Greedy Goblin

Monday, October 18, 2010

But I love you, don't you see?!

Harvest update: 71.3K income, 8.8K in Sunday.
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One of the defining trait of antisocial personality disorder that such people devalue positive emotions, consider other people's love for them annoying, suspicious, dangerous, part of some evil plot against them. For long I did not think about this trait, considered it a negative side-effect of being unable to process emotions..

I remember that when I was very little, I considered my relatives creepy because they wanted to hug and kiss me. I ran away, hid behind my mum or simply screamed. I considered them dangerous, couldn't explain why. It still hard to get myself to give them even a fake kiss (when you make the kissing noise inches away from their cheek), despite I'm adult long ago. I didn't know what was wrong with me.

Comments made by women on the "girls in the asocial guild" post hit me hard. They told their negative experiences in social guilds. But they did not blame offensive jerks who considered women unworthy and expressed it by telling them abusive "jokes" or "stfu u r a girl" stuff. Nor they blamed sexual abuse. They blamed friendly, positive actions like "what is your MSN" or "can you post a pic about yourself on guild forum" or "could we go to a private vent room" and so on. These guys were not "evil" in the sense of "I know I'm hurting you but I don't care", they just wanted to get into a closer, positive-emotional relationships.

The anti-socials are right that positive emotions towards them is a danger and it is part of an evil plot against them. They are wrong only in the assumption that the evil plot is conscious. The "plotter" does not think "I ask for her MSN, then chat with her to get a bit familiar, and to figure out some personal data, then I use this data to find her on Facebook, then I contact her there, then I'll ask her out to a date, then I'll have sex with her, and if at any point she says no, I'll call her a heartless bitch and bully her out of the guild". But that what will happen (unless the woman finds the guy attractive too and they live happy ever after). The "plot" is written in unconscious schemes that evolved to increase one's survival and reproductive choices. Someone who approach me with positive emotions either want to take my resources (friends help each other) or want me to have offspring with him/her.

I don't question that positive emotions also include helping, giving and sharing. That's why these schemes remained in the gene pool. Theoretically in a "group of friends" everyone gets just as much as he gives. Socials often consciously praise altruism and helping as "today I help someone, tomorrow someone helps me". This logic breaks two points:
  • Asymmetrical resources. If I have 10K and you have 2K and we share what we have equally, you practically get 4K from me, end of story. The "boy bugs girl in WoW to go MSN" is a typical case. A young and geek girl could get much better boyfriends than a creepy 15 years old kid who's self-esteem depend on his gearscore, so the offer to start a closer social connection is definitely one-sided. In the prehistoric ages everyone's resources were similar as everyone did menial tasks needing no skill just time (and everyone has equal time). Now, when our salaries range from 20K to 200K, the "let's share" is simply "plz boost me"
  • Social waste. The socials often do completely unproductive activities to either express emotions or increase self-esteem. The resources spent on these activities are completely wasted, so a social interaction is negative sum. Example: if I buy you a $100 china-cat for Christmas and you buy me a $100 handmade cupholder then we are down by $200 and storage space where we'll have to keep the junk (throwing it to the dustbin would be offensive). These wastes cannot be avoided as their theory is hard-coded into the social brain and their form is perfectly abused by marketing.
For long I was wondering what's wrong with me that I can't appreciate aunt Marlene's kisses. Nothing was wrong. Aunt Marlene is just a creepy woman who wastes my time.
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Yanash of Area 52 found Darca, the DK tank, who died in the Ick and Krick fight. The sender switched to bear from cat and tanked the rest. What did our wonderful specimen wanted to know? How does one tanks without gear, ignoring Sapphora who gives the answer perfectly:

78 comments:

Squishalot said...

There's an irony in what you say about personality disorders that result in 'highly logical' but 'socially inept' individuals.

You talk about being unable to process emotions or devaluing other people's emotions. But realistically, a purely logical being who doesn't feel emotions can and should still be capable of identifying the emotions of other people and acting/reacting to them.

A real life friend of mine constantly complains about her boyfriend who refuses to acknowledge her emotions because he thinks that they're irrational. But really, the logical thing to do is acknowledge that the emotions exist and act/react to them in a logical manner, rather than starting off with the assumption "in a perfectly logical world...".

There are several books/movies about people with Aspergers, who are supposedly unable to process emotions. The question I always had for psychologists dealing with Aspergers is - if a person can be so logical, then surely their logic should be able to process context, and thus, deduce their counterpart's underlying emotional state.

But I digress. The main thing I wanted to point out was that you're absolutely correct when you note that it's not conscious. This, as I've argued before, is the key point about the M&S - it's not that they choose to be bad, but it's a byproduct of life.

Zanathos said...

Funny thing about the picture. DKs can also tank in a pinch about as well as druids by shifting presences, and the DK's still confused by the concept.

Gevlon said...

The psychologist CANNOT suggest this to their Asperger patients, because in the current psychological canon "emotions are good". They would risk their license saying the truth: "those people with emotions are like children and you should simply talk to them in their level".

I don't accept the "it's unconscious" as an excuse, just like I don't accept "I was drunk". While a drunk person really cannot control his actions (therefore not responsible), he could control the drinking itself. By CHOOSING to drink, he choose to get into a controll-lost state. Running around in a catapult lolling is really not a conscious choice. However being a lolkid is. The whole educational system tried to turn him into a rational person and he rejected it.

Ygg said...

@Squishalot
They dont choose consciously to be bad, but they do choose, and their choice is still made on the basis that they can be bad and still get a boost. If they couldn't get a boost, they would unconsciously choose to try and be good. No one could make a conscious choice to be bad and depend on boosting; that would be too humiliating.

Olga said...

One more thing that makes girls act like that is guys' expectations about them, but maybe it's a local thing. I mean, if some guy posts his photo on the forum, and he looks like geek who drinks too much cola and care to little about how does he look, it's fine. But if a girl posts her photo, she'd better look like megan fox. Otherwise she's treated like someone who doesn't do what she must do - spent her time to make herself look fine and be attractive - while wasting time on playing games. It's a common thing to receive offensive comments on your photos from people who look way worse, but they are male and you are not, so they feel like the have the right to do so.
Really, even nice and adult guys ask for photo. I mean, why? Why doesn't they ask my friend, who is male, for his photo? We both chat with these people, why they need my photo and don't need his? Even when they are adult, have relationships and know that i have a relationship, they ask for my photo. What for do they need it, if their attitude to me doesn't depend of how do i look like?

Anonymous said...

Ugh, I can relate to the "having to fakekiss others on the cheek". Where I live now (not my native country), that's the normal way of greeting others, even people you just met. I HATE DOING IT. Why can't people just shake hands like normally? It has nothing to do with me being an antisocial, since I'm not. It's just that kissing strangers is too intimate for comfort. But if I don't do it, it leads to very awkward situations.

I'm also pretty sure that most guys who ask girls in WoW for their MSN or want a private chat, do so with only positive and harmless intentions. After all, what they probably see is a single girl, possibly cute, with the same hobbies as they have (gaming!) = possibly good girlfriend. Or maybe they are too shy to talk to girls in RL, and jump at their chance when they meet one in WoW.

However, I don't think that many girls play WoW to find romance, so they find boys' interest in them inappropriate in-game.
But just like not kissing a stranger on the cheek (where it's the custom) makes you seem stand-offish, refusing "harmless" advances from a fellow guildie might make those girls look unappreciative.

Therefore, finding a guild that has a minimal chance of other people hitting on you seems to be the logical thing to do for girls who just want to play World of Warcraft, and not the pick-up game.

chewy said...

@Squishalot

...the key point about the M&S - it's not that they choose to be bad..

That's one heck of a lot of judgement Squish. M&S aren't bad or good they're just as they are. The fact that we may not like, approve or condone of their behaviour is our problem not theirs.

Squishalot said...

@ Gevlon: "The psychologist CANNOT suggest this to their Asperger patients, because in the current psychological canon "emotions are good". They would risk their license saying the truth: "those people with emotions are like children and you should simply talk to them in their level"."

No, they wouldn't be saying that. They would be saying "this is how you should be interpreting things".

"Running around in a catapult lolling is really not a conscious choice. However being a lolkid is. The whole educational system tried to turn him into a rational person and he rejected it."

He didn't reject it. His biology, his environment, and his society turned him into the lolkid. If, at birth, you pulled him out and shoved him in a high-achieving "failure is not an option" society group, in all likelihood, he'd turn out to be a high achiever. He most definitely would not be identical to what he is today.

This is why I dislike your philosophy blogs. There is too much opinion being presented as fact.

@ Ygg - you haven't got the context of what I've said in past responses to Gevlon's blog. My view is that their 'choice', as such, is a deterministic outcome of their growing-up environment and biology. To discriminate against M&S (as Gevlon defines them) is as bad as discriminating against everyone with a below-average IQ, insofar as each person is able to choose to break out of the mould that life has put them in.

My point is that the vast majority of substandard players in game are substandard simply because those are the cards that life dealt them. Same reason that not everyone gets As in class.

