions left over from our ancestors. A long time ago, altruism was a necessary response by our nervous system to ensure the survival of the species. It is seen in social animals all the time (bees, ants, most mammals, etc). However, now that we have reason, we can preserve ourselves through means of technology. While a world that Gevlon envisions would be nice, we cannot shake our natural instincts to help others, and to be accepted by others. Even if we manage to make reason rule over our emotions, and we stop helping, we are seen as "Hitlers".
@ Cantar:
I'm gonna have to ask you what you mean by "deterioration of society." Do we live in the same U.S.? This is still, by far, one of the best places in the World to live, especially for money savvy people such as Gevlon. The only ones I see complaining are the lazy people who enjoy on government handouts in forms of tax breaks, bailouts, and wellfare, now that the money is tight and they've been cut off. Those of us who know how to make our money (i.e. who invested into an education that didn't lead to a dead end job) are still loving life.

Anonymous said...

re: letting someone die = homocide, in the US, it's generally perfectly legal to let someone die, even if there was no risk to you to save them. There is no inherent legal duty to assist others. Unless you had a specific duty to help them (e.g. a doctor with a patient, ship steward with a passenger), I think only one state mandates taking positive action. While Good Samaritan laws (insulating good intentioned people who do try to help) are common, laws requiring action are not.

Vesoom said...

Wow, I understand that taking an arguement to an extreme can help in understanding its consequences, but my goodness, isn't that a bit far? Gevlon posts about wanting to exclude people from a game and we get replys about his "genocidal attitude".

And: "The only differences (worthy of note) between you and Hitler are". Don't you think when you take the analogy too far you lose some credibility with us regular people? You might be right in your arguements but I think extending someones attitude about players in a game to: "The only differences (worthy of note) between you and Hitler" is quite a stretch.

Maybe we could extend it a bit farther? When 3rd graders on the playground exclude someone because they aren't in the in-group, they are very much like Hitler except in a few small ways and their genocidal attitude is worth noting?

That's sarcastic of course, but I think you lose credibility when you push your analogies too far.

chewy said...

It doesn't really help to remove them from the game. If you did that the next layer up would become the lowest level and sooner or later they would begin to annoy you in the same way. I'm sure you can see that this becomes self perpetuating until there's only you left.

Much easier to start a game on your own and get there quicker.

Squishalot said...

@ Holy Moly - education is negatively correlated to crime, and also negatively correlated to the level of government support (i.e. welfare, but not necessarily in cash form).

So by removing the help to the less fortunate, you increase crime, because the inability to make money legitimately results in the 'need' to obtain money illegitimately. Does that make the world a better place?

There was a recent debate in Australia about a set of workplace legislation which would have the impact of better rewarding people in line with their deserving-ness and the work that they do. Although I do agree with that in principal, the critics were correct in saying that it would lead to a more American-style two-tiered society (rich vs poor, also seen in developing nations too) and associated crime levels, imposing greater burdens on society. Not a criticism of the US or any other nation with a big rich/poor gap, but it is an inevitable fact of life.

Squishalot said...

@ Vesoom: "Maybe we could extend it a bit farther? When 3rd graders on the playground exclude someone because they aren't in the in-group, they are very much like Hitler except in a few small ways and their genocidal attitude is worth noting?"

/ignore is excluding someone. Gevlon's vouching for taking the person and throwing him into the dumpster, thus removing the person from the playground entirely.

Holy Moly said...

Yes, you are correct about the correlation of a lack of education and increasing crime rate. That's not what I'm getting at. I didn't want to get too presumptuous about what Cantar meant by his comment. It could be taken many different ways, and I simply decided to interpret it as bitterness over the current economic situation. The truth of the matter is that very few of us who invested into a solid college degree have been impacted negatively. I don't care if they raise taxes to pay for a national healthcare bill (they won't, but still), because I would still make enough to get by. So to make a comment about the "deterioration of our society" is largely unfounded, and is a fear-mongering tactic used by certain people to get votes so they can kick those who are "taking their jobs." That said, welfare is a necessity due to the fact that without it, there would be civil disorder. The world that I mentioned earlier is just as idealistic as a socialist utopia. There can never be such a world, because those who aren't smart enough to play the money game may just be strong enough to take it from those of us who are by force. And, before authenticators came out, that is exactly what they did by hacking. Now, the "M&S" in the game are obviously no threat. If they don't like you, they can exclude you from their circles, but your skill speaks for itself. In the real world, however, they can heckle, attack, interfere with your daily life, and even kill you to get what they want. Which is why we keep them pacified through welfare, jobs, handouts, etc..

Squishalot said...

@ Holy Moly - Which again, goes back to the point that I've been raising with Gevlon all along. You wouldn't act a certain way in real life, so why would you act like that in game? Any 'it's just a game / it's not real life' arguments are swiftly dealt with as hypocrisy, since Gevlon shoves such excuses straight into the M&S basket.

So if the people who preach hatred and discrimination in real life are real life's morons, aren't people who preach hatred and discrimination in game, in game morons?

Vesoom said...


I politely disagree that actions/attitudes in game are equivelent to actions/attitudeds IRL. Have you never killed a player of the other faction? Surely you would not do that IRL.

I have killed other players. I do not believe that I have murderous attitude.

Holy Moly said...

Because it IS a game. There are no negative consequences. Also, Gevlon isn't preaching discrimination against the "M&S". If he were, he would blog about actively seeking out those players and making their life miserable. However, his blog is all about the flaw in our willingness to suffer fools gladly. In real life, I will help someone, even if it means saving them from drowning at a personal cost. Like I mentioned before, we are emotional creatures, and those emotions get the better of us. However, in a game with unlimited resources and Google to help you learn to play it, I'll be damned if I'm going to spend the time that I paid for to help run an idiot or two who can't be bothered to get out of defiles through their LK title.

Squishalot said...

@ Vesoom: You don't kill other players. In WoW, you engage them in sanctioned combat, much like sparring in martial arts. And yes, I have done that in real life.

To kill other players would be to kill them in a hardcore-mode style game like Diablo 2. And even then, that wouldn't be enough - the death of their character would also need to permaban their account and prevent them from continuing to play on a different character. That would be in-game death!

@ Holy Moly: "Because it IS a game. There are no negative consequences.

"Because it's just school."
"Because it's just a blog."
"Because it's just a joke."

The game is part of real life. In case you didn't realise, you're dealing with real people on the other side of the screen. If you abuse a person in game, it's exactly the same as if you abused them in person.

Again, if you wouldn't bully or insult or abuse someone in person, why would you do it in game, when there's still a person who's copping it on the other side?

"Also, Gevlon isn't preaching discrimination against the "M&S". If he were, he would blog about actively seeking out those players and making their life miserable."

You don't know Gevlon or his blog well enough then:

"However, his blog is all about the flaw in our willingness to suffer fools gladly...
I'll be damned if I'm going to spend the time that I paid for to help run an idiot or two who can't be bothered to get out of defiles through their LK title."

Then he would advocate the use of /ignore, not the attempt to drive them out of the game. There is a difference. Again, Gevlon's stated that he "want[s] to expel them from the gaming circles I'm in... I want them out!"

In real life, the equivalent is to bully a person out of their school and force them to transfer to another school. That's basically what the Ganking project was - come in, bully the existing people there and drive them off server. Noting that cyberbullying is just as destructive as in-person bullying, both are equally immoral.