Greedy Goblin

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Oh, those comments!

The comment section of my blog is readable only because of aggressive moderation. If you check out an unmoderated forum, you find a mess. You can guess how my comment section would look like if you check out my posts copied to EN24. Same post, no moderation. Take for example this one. 64 comments at the moment. Maximum 2 or 3 could be considered worthy. The rest are not even attempting to be worthy. They are insults, memes, random one liners and such.

To have an argument, someone has to be wrong. The very purpose of arguments is to help wrong people stop being wrong. It's OK to be wrong in an argument. But they are not wrong, their comments do not offer any arguments or points. Just insults, memes, offtopic and such. I've seen the same in TEST forum, where I found very few arguments replying to my posts. I got instead of whole pages of "shut the fuck up" and pictures of Korean pop bands (it's some TEST meme).

The simple explanation is the writers of these are retards who honestly think that a picture of a Korean girl disproves an argument. However that level of idiocy would probably render someone unable to function in life and need him to be locked up in a mental hospital before he jumps out of the window as he can fly. OK, some of the comments, typically the offtopic and the meme-spammer can be simple attention seeker, the "look mum, I'm on the Internet" kind. Some comments can come from drank or high ones.

But what about the insulters, the "do you even" and "lolwut" spammers? They aren't even cute like the Korean pop singers. Let's assume that they are capable of understanding that their post will not convince anyone about their opinion. In this case what do they want? I mean the participants of an argument want to prove that their opinion is right. But these commenters aren't even trying.

The solution is that the above, obvious-looking claim "in an argument people want to prove their opinion right" isn't true. It's only true for a small group of people, the rational thinkers (or simply: thinkers). They believe that there is a rational truth and they want to have it. They want to be right. The socials on the other hand can't care less about the objective truth. They don't want to be right. They want to feel good.

When they are not trying to feel good by being drunk, high or having sex (usually alone), they are trying to feel good by claiming some statement which will make others like or respect them. Socials like to be loved and respected, even if that provides them zero rewards. The typical example is the woman who wears make-up in the shop, enjoying that bypassing shoppers consider her beautiful, despite none of them gives her anything for being beautiful.

The rational thinker would say: "I think your opinion is wrong and I try to correct it". The social says "Your opinion makes me feel bad. I make you feel bad in return". Their bizarre comments are designed in a way that other social would indeed feel bad because of them and stop posting opinions that hurt the commenters. My "fans" in the TEST forum became a spectacle on their own, people - without actually agreeing with me - expressed amusement over their desperate and futile attempts to make me stop commenting. The point is to understand that these people are not ignorant who need teaching, but people who actively reject reason for feelings.

This explains how could people believe in communism, fascism and other mad ideologies. The fun fact is that these never had any - even wrong - scientific basis. There weren't a single argument to prove that some people are sub-humans and some are übermench, nor a system that measured human value. Just think about it, the nazis who lived and died (literally) according to some twisted Darwinism and breeding had absolutely no attempt to measure the "arian-ness" of an individual. The greatness of Germans and the worthlessness of Jews was simply declared. Similarly there wasn't even an attempt to prove that self-employed small-businessmen and farmers are exploiters. They didn't even have employees to exploit, yet they were declared as exploiters in communism. The people who believed in these weren't misinformed or ignorant. They had no rational reason to believe these, yet millions did, simply because it made them feel good (yay, I'm an übermench/my poverty is not my fault).

This also tells us how can their opinion changed. Not by arguments, they ignore that. People stopped being fascists and communists because starving, poverty and being defeated, bombed, invaded are not fun. World War II and the Cold War didn't disprove these ideologies in the eyes of their former believers, simply connected them to bad feelings, so they were no longer were wanted.

The above shows why sugar-coating and being polite and sensitive are wrong advices. The only way to make a social change his mind about an idea is exactly what he does to us: to insult him. No one ever convinced a social by arguments since he can't care less. The only way to make him stop believing something is making feel bad about it.

PS: I can't process comments until today evening.


Jumina said...

This looks like a very good argument that a violence really works as an argument.

Anonymous said...

I really wish I could disagree with you about the fundamental point of this post. It hits a bit too close to truth for that.

I should probably note that your 4-type classification (M&S, social, anti-social, Rational) is definitely not as clear cut as one would like. I've seen some startling overlap in some people and from my observation most people are stuck between your benchmarks and not in them.

I don't comment often and generally think you're wrong on most (not all though) meta-related issues (last post about high/null sec was pretty bad). I think you're wrong becuase you definitely seem to be thinking along much different lines than me. Your example with the woman wearing makeup is a good example. You say she is not getting a reward while in fact she is - not a material one, but her mood improves, endorphins are released, mental acuity increases etc.. When medical science classified depression as a mental disorder, mental and spiritual well-being starts being as important as a dollar in your pocket.