@ chewy - I didn't mean 'bad' in a good/bad sense. I'm normally more careful with words - I meant 'bad' in Gevlon's sense of the word, a substandard player.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said: "However, I don't think that many girls play WoW to find romance, so they find boys' interest in them inappropriate in-game.
But just like not kissing a stranger on the cheek (where it's the custom) makes you seem stand-offish, refusing "harmless" advances from a fellow guildie might make those girls look unappreciative.

Therefore, finding a guild that has a minimal chance of other people hitting on you seems to be the logical thing to do for girls who just want to play World of Warcraft, and not the pick-up game."

This. Very much this. Only recently did I realise this was exactly what was wrong with my wow playtime. Not being picked up per say (though I did get some flirts) but expecting to be friendly and helpful. While I usually don't mind helping, it becomes awkward when I say "No, I don't wanna." That's why I'm transfering my main over to The PuG. While I'm not asocial by any means (err...ok my friends call me so) I'm here to play wow, not to make meaningful friendships and social connections.

tobbelobb said...

"In the prehistoric ages everyone's resources were similar as everyone did menial tasks needing no skill just time"

Some skill was needed, that is where the principal of "survival of the fittest" enters the picture. The fittest would be the strongest, the smartest, and the ones who could cooperate with others. You cannot reproduce on your own, and biologically that is our only reason to live.

Side note on the Aspergers: After finishing my 10 years of primary education on top of class(without ever touching homework the last 3/4 years) psychologists came to the conclusion I had Aspergers since I had social problems at school.
Later on they realized Aspergers was not to blame for my problems, but I was rather to intellegent compared to my classmates.

The point is: We have established that emotions are irrational, and logic can hardly anticipate irrationality. In a one on one conversation it is possible to interpret every sign, and keep ahead of the situation. But if more people are part of the setting, interpreting becomes incredibly complex, and you fall behind. Luckily, being with people you are familiar with simplifies this a lot.
Interestingly, my girlfriend has the same problem, but to a greater extent. She is a lot smarter than me, and she is diagnosed social anxiety.

PS: By Gevlons definition my girlfriend and I should be socials but not M&S, and I believe that is correct. In fact, I believe that is the core of the problem. In a world where M&S socials are in wast majority, and the rules are made by and for them, I do not really see the purpose of being any better.. Do you?

Gevlon said...

@Anonymous: I'm sorry, but you are an asocial. "I'm here to [do anything], not to make meaningful friendships and social connections." is the definitions of an asocial. Social people do everything (besides biological needs) to make friendships.

@Squishalot: most serial killers were abuse victims. Life dealed them very bad cards. Is it an excuse for what they did? Should we just let them keep doing it?

Visalyar said...

Somebody who chooses, not to improve, chooses to stay at a low level... ...so they choose to be bad.
I´ve been looking out for M&S on my server for the last week and found some. I also found some "newbs" who didn´t knew better and were happy to get some advvice and chance to improve easily.
"Get lost, Geek I´m playing it the fun way." Is the other way to say "Bugger off, I want to be that bad." I think we don´t have to discuss that point.
And by helping them I got the clou that by doing this I´m not even getting "social". I give them advise hov to enchant, skill glyph an use gems... ...5 minutes later they buy my gems, enchanting mats or glyphs at the ah and I made a good profit by helping some new player.
Oh yes and my statistics are 15% newbs on lvl 80 (4.0.1-newbs) and 3% M&S, I´ve made a list of ~380 different lvl 80´s took some time but quite interesting.

Sue said...

Are people who like to do things to do things, but would like to make friends on the way if possible without compromising the overall goal, social or asocial?

Being a woman I totally agree that excess positive attention can get creepy especially from the wrong people. However I have to strongly disagree that all positive emotions are some kind of danger and should be avoided like the plague. Our emotions and logic also allow use to judge between the guy who is probably going to be a jerk to me when he doesn't get what he wished and the guy who I'm going to regurlarly talk to in 5 years even if nothing else happens. Sometimes we missjudge these things, but that is life.

And honestly, I'm an altrust to an extent because being an altruist makes me feel good about myself. I judge between what would doing this cost me and what would I gain about it. If the cost is going to be high, you can forget it, but I can readily give something to a stranger if I don't consider the value to be very high to myself.

If I spend a day making a Christmas present for my granmother, which is completely useless, but I enjoy doing it a lot and she enjoys receiving something handmade, I'm sure certain people would consider that social waste. However people who have emotions are kind of stuck with them, you can't just go on and turn them off when you so please. When you do something that makes you feel negative, that is not at all pleasant and similar to having your hand shoved to close to a hot plate. Therefore we must do things also on the terms of our emotions and sometimes this can make unproductive crap in reality very productive. The only thing to remember is not letting your emotions to control you too much. I would never buy my relatives some useless crap, because I value them too much. Something that is selfmade, because for social that conveys high value, or something that they can actually use.

Bulbasaur said...

@Sue

you should considere if you're helping people because helping people is good or because it makes you feel good. If that's what you're doing, you are not being altruist, you're just doing a thing to make a(n emotional) profit: you're investing!

Grim said...

@Visalyar
Your statistics are probably the most important piece of research on M&S in all of "Greedy Goblin" history.

Proper M&S are nowhere near being a majority. They are simply the most outstanding specimens. 3% M&S means that you should get on average 1 M&S per 8 random heroic runs. Which sounds about right to me.

Note that 15% more are just newbs. So you will get 18% of underperformers which means a 55% chance of having at least one in your random HC group. This is why it seems that there is always some retard around, even though the vast majority of them listen to advice (when given without insulting in the process).
Its just too much work to be teaching someone in every other HC run, so its easier (and more rational, actually) to just kick while muttering about how prevalent the M&S are.

P.S. @Olga. One does not have to be pretty to criticize other people's looks, just like one does not have to make a good movie to have the right to say that Uwe Boll sucks.
If you don't want ugly-ass assholes commenting on your pictures, don't post them.

Sue said...

@ Bulbasaur

I think it's bit of both and it varies. It's sometimes just really hard for us to distinguish between our different motivations. Some people claim there are no people who do things just to help others and for no other reason. Personally, I do not know. Bottom line, it's impossible for me to completely step outside my emotions and make an impartial judgement.

Xenxu said...

Great posts as always Gev. Your philosophy posts always make me take a few minutes and just think. I like that.

Squish:

"This is why I dislike your philosophy blogs. There is too much opinion being presented as fact."

Empty statement, sir. This is the same as saying "well, that's just your opinion" after somebody gives you their opinion. Of course it's Gevlon's opinion, it's his blog and he wrote it. Whose else opinion would it be?

Opinions can be true. They are just much harder to verify.

"My point is that the vast majority of substandard players in game are substandard simply because those are the cards that life dealt them."

This is the mantra of the developed world's liberals. This takes all the cause off the individual and onto society, making it society's problem to solve. What this does is create entitlement (I deserve these purples even though I stand in fire) and renders the individual powerless (just a game lol I cba to get better).

This is the kind of attitude that has created generational poverty. "It's not your fault" also means "there's nothing you can do about it".

Lyssander said...

Interesting. And raises some questions: 1)You say that activities to express emotion is worthless - what about art?

2) "I'm sorry, but you are an asocial. "I'm here to [do anything], not to make meaningful friendships and social connections." is the definitions of an asocial. Social people do everything (besides biological needs) to make friendships."

So,people who doesn't do everything to make such connections are not social? What about people who do like to make new connections, but only in certain cases? Are they part time socials? Elitist socials?(and I don't mean business connections).

3) Much like a previous question - does expressing/having emotions only towards certain people make you a part time social? What if I don't like hugging some stranger, but like doing with some close friend? As it goes your definition of "social" is very vogue.

4) Are you familiar with David Logan's ideas about tribal leadership/interactions?

Gevlon said...

@Lyssander: Things are not black and white. The perfect social does everything to make connections and friendship, the perfect asocial does everything for calculated self-interest. Real people are somewhere in the scale.

Never heard of the mentioned work.

Anonymous said...

@ Gevlon

"@Anonymous: I'm sorry, but you are an asocial. "I'm here to [do anything], not to make meaningful friendships and social connections." is the definitions of an asocial. Social people do everything (besides biological needs) to make friendships."

An asocial person would be asocial inside and outside the game. Outside, my preferred activities are only good when surrounded by the friends I have made. An inconsistency like this can't be called asocial, I believe.

The only point you could make for this is that my friends are beneficial for my goals (graduate), but even then I don't think it's the case. I'm not a social butterfly by any means, but I'm not asocial either.

Wilson said...

Asking a woman you've just met in WoW for an IM address is about as "friendly and positive" as walking up to random women in a library and asking for their phone numbers. Whether you are social, anti-social, asocial, or ice cream social, that sort of behavior screams "I am either horribly inept or a stalker." No wonder some women find it off-putting - I would too.