Anonymous said...

I strongly have to disagree on your post for multiple reasons:
1. opposed to other posts of yours this one really reads like a mixture of 'feeding the trolls' and a pouting child throwing a tantrum. Some anecdotical 'evidence' has no significant meaning.
2. you try to derive a statement over a group that is not present in your stories. take your evenews article for example. how many people read it? quite a bit more than 64 i guess. most of them form a silent opinion either agreeing or not but have no desire to start a discussion with you (and if they would, they would do it here). troll comments are therefore no way to form a generalised conclusion over 'socials'.
3. since i believe your sourcing, and followed from that the conclusion, is wrong, you seem to misunderstand the workings of ideologies (political and religious ones): they always have answers to your type of questions. of course they are wrong but that's not important.
let's see how this works on your example of the nazi:
- humans can be valued based on their individual merit as well as the one of their cultural and historical achievements (underlying: genetics are a highly incluencing factor on the adult person as well as the cultural traits). based on this argument, germanic/nordic warriors (wikings) can be said to have been great sailors and warriors (against rome or france for example), mix some great thinkers (science, philosophy) in it and you got a 'great arian race'. the jews on the other hand killed jesus (not true), look weird due to inbreeding, keep themself separated from others, are amoral, steal from the good people via interest on loans, ... (all the other medivial horror stories). this can be believed, even if all of it is wrong. hitler himself is believed to have said that 'if germany loses the war, it means that the other (non-jew, non-russian but english/american) people were superior and that it is the ''right'' way for the germans to die'.
racisim and nationalism wasn't defeated in ww2, but it became linked with expansionism and empire-building (also one of the reasons why england and france had to give up on their colonies after ww2). modern nazis reject this warmongering connection (at least publicly) but still hold on to the initial premise. not because they are stupid (which most of them are) but because it is so 'obvious' in the form of anecdotical, selective highlighting of events.
just like your focus on these troll comments.

please don't become a nazi, and get back to write researched, analytical posts.

Anonymous said...

Your argument is bad and you should feel bad.
The great unwashed are mostly just passive warm bodies. As long as they get their bread and circuses they should not cause any issues and therefore need only minor appeasement to keep them passive. They can only impact on society if they have a leader telling them what to do. Arguing at them is like shouting into the void and will achieve nothing. It only takes your focus away from the rationals that are doing the real decision making.

Mordreas said...

besides parts of the top alineas being pure conjecture "these people are drunk or high" I think the conclusion you draw is oversimplified.

Everyday life is hard. I can't think of a single society where everyone was happy. Even if there life is measurable better then others around the world people will find things to see as hardships.

Next to that I often find that people who insult others aren't taken seriously. they won't feel bad at their own position because you say it's bad, gay, or any other insult you can think of. You will sumply be dismissed as a loling idiot.

Instead to change ones opinion you should strive to inspire. Most ideologies become powerfull because it promises a better world. Martin Luther King said:"I have a dream" and not "racists are idiots"

Anonymous said...

whilst it is true that a great many comments are trolls and what not, I know for a fact that I have posted here with reasoned commentary that you have moderated.

The reason being, a lot of the time I do not argue your points - I simply prove them to be logically fallacious. An argument built on strawmen, false consensus, begging the question, slippery slopes and countless other forms of fallacious reasoning does not immediately make your point "wrong" but it does suggest that you are not as reasonable as you might like to think you are.

Open/unmoderated forums, or lightly moderated forums to remove direct insults are of course preferable. Intelligent readers just ignore the troll bait. You are not infallible and your heavy handed moderation tactics do from time to time give the impression (rightly or not) that you actively put down discenting views.

When you do let them through and take the time to reply to one you will often simply poke at one point being made and deem that if that point is incorrect (even if it isn't) the whole reply is incorrect.

Your moderation approach is to the detriment of your own credibility.

Anonymous said...

Many of my comments here were never posted (yet many were). From my experience (and reading the opinions of others), you not only filter out worthless comments - you filter out comments which openly state you're wrong, even if they have meaningful arguments inside. You only allow comments which say you're right, slightly offtopic and those which state you're wrong, but not too strongly. Nevertheless, you never admit that you were wrong (and you are wrong on pretty much everything which is not trade related), so it's pretty much pointless to have a discussion with you. You behave exactly how you describe others here - you make a claim and assume it's right, just because you made it. Sometimes you back it up with (usually flawed) logic. You don't take arguments. No matter how many people told how wrong you were on mining (oh, how you claimed it was never "for fun or tears" but "to change hisec" - yeah, we all see how that turned out), pvp (you grind meaningless numbers on miners claiming to be a pvper, yet you are afraid to take a real fight), wh (obvious data manipulation and false assumptions) and so on, you never backed off. In this current posts you pretty much attack yourself too.
Now I wait to see what you're going to do with this comment. The usual thing would be blocking it, thus confirming I'm right. On the other hand, you might post it just to pretend you allow criticism. The third option - allow it, to really have a discussion - is pretty much non-existent here, as history shows.