As for "In the prehistoric ages everyone's resources were similar as everyone did menial tasks needing no skill just time", the amount of ignorance in this statement is mind-boggling. Hunting animals with hand-made weapons is about as far from a non-skilled task as you can get. I doubt most of readers would even know what an atlatl is, let alone how to use it effectively (I certainly don't). "Digging for tubers" may sound simple, but if you don't know what you're doing you'll just end up with a lot of holes in the ground and an empty stomach. In prehistoric times, investing time without skill would quickly have resulted in burning more calories than you could obtain and consume, followed shortly by death.

The Gnome of Zurich said...

"They blamed friendly, positive actions like "what is your MSN" or "can you post a pic about yourself on guild forum" or "could we go to a private vent room" and so on. These guys were not "evil" in the sense of "I know I'm hurting you but I don't care", they just wanted to get into a closer, positive-emotional relationships."

I don't think you're reading that right Gevlon. The problem women have with these things is not that they are trying to get into a positive-emotional relationship, but that they happen inappropriately.

A positive emotional relationship is based on each person actually knowing something about the other person and caring to interact with them personally.

If you are asking for a picture, or to go to a private chat room from the second you realize that someone is a woman, that's not about *her*, it's about you.

If you ask these things after you've talked for a while in some kind of general channel, and maybe flirted a it and had it returned, then the message of a private chat or picture request is "I like how you present yourself in game and want to know you (or an aspect of your RL presentation) better".

If you ask for a picture or private channel chats without having had *any* significant social interaction with that person, the message is "oh! Girl! Stroke me!" It's completely entitled and impersonal. This is what feminists mean when they talk about "objectification" -- the woman, the actual person here, is not important to the man, only her category 'woman' is important. She could be a coke bottle or a playboy picture for all the guy cares or knows, the only reason he wants to "get to know her" is that having a women private chat you is higher status than jacking off to nudie pictures. There's no positive emotional exchange proposed (at least, not for the woman)

If women typically behaved like idiot teenage men, you'd probably get this distinction more easily, but most men simply don't have the experience of women coming on to them completely impersonally like that. It only has to happen a few times for you to get viscerally how sleazy and socially negative it is.

The problem is that among many people, it is considered marginally socially acceptable for men to behave this way.

I believe the very same thing is happening with your Aunt Marlene. I've certainly seen it with my relatives and many other people. Most children hate it when not-close relatives take physical liberties with them, insisting on kisses and hugs or pinching cheeks and what not. And the problem is the same.

If it is your favorite uncle or aunt, you do not mind so much, or if you still do, they know you well enough to know what is a positive interaction for you and what isn't, so they will give a hearty hand shake if you don't want a hug, and they certainly won't do any of the ridiculous hair-tousling and cheek pinching that hardly any child can stand. But the people who do those things aren't trying to please *you* or establish a positive mutual interaction with *you*, they are using you for their own strokes.

It makes them feel better themselves, feel like the good aunt to be able to manhandle a child, and they don't care which child it is. The problem is not that it is a positive emotional reaction, it's that it *isn't* for you. it's selfish and one-sided -- you are being objectified. It is not you the person they want to kiss and hug, it is the category you fit for them: "related child".

Nikodhemus said...

I think there should be a distinction between Gevlon's 'asocial' and the generally used term 'anti-social'. Asocial is simply 'without social' or without interaction. Not for or against, simply without like 'Asexual' or 'Atheist'. Socialism simply does not exist in the world of an asocial. Anti-social is one who is 'against social'. One who rebels against social norms and society. Socialism exists for this person, and he/she rejects it. Gevlons treatise's on asocial behavior to success in the game and in life I generally believe in(though many have a negative spin); you WILL have greater success if you do not spend time with the purely social aspect of the game. He does not call you M&S for socializing, but tells you if you want greater success, then socialism should not exist within your realm of activity. It should not be confused with anti-social behavior, which is still interacting in the social community, but actively responding against the norms thereby creating your own set of norms.

Alrenous said...

Gevlon,

"The whole educational system tried to turn him into a rational person and he rejected it."

The education system, in north America, does no such thing.

The M&S you see in Europe look familiar - they seem to be the same M&S I see here.

So either school is not a factor, or else your schools are far worse than you realize.


Squishalot,

"This is why I dislike your philosophy blogs. There is too much opinion being presented as fact."

Look to yourself first.

Also, quit begging the question on determinism.

Alrenous said...

Aunt Marlene is indeed creepy.

"Hey, you share (statistically) 25% of my genes! I love you forever!"

Ummm...no? For someone who has never so much as held a conversation with you to claim such things is creepy as hell.

It doesn't even start to be a grey until they at least try to get to know you.

But if they actually like you as a result of getting to know you, the blood relation angle is entirely meaningless, isn't it? If they don't, wouldn't expressions of love be even more creepy?

Bristal said...

Stupid adolescent male behavior toward females can be summed up pretty simply by sex drive.

Male hormones create feelings of desperation to be "social" with a female (speaking generally). The strength of that drive cannot be understated.

Combine that basic drive with the mind-bending pace of "social technology" and a world that inexplicably believes that sex-drive can be controlled by your God-of-choice or mere willpower, and you get more and more creative, clueless, and even dangerous outlets to that desperation.

As a child I also was panicked at the thought of a physical display of affection even in my family. I was an often lonely and unhappy young adult with failed relationships.

It's not normal.

@Gevlon:
"In the prehistoric ages everyone's resources were similar as everyone did menial tasks needing no skill just time (and everyone has equal time)."

I can't begin to express how ignorant that statement it.

The behavior of nearly every male organism on the planet revolves around resource control. Just because prehistoric humans couldn't pick up their resources and put them in their pocket, doesn't mean a few individuals didn't have (typically violent)control over the available ones.

Anonymous said...

1) Evolution happened because in prehistoric times skills and resources were not equal. Alas, modern political democracies perhaps defeat too much natural selection.

2) Regardless of whether you are social or asocial, if your boss expects you to shake hands and wear a tie, and you don't, you are incompetent. a/k/a M&S

3) But the social argument breaks down with group endeavors. You can efficiently research math and philosophy and writing by yourself. But if you want to design and build a Nuclear reactor, a Space Shuttle, a Panama canal, a transcendental railroad, the Manhattan project, you need a large group. In addition to their resources and individual abilities, their skills at working together affect and effect the results. Unless you are at the bleeding edge extremes, and almost everyone is not, a group of stars working together will outperform superstar prima donnas with poor social skills. The more interconnected the task, the more the communication and collaborative skills, the social skills, are important.

Regardless of their abilities, a person who can't work well with the group he is in is incompetent. If he could but chooses not to, he has made the M&S list.

Anonymous said...

General question: is playing the game as an asocial a bad thing?

Each time the word comes up it seems to me that some people think asocial = bad or mean or whatever. Perhaps they confuse asocial with anti-social? Not sure.

Here's what I've taken from these asocial posts: ok to be social with your real friends (/w's are ok in the pug right?), but don't extend that to people that you have no relationship with (other guildees for instance). With people you are not real friends with, you play asocially. This does not make you completely social or anti-social.

I'm a somewhat social person IRL, but I play asocially since reading this blog, and it has definately increased my enjoyment of the time I'm on. Seems like a logical way to play to me.

mushu said...

@Xenxu: dang I like how you think, if you lived in Washington I'd drive over and buy you a beer! You hit the nail on the head re:entitlement.

Emotions are mostly bad and HOW we deal with them is the defining factor. People can't help how they are raised, which is why cults/religion/[insert bad group] all work hard to get young children into their folds because they know that is how to sustain their groups into the future. Changing the mind of someone like that in their adulthood is almost impossible.

If everyone met at a table to discuss this and the rule was to forget everything you learned as a child and only use logic and facts in your arguments, then most of these ideas would fall quickly because of the lack of proof (faith by definition cannot be proven): God/Satan? No proof. Aliens? No proof. Etc...

@Sue: is there such a thing as partly-asocial? What does doing something nice in-game when you have nothing particular to do and no appointments at that time mean? Does it define you as social or asocial? Yes, logically it wastes your time (=money) and wastes your resources (=gold) but it helps someone else (=gives you warm feeling inside) and perhaps affects that other person in ways that transcend the game world, thus without you knowing, you have affected the *real world* in a positive manner more with your in-game small waste of time than just logging off. How do you place a value on something positive you accomplished without knowing you accomplished it?

Gevlon said...

@Gnome of Zurich: I think we talk about the same thing. When I say "evil plot", you say "objectification". I claim that EVERY emotion-driven action is objectify as the drive behind them is self-preservation or reproduction.

Anonymous said...

- When I say "evil plot", you say "objectification". I claim that EVERY emotion-driven action is objectify as the drive behind them is self-preservation or reproduction. -

Love is putting another persons needs before your own. I love my children. If one of them were to fall in a bear cage at the zoo i would jump in without hesitation. I do not love any of the people i raid with.

All the <3 and the "i luv u" spam gets me down sometimes as they are nothing but "evil plots".

Sue said...

@ mushu

I think you place excellent questions that I personally find interesting as well. Wish I had an asnwer.

Squishalot said...

@ Gevlon: "@Squishalot: most serial killers were abuse victims. Life dealed them very bad cards. Is it an excuse for what they did? Should we just let them keep doing it?"

No, we should be attempting to rehabilitate them, as opposed to the death penalty or leaving them to rot in jail.

We shouldn't let them reintegrate with society until they're no longer a threat, but it would be just as immoral to take away his/her rights and life as it is for him/her to take away others.

@ Xenxu: "Empty statement, sir. This is the same as saying "well, that's just your opinion" after somebody gives you their opinion. Of course it's Gevlon's opinion, it's his blog and he wrote it. Whose else opinion would it be?

Opinions can be true. They are just much harder to verify."


They are indeed harder. And of course it's his blog, he can write whatever he likes. But it makes it harder to respect his work.

When I write opinions, I do my best to back it up with evidence and logic. Gevlon doesn't do that in his philosophical blogs - they're just opinions. There isn't the same logical flow that occurs in his other posts. I know he can do better than that, and that's why I don't like it.

@ Alrenous: "Look to yourself first.

Also, quit begging the question on determinism."


I do, I attempt to hold myself to the same account. If you think I'm not backing up my statements with logic or evidence, please feel free to call me out on specific items.

With regards to determinism, it's not begging the question. It's a factual, causal chain of events. If you think I'm wrong, provide us with some evidence to demonstrate that. Otherwise, please feel free to look to yourself too.

Anonymous said...

Long time reader...

I chalk it up to life experience as a man.

I learned long ago that just because you work (raid) with an attractive woman in your office (guild) doesn't mean they want to hang out with you socially.

Also, "The waitress is never trying to pick you up" is a good mantra to remember when you're drunk at bar.

Bear Pelt said...

Gevlon: I claim that EVERY emotion-driven action is objectify as the drive behind them is self-preservation or reproduction.

-------------------------

While I may disagree on many a point you write, the above sentence essentially summarizes my outlook on human interaction.

Everyone wants to gain something out of someone else. Be it a sense of satisfaction, companionship, support, opportunities etc. There is nothing 'evil' or 'socially unacceptable' about this, since it happens more often than one can imagine. Yet most people I tell this to respond defensively--even getting angry that this should even be considered at all. There is no such thing as an unconditional act in my book. Even if one does 'good' to the less fortunate, I see it as an act that makes some feel good about him/ herself or an act that he/ she deems as a leverage to get into a higher power's favour.

That all said, I cannot claim I am asocial. While I may play with not a purpose of 'befriending' people in mind, it just happens; and there are clear advantages/ disadvantages to that I weight carefully. Friends and enemies are made, but I generally keep them in-game. Is this person worth the trouble to keep friendly relations with? What do I gain out of this? Is it worthwhile to me in the end?

The above may seem cold and calculative to most, but I believe it's a thought process that may go on unconsciously in even those who may violently disagree with it.

Alrenous said...

"please feel free to call me out on specific items."

Though I'm actually going to open with a question.

What does it mean to 'process' an emotion? Is it the same as feeling it? Does it involve feeling it? Is it related to empathy?

If Asperger's is defined as not feeling emotion, then I'm going to have to call BS. (I call BS on ADHD.)

"if a person can be so logical, then surely ... deduce their counterpart's underlying emotional state."

This indeed possible, as I use the technique myself, even though I'm not (probably) aspie.

Though refine it: it's dead easy to simply ask, if you're not sure.


You beg the question on determinism because, it appears, you're a determinist and Gevlon isn't. Your arguments fail at launch, unless you address this disagreement directly, because you're trying to launch off a pad Gevlon sees as broken.

Also as long as you figure simply assuming determinism is a valid strategy, then by symmetry I can simply assume free will and you can't say boo.


"His biology, his environment, and his society turned him into the lolkid."

Their environment creates pressure toward lolkiddyness. It can never guarantee lolkiddyness.

Due to the annoying comment length contraints, I will imply a lot of evidence rather than give it. So: does my interpretation explain your facts better, or not? (Repeat this as necessary.)

Similarly, 'better' environments can't guarantee non-lolkiddyness. So what's the difference? About the only thing we can go by is the lolkid's defence of their actions. And their defences are remarkably uniform, regardless of their experiences and regardless of their genetic heritage. They have a fundamental unity.

Eliminate the impossible, and the only thing left is the improbable - they made a different decision.

"If, at birth, you pulled him out and shoved him in a high-achieving ..."

I'm pretty sure this is straight-up false. If rewind lolkids' lives and replay them in a high-pressure group, you get black sheep and brainwashed fundamentalists. They may be able to learn to achieve highly by rote, but never by inclination.

Well...actually here you have to separate out morons and slackers. Morons really do have no choice. They can only fail or learn by rote, because they don't have the resources to do better. Slackers do, but continue to choose slacking, as far as possible, and so functionally can't be distinguished from morons.

"substandard players in game are substandard simply because those are the cards that life dealt them."

Here's the core of the disagreement, I believe. But I think your conclusion binds you to an unpleasant ontology: that substandard performance is destiny.

It also looks empirically false. You know of the 10k hour thing? The 10-years deliberate practice thing?

What I've repeatedly seen is that substandard performance is the result of failure to practice deliberately. "lol jst a gaem."

You can try to make the case that the decision to practice is not under conscious control, but at that point you're into pure metaphysics, and I refuse to engage questions that can't be settled.


The other issues is that morons can choose to admit their stupidity and react accordingly. Whether it's fair or not is irrelevant: morons have to be carried through everything but non-heroic five mans. I would totally respect, "Yeah, I suck. Carry me anyway?" Or, "Yup, I'm bad at WG, and I don't care to/can't get better." But morons don't care for the consequences of the truth, do they? If a group can't honestly say they're fine carrying the moron, then the moron shouldn't get the spot. The unpleasantness of carrying a freeloader is no more the result of decision than the stupidity of the moron.

Alrenous said...

And because blogger sucks sometimes, here's comment the second.

"But it would be just as immoral to take away his/her rights and life as it is for him/her to take away others."

This isn't true. As soon as a killer kills, they lose any moral right whatsoever.

All morals are based on systems of values.

The murderer does not value the lives of others.

Symmetrically, others need not value the life of the murderer.

Ergo, the life of a murderer is worth zilch. You can spare them if you want, but it's due to your own preferences, not any morals related to the murderer.

Visalyar said...

A short word on the never ending death-penalty-discussion.
If you can´t be shure that a murderer will never kill, how can you be ever shure he is able to go back into the society?
Can you resurrect potenial victims? nobody can.
If you can´t be shure that someone can ever be reintegrated, why should you keep him in prison only consuming money? It´s a bunch of lost resources.
The big crap on death-penalty is, judgeing somebody who is innocent, well death is some kind of permanent and not irreversible. That is the real downside of death-penalty not the semi moral question if it´s political correct to kill murderers.
Back on my M&S-research, thanks Grim I´ll keep it up two or three month on three servers and put the results up so that everyone can access these.

Aljabra said...

@Squishalot
" If you think I'm wrong, provide us with some evidence to demonstrate that. "
Well, if you insist, then it's pretty easy to do.
You do claim, that people, born in slums are not responsible for growing up into completely worthless adults, as they can't get any education and are forced to take the role of a robber or something like that.
But there are more than enough cases of people rising from the slums to the heights far above the average levels of those, who had much, much better upbringing, and some even considered the best of they craft.
So whoever want to be better, can get better, and nothing is determined. Morons are morons not because they had bad upbringing, but because they had chosen to be morons.
And it's even more visible in WoW, as it doesn't require anything besides the desire to play good, to play good. Those, who play bad, do it not because they are under the influence of some kind of force majeure, but because they choose to not to learn.
And what you try to do is to relieve people from any responsibility.

The Gnome of Zurich said...

"@Gnome of Zurich: I think we talk about the same thing. When I say "evil plot", you say "objectification". I claim that EVERY emotion-driven action is objectify as the drive behind them is self-preservation or reproduction."

To me that's just a tautology. It's apparent to me that either self-preservation or reproduction is the underlying drive behind nearly everything we do, it's just more or less sublimated.

It has nothing to do with whether you are dealing with emotional actions or feelings or not. Your curiosity is based on self-preservation and reproduction. Your desire to have an audience on this blog, your desire to make money, to do good work, to play the game well. All of that at their root come from those basic drives.

So here are the two differences I see in our opinions here: I believe that some emotional interchanges are positive and well worth doing. Surely you believe the same or you would not have a girlfriend or any close friends.

So perhaps the real difference is that I believe it is possible to have such positive-sum purely emotional social interactions in game. Interactions of the same *kind* that we have with friends and family. Even though we are largely anonymous, we still create a persona in game. The medium of communication is much narrower than in RL, but it's enough.

The example you cite that women complain about are not such interactions. Whether a given emotional interactions is potentially positive-sum is highly context dependent. Sexual overtures toward a person you have chatted up and flirted with and gotten a response from and potentially positive sum. Sexual overtures toward a complete stranger are pretty much never potentially positive sum.

Even pick-up artists don't do this. The art (for those who are not evil) is in establishing the bona-fides for a positive connection very quickly via socially acceptable small-talk (for the evil ones, it's about faking it).