Banedon said...

"No one ever convinced a social by arguments since he can't care less. The only way to make him stop believing something is making feel bad about it."

Someone once told me that you should never argue with stupid people. They will drag you down to their level and beat you with experience. This sounds very similar. Since Eve is a game, and not geo-politics, let the stupid fools have their delusions, and just carry on as if they weren't there.

Granted, it makes having conversations harder. Once you find someone worth chatting with, you can always use a different medium. Voicecoms, another forum, email, chat programs, etc.

If arguing with idiots to make them feel bad becomes your priority, you're just becoming part of the problem.

Anonymous said...

"Socials like to be loved and respected, even if that provides them zero rewards. The typical example is the woman who wears make-up in the shop, enjoying that bypassing shoppers consider her beautiful, despite none of them gives her anything for being beautiful."

While I might agree with some of your views on this(random ad-hominems which differ little from the trolling you complain about aside), the above quote shows why you do not understand people much.

I am a person who does not respond particularly to dopamine when it is released from my brain, this means I do not get the "OMG awesome" feeling that many people get after eating, or sex, or when other people are looking at you appreciatively.

You, as an intelligent running ape, should understand about the role of serotonin, adrenaline, oxytocin and dopamine in affecting humans behaviour, especially in regard to perceived rewards, fun and empathy.

I suspect you wrote that paragraph along with the ad-hominem one above it out of pure frustration...the initial part of your post was much better.

Ideologically, I may disagree with the latter part of your post, but, shit happens, and its not my job to force an ideology on you, or care whether you subscribe to mine.

Trolls are everywhere on the internets, especially if you put your name out on EN24 etc.

I understand your wish to insult those you consider inferior, such as socials, however, when you act like them, and use their own insults, which they hear from their friends countless times a day, how much leeway do you think you make? Tilting at windmills is fun for a bit, but your arms get tired in the end.

Sometimes you just need to step back from a post, before hitting "Send", who are you trying to convince of your ideas? The undecideds or the trolls?

If the undecideds, then by sinking to the troll level, you lose them, as if they want to hear adhominems and playground insults, they have the whole internet to go to.
If the trolls are the ones you are trying to convince, then you have set yourself a goal beyond even yourself.

KYA said...

"The typical example is the woman who wears make-up in the shop, enjoying that bypassing shoppers consider her beautiful, despite none of them gives her anything for being beautiful."

Depending on the shop, there can be a quite few rational reasons for a female shopkeeper putting on makeup.
1. If she sells to a male audience, she might want do abuse male instincts to get the customers to spend more money/give tips.
2. If she sells goods that women buy to feel beautiful, i.e. cosmetics, clothes and so on, she's basically advertising the goods of the store.
3. She might be looking for a mate herself.

"The only way to make a social change his mind about an idea is exactly what he does to us: to insult him. No one ever convinced a social by arguments since he can't care less. The only way to make him stop believing something is making feel bad about it."

I'm not big into social sciences, but i don't believe insulting them back makes them change their mind either.
Changing how people operate is very hard, that's why all kinds of education and indoctrination work best on children. To change a (biologically) adult person, you probably have to influence them slowly, maybe subconsciously, over a very long period of time.

The other, faster way of change by inducing an existential crisis, for example by bombing them or withholding food, is seen as inhumane. Also the amount of stress this would lead to might make it hard to steer the direction of personal change.

Gevlon said...

@Jumina: unfortunately it is. The sad fact is that the best way to make a social change his mind is making him suffer. Hence even the most enlightened countries have prisons and armies.

@Anonymous: if her mood is connected to the face of random strangers, she is at the mercy of random strangers. That's bad, don't you think?

@Next anonymous: and why do only 64 people commented out of the thousands? Because the 64 created an atmosphere where intelligent argument is not welcomed. They scared off everyone else but similar morons.

Also, any animal breeder could tell you that "good blood" (being the descendant of great ones) is a good chance to be great, but not for sure. Also, there is absolutely no evidence that Hans Anybody is actually a descendant of a great Arian warrior. So the correct racism (as far as it can be correct) would value individuals and then would get generalizations. Nazis did the very opposite, valued individuals after (assumed) generalizations.