That is why I believe it is not so much that positive emotional interactions are inherently dangerous (they are, but IMO worth pursuing nonetheless), it's that the actions you describe are not positive at all.

Horndog chats are the social equivalent of boost requests or begging. The underlying message is "you have something I want, give it to me."

But there are plenty of pure social interactions that are analogous to game actions you consider perfectly acceptable such as skill bartering (I convert your leather to armors, you convert my cloth to spellthreads), or joining forces to raid.

My point is that a lot of people you consider "social" because they like to chat (i.e. your girlfriend) really do have a sense that is not dissimilar to your own of not wanting to boost people, and what you are seeing in women who are sick of stupid horndogs is exactly that.

My wife is a perfect example. She gets more enjoyment out of finding good people to chat with in game than she does out of raiding or playing the ah. She's got a pretty wide sense of what's acceptable in terms of social and game-economic balance (she's happy to trade free carfting and not worry too much about who does more for istance).

But the thing that most drives her up the wall is people who take her very open stance as an excuse to milk her for what they need, and she has gotten more gevlon-like when it comes to her in-game time and skill as a result.

And even more so, the kind of horndog nonsense complained of in your previous post. Or really, since she is generally able to cut the obvious horndogs down quickly, it's the people who are somewhat less obvious social leeches. She describes them as needing too much "sugar-tit".

Taemojitsu said...

Lyssander:
>Interesting. And raises some questions: 1)You say that activities to express emotion is worthless - what about art?

If both people in an exchange see no benefit to the receiver from a gift, why would it be sent? In some cultures that emphasize gift giving, there are stories of an item being passed as a gift from person to person, without being used or opened, to save the expense of buying a new gift. Until eventually, the original buyer receives the item presented as a new gift because the final receiver was not aware it was not an original purchase.

One of the previous leaders of Russia, Yeltsin or Putin I think, mentioned in an article last year on leadership of his policy of making a phone call to his subordinates on their birthday, and the positive effect this had.

Squishalot said...

@ Alrenous:

"What does it mean to 'process' an emotion? Is it the same as feeling it? Does it involve feeling it? Is it related to empathy?"

Unable to empathise, yes. From what I understand, they can feel emotions, but can't perceive how others are feeling - they can't see it from another perspective. Wikipedia has an interesting description:

"The cognitive ability of children with AS often allows them to articulate social norms in a laboratory context, where they may be able to show a theoretical understanding of other people's emotions; however, they typically have difficulty acting on this knowledge in fluid, real-life situations."

I'm not a psychologist, so I'd need my girlfriend to explain it better to me to present you with better information on it. Suffice to say, I'm like you - I'll use my theoretical understanding of emotions to empathise in cases where I might not have felt exactly what my counterpart is feeling/thinking.

"You beg the question on determinism because, it appears, you're a determinist and Gevlon isn't."

You might think this, but Gevlon's never challenged me on this. Either he agrees with me, or he thinks it's a waste of time. If I knew he disagreed with me, I'd be happy to build it up from scratch.

"Their environment creates pressure toward lolkiddyness. It can never guarantee lolkiddyness."

Thought experiment for you. If you take two identical twins, put them into two identical enclosed environments, will they turn out the same?

"And their defences are remarkably uniform, regardless of their experiences and regardless of their genetic heritage. They have a fundamental unity."

They do! They're all teenagers, they all play WoW, and for some reason, have a remarkable tendancy to gravitate towards hunters and DKs.

Rather than look at what they all have in common, how about look at what all the 'elitists' have in common? Strong educational background, good grounding in mathematics and logical thinking. Consider that it's not a set of risk factors that makes someone a lolkid, but another set of factors that turns someone into someone intelligent like a theorycrafter? Would you accept that, perhaps?

"If rewind lolkids' lives and replay them in a high-pressure group, you get black sheep and brainwashed fundamentalists. They may be able to learn to achieve highly by rote, but never by inclination. "

I disagree with you on this point - in fact, my view is actually close to Gevlon's in this regard. Being a moron is hereditary. Being a slacker is environmental. As Gevlon keeps hounding on about, slackers only exist because people give them slack. In a high pressure environment, they wouldn't develop into being slackers, because they can't rely on others.

"Here's the core of the disagreement, I believe. But I think your conclusion binds you to an unpleasant ontology: that substandard performance is destiny. "

It's the core, but I don't think it's an unpleasant result. Tragic, perhaps.

"It also looks empirically false. You know of the 10k hour thing? The 10-years deliberate practice thing?"

You yourself just pointed it out earlier - you have to distinguish between the morons and the slackers. The morons will still always have a ceiling that they will never be able to surpass.

"This isn't true. As soon as a killer kills, they lose any moral right whatsoever. "

I find this to be an interesting conclusion. Is that to say that as soon as you do something bad, you have no right to prevent that bad thing happening to you in future? If you steal, should the police not help you if you are subsequently stolen from? Or are you only applying that to killing?

I think that it sounds very 'just', but doesn't work very well as far as an implementable moral code is concerned.

Squishalot said...

@ Aljebra:

"You do claim, that people, born in slums are not responsible for growing up into completely worthless adults, as they can't get any education and are forced to take the role of a robber or something like that.
But there are more than enough cases of people rising from the slums to the heights far above the average levels of those, who had much, much better upbringing, and some even considered the best of they craft."


You would make a valid point... if the only variable in one's life was the physical location of their upbringing.

The people who rise above the slums do so because they are encouraged by their parents, their family, their teachers, their peers, that they can be better than just another slum dweller. That forms part of their environment too.

Aljabra said...

@Squishalot
I never was talking about the slums as about some place, I was referring to the term of overall atmosphere.

"The people who rise above the slums do so because they are encouraged by their parents, their family, their teachers, their peers, that they can be better than just another slum dweller. "
Well, good point, sure, but still wrong. In most cases such people need to overcome they family, they teachers (if they have them), they peers, they must fight against every bit of they environment, because the moment they start to change themselves they immediately drop off that environment normality curve. They don't fit into they native social environment. Naturally, they can expect not help, but punishment from it, as for social there are no worse enemy, then someone different.

Squishalot said...

@ Aljabra:

"They don't fit into they native social environment. Naturally, they can expect not help, but punishment from it, as for social there are no worse enemy, then someone different."

You're only demonstrating my point. The difference in attitude presented by people to them, for better or for worse, is what helps make them what they are. The very fact that they're being treated differently is the key reason why they end up different. It's somewhat a self-fulfilling cycle, or a butterfly effect - a bit of change at the start prompts a lot of change down the track.

Aljabra said...

@Squishalot
"The difference in attitude presented by people to them, for better or for worse, is what helps make them what they are."

On the contrary, it's what stops many from progressing. And, as the same thing produce opposite results, it therefore can't be considered a reason for the outcome. So the reason is still the choice people make, not the environment.

"The very fact that they're being treated differently is the key reason why they end up different."

They are being treated differently only after they decide to be different, so the first thing is choice, and everything else comes later.

Squishalot said...

@ Aljabra:

"And, as the same thing produce opposite results, it therefore can't be considered a reason for the outcome."

You've never heard of the phrase 'what doesn't kill makes you stronger'? Adversity does indeed make certain types of people stronger. Just because some people will give up doesn't mean that others won't. And that attitude can only be determined by their experiences.

"They are being treated differently only after they decide to be different, so the first thing is choice, and everything else comes later."

It's your assumption that the only 'difference' in their environment is them being kicked around for aspiring to be better, not mine. So your argument is a strawman, as it doesn't address my point. I'm saying that their different treatment occurs long before that point, whether it's a nurturing family environment, a single mother caring for a dozen kids, or any other possible combination of environmental factors.

Do you believe in God, or in some sort of metaphysical beings or souls? Because that's the only possible explanation that two physically identical people with two physically identical environments and treatment can end up with different, unique thoughts and attitudes to life.

Alrenous said...

"Thought experiment for you. If you take two identical twins, put them into two identical enclosed environments, will they turn out the same?"

No. Thermal fluctuations in their brains alone will produce some differences.

"I find this to be an interesting conclusion. Is that to say that as soon as you do something bad, you have no right to prevent that bad thing happening to you in future?"

More generally, as soon you violate someone else's right, no matter how minor, you have no moral right to object to anything, at all, done to you.

"If you steal, should the police not help you if you are subsequently stolen from? Or are you only applying that to killing?"

Well, I neglected the atonement and forgiveness parts, for length reasons.

If you steal and then evade justice, then no the police shouldn't do anything.

If you steal and then get jailed, then my opinion is that the jail term or what have you should count as atonement, in which case you regain the right.

I'm far more in favour of restitution rather than jail terms, incidentally.

Aljabra said...

@Squishalot
"Just because some people will give up doesn't mean that others won't. And that attitude can only be determined by their experiences."

But that's exactly my point! Some people choose to learn from they mistakes and become stronger, some - decide to evade mistakes by doing nothing and remain weak. That's not an environment decision, as you may notice, people decide for themselves.

"It's your assumption that the only 'difference' in their environment is them being kicked around for aspiring to be better, not mine."
I'm completely missing connection of your words and mine.
I never told anything about the difference in environment, on the contrary, I was talking about how same environment can produce losers and successful people, the difference being that successful ones chose to overcome the environment, and losers chose to submit to it. Both of this is not a function of environment, it's a result of a choice.

"So your argument is a strawman"

At least try to understand it first, as you clearly show no sign of it.
Nurturing family environment produce more than enough morons, a single mother caring for a dozen kids doesn't mean all this kids come to be losers, any possible combination can produce human of any possible quality and it does not depend on the combination, so the combination don't matter, what does matter are humans decisions about they life.

"Because that's the only possible explanation that two physically identical people with two physically identical environments and treatment can end up with different, unique thoughts and attitudes to life."

I guess it's time for you to discover basic principles of quantum physics, because it explain it quite nicely and without the need in divine intervention. In fact, there are multiple proof, that the very same electron can have several different (and contradicting) behaviours at the same time.

Squishalot said...

@ Alrenous: "No. Thermal fluctuations in their brains alone will produce some differences."

That isn't an identical environment then.

"If you steal and then get jailed, then my opinion is that the jail term or what have you should count as atonement, in which case you regain the right."

The problem with that is that there's no objective means of defining how much atonement is sufficient. For example, how much atonement is required post-murder? How will that differ to manslaughter? Or merely greivous bodily harm?

The laws in each country go some way to defining it, but they are still only subjective.

@ Aljabra: "Some people choose to learn from they mistakes and become stronger, some - decide to evade mistakes by doing nothing and remain weak. That's not an environment decision, as you may notice, people decide for themselves."

For some reason, you're assuming that some mysterious imaginary soul thing is making the choice. Decision making is a result of your past experience. How do you think you make choices?

"I never told anything about the difference in environment, on the contrary, I was talking about how same environment can produce losers and successful people, the difference being that successful ones chose to overcome the environment, and losers chose to submit to it."

What you said was:

"They are being treated differently only after they decide to be different"

I'll leave you to think about how that connects back to what I said.

"Nurturing family environment produce more than enough morons, a single mother caring for a dozen kids doesn't mean all this kids come to be losers, any possible combination can produce human of any possible quality and it does not depend on the combination, so the combination don't matter, what does matter are humans decisions about they life."

Ok, I'll let you try to explain your theory on how people make decisions. What do you think causes people to try to rise above their adversities and not be a slacker? It's not just that 'they choose to', there must be some reason they choose to and others don't, after all. What do you think makes them different?

"I guess it's time for you to discover basic principles of quantum physics, because it explain it quite nicely and without the need in divine intervention. In fact, there are multiple proof, that the very same electron can have several different (and contradicting) behaviours at the same time."

I do understand the basic principles of quantum physics. In fact, it's my primary argument against atheists who use modern science as an argument against religion. If you really understand the theoretical basis for quantum randomness, then you'll acknowledge that accepting it as 'fact' is just as logical as accepting a supernatural being as 'fact', because there is no evidence to suggest that there are not 'hidden' variables underlying the randomness.

Taemojitsu said...

This whole argument is stupid. Squishalot: "If you point out someone's mistakes, they will use that knowledge to improve their performance." True or false?

I was going to say you had no argument, but the reason you are trying to suggest that judgements should be based on the momentary or 'known' performance, is that the definition of 'harmful people' used in this blog post is different from the definition used in previous blog posts of someone who is unwilling to improve despite an implicit commitment due to social interaction (i.e. exactly what you would agree to). And that is a very valid criticism, because due to the persistent focus and chronological association many readers will assume that the motivations and patterns of behavior being described are synonymous.

Aljabra said...

@Squishalot
"For some reason, you're assuming that some mysterious imaginary soul thing is making the choice."
For some reason you're assuming that I assume such things. Can't even imagine, why.

"Decision making is a result of your past experience. How do you think you make choices?"
How do you think you make choices when there are no past experience? You had your share of such situations, as you didn't born with the experience.

"What you said was"
Yes, that I did. I was clearly talking about the difference between reaction of the people to the SAME environment, and you somehow started to talk about different environment. So there are no connection, you just trying to evade the subject.

"What do you think causes people to try to rise above their adversities and not be a slacker? It's not just that 'they choose to', there must be some reason they choose to and others don't, after all. What do you think makes them different?"
You think, that this reason is one and only possible? Because I always thought, that everyone have they own reasoning. Or you think, that reasons to become better is the same in case, say, Stephen Hawking and Arnold Schwarzenegger?
Notice, that the former, despite being clearly the victim of environment and his condition is an excellent reason for any M&S to sit back and do nothing (as they do when they get in such predicament), still one of the best physicists of the world.

"If you really understand the theoretical basis for quantum randomness, then you'll acknowledge that accepting it as 'fact' is just as logical as accepting a supernatural being as 'fact', because there is no evidence to suggest that there are not 'hidden' variables underlying the randomness."
I don't accept any theory as a fact. In this case I merely shown, that your "that's the only possible explanation" is simply wrong - there are at least one more, and it's one just because I'm lazy and don't want to bother searching for others.

Squishalot said...

@ Taemojitsu - I would respond to you, but I have no idea about which point of mine you are trying to address. At no point do I think that I have suggested anything that judgements should be based on momentary or known performance. Would you care to clarify, if possible, with quotes?

At present, I'm challenging Aljabra to explain how two identical people can possibly make different choices without resorting to some metaphysical being.

Squishalot said...

@ Aljabra: I'm going to ignore all your other things until you can answer this:

"You think, that this reason is one and only possible? Because I always thought, that everyone have they own reasoning."

I don't think there is only a single reason. But you are suggesting that a person's choice is not determined by their experiences. So I'm giving you the opportunity again to tell me what you think it is determined by. Just an example, it doesn't need to apply to everybody.

You're either choosing to avoid the question, or you're not comprehending what I'm asking. If it's the latter, then tell me, and I'll try to explain myself better. If it's the former, then I'm not interested in talking with you anymore.

Taemojitsu said...

Squishalot, obviously it was the cosmic ray that originated in a supernova in a distant galaxy 200 million years ago, that caused an electrical impulse in the person's brain that made him rob a jewelry store. It is unfortunate that we occasionally have to put celestial entities on trial ^__^

If you don't answer my question, I'm not talking to you anymore!!11

Squishalot said...

@ Taemojitsu: You only asked a single question - "True or false?"

Therefore, my answer is 'False'. No, I didn't say that. If you want to put quotes around words associated with my name in future, please use words that I've actually said / written.

Aljabra said...

@Squishalot
"But you are suggesting that a person's choice is not determined by their experiences."
Really? Because I didn't said that. It can be determined by the experience, why not? But it's not necessary, as even people without the experience can and do make they choices. Add that fact, that human can actually make proper logical decisions, based on completely wrong set of the experience, and you may see, why there are no clear answer to the question, what is the real reason for the decisions some human make. We can only guess.

"So I'm giving you the opportunity again to tell me what you think it is determined by."
Exactly as with quantum physics, there are no visible determination. It doesn't prove that there are none (it may be something, that we don't know yet), but on the current level of the knowledge quantum effects are random and humans rise to the top from the same place, where others dive to the bottom. From this we can assume, that whatever the difference there is, it's not an environment, but something within the human. There are even the prime suspect there, the one thing humans tend to distinguish themselves with from all other life forms, intellect.
Probably, I had a lot of unpleasant experience with the people, that you didn't (lucky you in this case), that involves people of various backgrounds making exactly this choice - to learn a little and easily help themselves, or to be morons and rely on others to do things for them, even if it turns out to be much harder. At first I was shocked to see, how many people, who's not dumb, not ill, have good education (some are way better, than my own), actually are capable of learning new things and aware (from personal experience), that learning a bit will help themselves a great deal, chose to go for the second option.

Squishalot said...

@ Aljabra:

"Add that fact, that human can actually make proper logical decisions, based on completely wrong set of the experience, and you may see, why there are no clear answer to the question, what is the real reason for the decisions some human make. We can only guess.
...
From this we can assume, that whatever the difference there is, it's not an environment, but something within the human. "


When you say 'within the human', you mean something non-physical, am I right? Or are you talking about a physical difference in the person?

Aljabra said...

@Squishalot
"When you say 'within the human', you mean something non-physical, am I right? "
No, you are wrong, though there are no solid evidence, that this "non-physical" don't exist and, therefore, are not the reason of some parts of decision-making process. We don't know it. But that doesn't matter, as it's not the point. No matter, what people use to think, it's still the integral part of the complex system we call human, so it may be considered within.

"Or are you talking about a physical difference in the person?"
I see, where you trying to go. Indeed, if someone is deaf, he can be considered an victim of environment and can't be held responsible, but only in situations, that require him to hear. And in fact, some people manage to overcome even that.

Squishalot said...

@ Aljabra: "No, you are wrong, though there are no solid evidence, that this "non-physical" don't exist and, therefore, are not the reason of some parts of decision-making process."

Unfortunately, I can't understand what you're saying - your use of 'though', commas and 'and' is non-standard and your sentence contains a triple negative ('no', 'don't' and 'not'). Instead of trying to guess what you mean, I would ask you to try to express yourself in more direct sentences. This reduces the chance of misinterpretation.