@Mordreas: a single insulter is ignored. This is why they (and we should too) form communities, creating an insulting culture. One idiot calling women cunts is ignored. If EVERYONE calls warp bubbles rape cage, we get a game with only 5% women, as they are capable to upkeep the culture of "women are inferior" (= I am superior for having XY chromosome)

@Next anonymous: pointing out "fallacies" is a very ironic position (hence the moderation of them) as they themselves are fallacies. They don't argue with my point, they argue with my way of proving it, kind of a "you are wrong because you did not say it nicely way". You yourself accept that pointing out "fallacies" doesn't make the point itself wrong.

Actually I see the "fallacy-seeking" a form of trolling. Every argument could be dismissed by repeating "not enough evidence" or "not accurate enough". If we would accept these, no one could say anything.

Yagamoth said...

I suggest you take a look at this:
Tim Harford: Trial, error and the God complex
Really interesting, even if you don't think it's none of your concern.

Rémy Vanschoonwinkel said...

Hi Goblin,

I don't often comment and actually this is not really in relation to your post. It's that I ALWAYS see that about 90% of the people here disagree with you.
Then I ask myself can they look at it with your view? Can they place themselves in your shoes?

Often people miss this talent; resulting in misunderstandings and more. It's why I always can agree to your post until a certain point.
It would be a terrible world if everyone agreed actually, but understanding someone is the least someone can do, especially on a blog.

Anyway I love reading your blogs(even when I think you're a bit too rational and anti-social).


Brindle said...

What do you think of Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs Goblin? It would seem to imply that material and social 'needs' are part of being human, so maybe 'socials' are just stuck on their part of the scale?

Anonymous said...

@Next anonymous: pointing out "fallacies" is a very ironic position (hence the moderation of them) as they themselves are fallacies. They don't argue with my point, they argue with my way of proving it, kind of a "you are wrong because you did not say it nicely way". You yourself accept that pointing out "fallacies" doesn't make the point itself wrong.

You cannot argue a house of cards. You cannot make a false statement, beg a question, or provide an unreasoned assertion and then build an argument on it. That argument can be destroyed by simply pointing out the failings in your reasoning.

You can consider pointing out fallacies to be trolling all you want, but people do not have to argue your flawed positions if they can prove that your positions are in fact flawed due to false reasoning.

You really need to join a Socratic society, or some place that will teach you how to debate and conduct rational discourse. What you have posted here is tantamount to "any position which doesn't agree with mine is a troll".

Samuel Cole said...

If I were part of an alliance in which my posts regularly received responses of "shut the fuck up" and pictures of korean pop stars, I would leave that alliance.

TEST has a culture,largely developed out of Reddit, which celebrates trolls, memes, and one-liners over reasoned discourse. It's cool that they have an alliance culture and I'm glad that it works for them, but I'd much rather spend my time in an alliance with a more mature culture, where people treat each other respectfully (and use a minimum of rape humor).

You should think about it; I'm sure there's no shortage of alliances who would love to have you.

Anonymous said...

Seriously, the 4-type classification of human thought is not very good, and certainly makes communication with greater part of humanity, who does not share the model, difficult. I would suggest you read up psychology literature and learn some of their models before try to merge ideas.

>The rational thinker would say
The rational actor would realize it is not working and find a different strategy, or not even attempt it at all since there is no reward.

The post imply that "objective" truth matters in a video game where being wrong merely affect space pixels. Relationships built is actually far more important as it can affect rest of real life, especially if the folks have met face to face. It is not relationships with you, but everyone else that matters as forums are read by everyone.

The real question here is: "why do you want to be right?", and "why do you want to demonstrate wrongness in a manner that is not reaching the audience?"

If you are at all normal, being right feels good, and expressing being right feels good too. Just like how some demonstrates superiority with 31337 pvp, 'smart' people often try to show superiority by displays of knowledge and logic on some uninteresting topic. People not asking that question would just roll their eyes like how a carebear would roll their eyes when someone says their ability to manual orbit at 500 makes them better.

This blog post is not mostly about practical, realistic ways to arrive at truth efficiently or to spread your ideas. No, it is a simple put down: "Those 'socials' are so terrible (I am better)."

I don't read Test forums, but if what you post there is similar to what goes on here, to those observers your insults are meaningless as your values and concerns are alien to them and pointless. You don't care about what they care about and they don't care about what you care about. Why would they want to be whatever you are, a rejected and unhappy gamer spending time on fruitless activities, and if they don't want to be you they won't "lower themselves" and engage the way you do.

About communism and facism: You follow it not because it is right, you follow it because if you don't Stalin, Hitler or Mao will kill you, while following it allows you self justify stealing from richer capitalists and jews. People readily adapt such ideology when there is rewards and abandon it as quickly as it loses profitability.

Someone who is not a complete idiot may figure out that many ideas are totally wrong, someone who is smarter will learn that total bullshit ideas can be very useful.

Truth is so overrated.