"I see, where you trying to go. Indeed, if someone is deaf, he can be considered an victim of environment and can't be held responsible, but only in situations, that require him to hear. And in fact, some people manage to overcome even that."

Whether they overcome it is a choice they make, which is why I am asking you how you think choices are determined. Physical differences are environmental. The only non-environmental differences are metaphysical ones.

Aljabra said...

@Squishalot
In short, that was about the lines "I was talking about something else, but it was not an important part of the point".
Physical or not, it's inside the human and part of decision-making process, which is the only thing relevant to our discussion.
Sorry for the long sentences, they do look good before I begin to try to translate them.

"Physical differences are environmental."
If it's a part of a human, why someone beside that human would be responsible for them? Your point is, as it seems, that no human is living his life, some environment is doing it for him - after all every action or inaction can be traced to some kind of reason or, at least, some brain damage.

Squishalot said...

@ Aljabra:

Thanks for the clarification. Don't worry too much about the translation - I understand how hard it must be, which is why I've never raised it before. Most of the time, I can understand what you are saying.

"Physical or not, it's inside the human and part of decision-making process, which is the only thing relevant to our discussion."

The reason I emphasise the 'physical' part is a religious one. The physical part of the human is given to him - it is out of his control. You cannot choose your flesh, your blood, your brain. You cannot choose your family.

The non-physical part may not exist. The 'spirit', or 'soul' is a metaphysical construct (or device) that people use to help identify themselves as 'unique'. It is just as provable as 'God' is.

I will not blame someone's spirit for their failure, because it is as pointless as blaming God for their failure. What evidence is there for its existence? I would rather attribute their failure to tangible, causal environmental factors, instead of blaming fairies that live inside them.

If you acknowledge that their actions are caused by environment, by definition, you must acknowledge that they cannot actually choose. They can only 'be' bad or good.

Aljabra said...

@Squishalot
" The physical part of the human is given to him - it is out of his control. You cannot choose your flesh, your blood, your brain. You cannot choose your family."
True, you can't chose it, but that's only a starting point. You can start from it and improve - and you can stay on it and don't.

"I would rather attribute their failure to tangible, causal environmental factors, instead of blaming fairies that live inside them."
You don't need fairies for that. No matter, what define the intellect in your view, it's still there and it's still working. If you deny intellect the ability to change environment (which is it's primary function after all), you can as well deny it existence. In this case we are all very hi-tech biorobots and this discussion is pointless.

Squishalot said...

@ Aljabra: "No matter, what define the intellect in your view, it's still there and it's still working."

You call it the 'intellect' - I'll use that term from now on. There is as much evidence for the existence of the intellect as there is for God. It's an easy explanation for things. It's easy to blame. It's not required, and there is no physical, tangible, visible evidence.

"If you deny intellect the ability to change environment (which is it's primary function after all), you can as well deny it existence. In this case we are all very hi-tech biorobots and this discussion is pointless."

The principle behind determinism does suggests that we are all very hi-tech biorobots, because we have no free choice. I don't see why it makes the discussion pointless. Knowledge can only improve your actions in future, whether you believe in determinism or not.

Aljabra said...

@Squishalot
"You call it the 'intellect'"
Not only me, it's quite common term, though there are no clear explanation to what it really is, you are right on that account.

" It's an easy explanation for things."
No, it's quite hard one, as we only have one thing to study and understand it with - that being the intellect itself.

" I don't see why it makes the discussion pointless."
Because the discussion in this case is preprogrammed and, therefore, can't change anything. And as it can't change anything, there are no difference if it happen, or if it don't, therefore it's just a waste of energy.

"Knowledge can only improve your actions in future, whether you believe in determinism or not."
What knowledge? What is determinism and how it describe the world? Well, there are no news in it, really, as it's a concept any human with any brains formulate by himself at pretty early age, in fact, that's a time, when he can do it from the personal experience (as in most cases kids don't decide much and they life is quite determined by they parents). Normally this concept is so comforting, as it doesn't involve any responsibility at all, that many people tend to keep to it even when they grow up and begin to make they own decisions.

Squishalot said...

@ Aljabra:

"No, it's quite hard one, as we only have one thing to study and understand it with - that being the intellect itself."

That's begging the question. Assuming that it exists, you can only study it. But to study it, you must assume it exists. That is the same circular logic that religious people use.

"Because the discussion in this case is preprogrammed and, therefore, can't change anything. And as it can't change anything, there are no difference if it happen, or if it don't, therefore it's just a waste of energy."

Wrong. Everything changes. It changes in a pre-programmed manner. Your opinion at the end of this discussion is pre-programmed. That doesn't mean that your opinion at the end of this discussion is unchanged from your opinion at the start of this discussion. This discussion is merely one part of your 'environment'.

"What knowledge? What is determinism and how it describe the world?"

Knowledge = change in environment. Change in environment = change in what you are.

"Normally this concept is so comforting, as it doesn't involve any responsibility at all, that many people tend to keep to it even when they grow up and begin to make they own decisions."

Who says there is no responsibility? The world still contains laws to hold you responsible for your actions. Likewise, a raid leader can hold a poor DPS responsible by excluding them from raiding (the equivalent of real life jail).

The key point that I was making when I first brought determinism up is that being stupid is not a choice. It is a byproduct of the environment. Therefore, to reduce stupidity, the most effective thing to do is create an environment that result in less stupidity.

The WoW equivalent of school is the leveling process. The tooltips, 'teaching' quest lines and other Blizzard-implemented learning tools are the equivalent of school. Leveling in a guild that teaches you as you go is like having supportive friends. Soloing your way to 80 is like home-schooling.

Realistically, people who end up at 80 and are incompetent are the result of poor schooling (Blizzard's poor tooltips and education), poor support (guild which doesn't know anything / doesn't teach) and/or poor self-teaching (eg, facerolling by grinding to 80). From a deterministic view, to reduce incompetence, you would encourage improvement in one of these areas - my suggestion would be improvement in Blizzard's communication of game mechanics.

Chasing them from the game (as Gevlon wants to do) is the equivalent of killing them in real life. It simply forces successful people to perform all the 'bad' jobs in the world themselves (eg, farming herbs, skinning animals, taking out garbage).

Aljabra said...

@Squishalot
"Assuming that it exists, you can only study it. But to study it, you must assume it exists. That is the same circular logic that religious people use."
Not only them, scientists study a lot of things they can't prove exist. In some cases to prove something existing you must assume it is exist, or that it don't (both methods are the integral part of modern science).

"It changes in a pre-programmed manner."
Sure, so we can't even decide to stop or continue it, as it must be also preprogrammed. Therefore it's pointless.

"Knowledge = change in environment. Change in environment = change in what you are."
Then, in determined, world there are no knowledge.

"Who says there is no responsibility? The world still contains laws to hold you responsible for your actions."
You. If my and your actions are determined by our environment, how we can be held responsible? We don't chose to do something, there are no free will, so responsibility is completely meaningless word, as it can be only in places, where there are something, that depend on you. We can still be punished, but that means nothing, as the punishment in this case is the part of the system, as well, as we are. System make us do bad things, system punishes us for them. That's determinism in it's finest.

"Likewise, a raid leader can hold a poor DPS responsible by excluding them from raiding (the equivalent of real life jail)."
He can't. He's a robot. He's programmed by his environment to react certain way on certain input. It's not a responsibility - you can't hold the force of gravity responsible for people falling down.

"the most effective thing to do is create an environment that result in less stupidity. "
You can't. If your environment had programmed you to do it... well, then you don't actually change anything, everything happens naturally.

"The WoW equivalent of school is the leveling process."
Wrong. WoW levelling is equivalent only of basic, elementary school - and very nice equivalent, as in most countries elementary school is obligatory, and levelling in WoW is obligatory as well. It teach you to "read and count", but no more, than that.

"Realistically, people who end up at 80 and are incompetent are the result of poor schooling "
Realistically, they are exactly the same, as the people, who get with they elementary school degree to work on a job with the requirement of Ph. D. Blizzard can't and never was expected to teach everything in game - they provide enough information there and on forums for anyone interested to learn.

" From a deterministic view"
...they can't do anything, unless they own environment will tell them, that some changes are necessary. If they don't change something, then from deterministic point of view they are forced to act that way and don't decide anything.

"Chasing them from the game (as Gevlon wants to do) is the equivalent of killing them in real life."
Not quite. I don't see illiterate program developers around, so I assume, that illiterate people somehow are filtered from the developer communities, despite it is usually technically possible to have several illiterate M&S on board and still get the work done. But I highly doubt, that developers do kill illiterate people.

"It simply forces successful people to perform all the 'bad' jobs in the world themselves (eg, farming herbs, skinning animals, taking out garbage)."
No, of course not. You had lost a difference between the man, not smart or educated enough to do the more sophisticated work, but ready to do work they have the resources for, and M&S, that don't want to do any work at all, but still want to receive the pay-check. The former isn't a trouble at all, there are usially more than enough simple, though maybe unpleasant, work for them, latter is unacceptable.

Squishalot said...

@ Aljabra:

"Then, in determined, world there are no knowledge."

With this statement, I realise that I'm not explaining what determinism is well enough for you to understand it. It seems to be too subtle an idea to bridge the communication gap between us.

I'll find topics that are easier to discuss with you in future.

Aljabra said...

@Squishalot
"With this statement, I realise that I'm not explaining what determinism is well enough for you to understand it."
You don't need to, as it's not your exclusive idea and I've met it descriptions more than enough times before. What you trying to explain is not, in fact, determinism. Let me try to explain it, though I'm not sure I can do it properly. Hope, Wiki will help where I fail.
Determinism as a philosophical concept is like this - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Determinism - as you can see, there are either determinism (everything is preset right from the start of the universe), or free will - when you can really change something, because you decisions may be determined by the past, but not necessary. You trying to merge this concepts, freeing people from the responsibilities (as if they live in determined world and can't help it), but retaining they capability to do things on they own (as if they don't live in determined world and can change it). It's impossible, it's either one, or another, never both.

Squishalot said...

@ Aljabra: "Determinism as a philosophical concept is like this - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Determinism - as you can see, there are either determinism (everything is preset right from the start of the universe), or free will - when you can really change something, because you decisions may be determined by the past, but not necessary. You trying to merge this concepts, freeing people from the responsibilities (as if they live in determined world and can't help it), but retaining they capability to do things on they own (as if they don't live in determined world and can change it). It's impossible, it's either one, or another, never both."

I'm not trying to merge the concepts. I don't believe that there is free will. Does that help you understand my argument?

Aljabra said...

@Squishalot
"Does that help you understand my argument?"
No, as it directly contradict your own words. If there are no free will, there are no responsibility (and you say there are). If there are no free will, there are no decisions. If there are no free will, there are no way you can change the natural order of things, every change will be the part of this order, and you mention changes, that you can decide to make, many times. One moment you talk about determinism, other you talk about things, that have no place in determined world. Your clarification can mean only one of two things - either you don't understand this contradiction yourself, or that you are lying in one of the cases.

Squishalot said...

@ Aljabra:

"If there are no free will, there are no responsibility (and you say there are)."

No, I said the world will hold you responsible irrespective of whether you had any choice.

"If there are no free will, there are no decisions. If there are no free will, there are no way you can change the natural order of things, every change will be the part of this order, and you mention changes, that you can decide to make, many times."

Then you don't understand what I'm talking about. When I talk about changes, I am talking change in environment, not change away from the natural (fixed) order. The world is constantly changing - nothing is static.

I have said right from the start - the M&S do not choose to be stupid. It is a byproduct of the deterministic world. Nothing I have said is inconsistent with that. For more evidence, as you reply, just look to your left, and see my first post:

"This, as I've argued before, is the key point about the M&S - it's not that they choose to be bad, but it's a byproduct of life."

Aljabra said...

@Squishalot
"No, I said the world will hold you responsible irrespective of whether you had any choice."
You can't be held responsible, as it would require that those, who hold you responsible have free will. If they don't have it, it's not responsibility, it's just an reaction of environment on the reaction of environment.

"Then you don't understand what I'm talking about. "
Unfortunately, it's you who don't understand, what you are talking about.

"When I talk about changes, I am talking change in environment, not change away from the natural (fixed) order. The world is constantly changing - nothing is static."
In case of determined world there are no change of environment, as all this "changes" are defined from the very first moment of the world existence. As constant linear movement is complete analogy of staying still, such "changing" world are perfect analogy of static one. In it you can easily view the time as only one more dimension, in which you can move and see different parts of the static world.

"I have said right from the start - the M&S do not choose to be stupid. It is a byproduct of the deterministic world."
Yes, you did say that, but you don't even look at the other implications of that - that in this case those, who don't like M&S and want to get rid of them are as much as byproduct of the very same deterministic world. If M&S can't be held responsible for what they are, others can't be held responsible either. For anything, really, as anything is a byproduct of the same deterministic world.
So when you say, that we need to change environment to stop it from producing more M&S, you are being inconsistent, as we are byproduct of the world as well, and as such we can't change it. Deterministic world can be only changed from outside, inside it's set and fixed.

Squishalot said...

@ Aljabra:

"So when you say, that we need to change environment to stop it from producing more M&S, you are being inconsistent, as we are byproduct of the world as well, and as such we can't change it. Deterministic world can be only changed from outside, inside it's set and fixed."

It's not inconsistent. I'm just playing my part in the deterministic world. Gevlon thinks 'A' at the moment. If he thinks 'B' in a month's time as a consequential result of my actions, then his thought has changed (from static A to static B), as it was always intended.

Taemojitsu said...

In other words, Squishalot's argument is that:
1) People cannot be relied on to improve in a predictable way, that accomplishes their own goals in tandem with the goals and desires of other people. (seen from the answer of "false" to the question of whether people will improve their performance when informed of their mistakes)

2) People WILL change their behavior as other people do form part of their "environment", just not in any predictable or reliable way. (as seen from the implication that it is possible for Gevlon's thoughts to change, in any direction, as a result of Squishalot's words)


The 'determinism' tangent is mostly irrelevant, but the pattern of thinking and the assumptions leading to the above premises can be described. Note that a discussion of the philosophical nature of reality does not change what reality is.

The simplification underlying this, and many other models of reality is that "if something is not well understood and cannot be described, it is ignored when describing the model". In one case you could say "the basis for making decisions in a consistent way independent of the transitory environment is not well-understood", and the logical (but incorrect) conclusion of deciding to eliminate this from a model of reality would be that "if someone is not presented with a supporting environment, they cannot improve, and the behavior of a so-called 'M&S' who comes from a poor-quality background has no reflection on the intrinsic value of their person". However, in this particular situation Squishalot contradicted this conclusion by stating that someone would NOT improve when presented with knowledge that would allow them to do so, removing the most obvious logical explanation for many of his statements.

The second case is the perspective that "the quality of information presented by other human actors with their own goals, as opposed to say 'obvious' information like the presence or absence of a physical object, is of unreliable quality or trustworthiness", with the simplification for the purpose of a model that this particular type of human-derived information has no predictable or reliable effect on someone's behavior.

The consequence of such a simplification is that "people are not responsible for judging and making decisions based on information presented to them by other people". The implication, which is entirely different from the previous conclusion, is that people should not be TREATED differently because the model does not differentiate between the intent of those who improve their performance, and those who do not.


The reason for choosing a simplification which includes this implication is the assumption that the amount of "positive good" for those who do not improve their performance outweighs the relative cost for those compensating for them, including the system inefficiencies from the conscious or unconscious effect this has on the decisions on the poor-performing person, since after all the assumption of the model is not that no improvement is foreseeable, only that no judgement can be made on the information content of any single social interaction.

One of the assumptions for this is the idea that "if anyone is helping, it is because they themselves have already fulfilled any immediate needs and are in a sustainable position, greater than the social average and well into the region of diminishing returns of utility over consumption/effort". This is not a valid assumption for two reasons:

Taemojitsu said...

1) specialization in different areas of progress. Just because someone has attained competency in raiding in WoW, does not mean they are comfortable with their progress or education in the 'real' world. Many tasks require substantial time investment for effective performance. This is especially relevant in countries that have NOT reached the same stage of social/physical capital and infrastructure development (as well as oil-burning capacity) as the United States, such as North Korea in the 1990's where they literally did not have enough oil to run farm equipment or transport food to cities nor enough fertilizer to boost crop yields.
2) relative scarcity of attention and effort for 'helpful' people, in all aspects of life, compared to people who feel no obligation to society; and the effect momentary actions have on future progress. Of course economics and money flow is complicated, but someone who spends all their time helping people now, will find it much more difficult to achieve the necessary prerequisites for higher-order growth and effectiveness, limiting the scope of any actions they take while their competition (economic, ideological) may have no such inhibitions.

In other words, this particular simplification is not a helpful or efficient one. Which is why most people have no problem with isolating or rejecting the "bads" who refuse to improve or meet their obligations.

Aljabra said...

@Squishalot
"then his thought has changed (from static A to static B), as it was always intended."
In true deterministic world it doesn't matter. It can be calculated long before either of you are born, therefore this "change" doesn't change anything.

Squishalot said...

@ Aljabra: "In true deterministic world it doesn't matter. It can be calculated long before either of you are born, therefore this "change" doesn't change anything."

If you understand determinism, then you understand why this discussion isn't 'pointless'. It had to happen. The fact of the matter is, we aren't capable of calculating the future, so for us, from a subconscious level, it is still a change from one static to the next.

@ Taemojitsu: "1) People cannot be relied on to improve in a predictable way, that accomplishes their own goals in tandem with the goals and desires of other people. (seen from the answer of "false" to the question of whether people will improve their performance when informed of their mistakes)"

This argument defies logic, and as such, I am ignoring everything else that you've said. My answer of 'false' was to the question of whether I said that, not whether I agreed with your statement, thus, your entire argument of your posts is based on a false premise.

Come back when can string a logical thought together.