Greedy Goblin

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Lies, mistakes, niceties and jokes

The political analysts stand in disbelief due to Donald Trump not losing votes on lies. No, it won't be a pro-Trump political post, I've done that already. It's an analysis on social thinking using the Trump phenomenon as example. The problem of the analysts is that they think rationally: "Trump tells not true things = Trump is lying or ignorant". However the voters are socials who tell non-true things all the time and merely see Trump as one of them. There are two versions of non-true things common among socials: jokes/hyperboles and niceties.

Niceties are non-true things that are told to make someone feel better without hurting anyone. When you tell your partner "I'd bring down the Moon for you", you don't actually plan to deliver a 7.342×1019 tons object. When you tell everyone you meet "Nice to see you!", you don't really mean you like everyone on the planet. When you show gratitude on Christmas for the annual ugly sweater from your aunt, you don't actually plan to wear it. You just want someone to feel better. Now Trump indeed has a twist: most of his niceties are aimed to make himself feel better, which is funny/sad, but irrelevant.

Jokes/hyperboles are non-truth statements that couldn't be believed by a non-insane person. They are either made to exxagerate an opinion or simply generate laughter by the bizarre unreality they'd literally mean.

Let's see a list of examples:
  • "my opponent has no child care plan. She never will and if it ever evolves into a plan it’ll never get done anyway. All talk. No action." It's a hyperbole: while Clinton has a detailed plan, most platform plans of politicians are usually not delivered. Trump is entitled to believe that Clinton will not implement them.
  • “I finished it [the birther movement]. I finished it. You know what I mean.” He jumped on a hunch that his 2012 opponent (he considered running) could be disqualified but Obama delivered evidence. Anyone in his place would have done the same. Clinton in 2008 did too, just was smart enough to not under her name. Instead of saying "hey, it is worth a shot" he says "it was an important issue and getting a negative answer is a victory." Nicety to himself as his statement - if believed by everyone would serve no other purpose than him feeling better.
  • "Household incomes are over $4,000 less today than they were in the year 2000.” Hyperbole. Everyone can see his own income so there is no hope to make anyone factually believe he is worse off than before. He is merely stating the obvious: under the Democrat Presidency the economy didn't particularly shine.
  • “That means rebuilding our badly depleted military.” see also "generals reduced to rubble". Hyperbole: while the US armed forces are very far from being depleted and we can doubt that the quality of the flag officers decreased, it is without doubt that the US forces failed to achieve any major war objective in the last 2 decades. The wars in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria and Libya were total disasters. While we can argue over the reasons, the basic statement "something is very wrong with our military policies" is true.
  • "I lost hundreds of friends on 9/11": nicety. No one has hundreds of friends, it's over the Dumbar number. It's merely a nicer way to say "lots of good people were lost that day"
  • "I opposed the Iraq war": nicety. The Bush Government lied to the public, so common people - like Trump was - were unable to make an informed decision. And even if they did, it didn't matter as they were not in the position to act against it. Claiming that he was right all along serves no other purpose than him feeling better.
  • Clinton fought the ISIS all her life: hyperbole. The ISIS is less than 5 years old while Clinton is an adult for 50 years, so no sane person can take this literally. It means that Clinton failed to stop ISIS despite best efforts, which is true.
I can go on and on, but you get the point. While Trump says awful lot of un-truths, he barely ever lies by the classification of social people. Therefore he is seen more trustworthy than Clinton by the voters. While Clinton said very few un-true statements, virtually all of them were lies: attempts to manipulate others to do what she wants against their interests and attempts to cover up her harmful actions.

I'd like to stress that I do not support using jokes and spending valuable political on air time for ego-boosting, but I'm not the electorate. Analysts, journalists and opponents have to live with the fact that these things are OK in politics in the Facebook age.

PS: I put the advises on League of Legends to good use:


Hanura H'arasch said...

Completely Offtopic, but in case you're considering going back to WoW at any time: don't.

This should be reason enough. Yes, that's a 895 legendary, that will be useful for the rest of the expansion dropping in LFR.

Rohan said...

A writer for the The Atlantic wrote that "The press takes [Trump] literally, but not seriously; his supporters take him seriously, but not literally."

I thought it was quite apt, and makes the same point that you do.

Raziel Walker said...

Do you read Scott Adams'blog? (

"Trump doesn’t ignore facts because he is dumb. He does it because facts don’t matter. Every trained persuader knows that."

Anonymous said...

all socials are liars. they fake happy lives on facebook and co. buy for example expensive housing on credit lying to themselves that they will pay it off. An eye opener for me was rubin report with adam scott and his take on the political campaign. In a nutshell we are irrational beeings and if you know how to pace and lead that .. you will win elections, deals, job interviews, customers, etc. Here the section about his thoughts on the persuasion what's going on.

maxim said...

The things you dismiss actually do play quite an important role in human interaction.
Recommended reading on the subject is a book i really dislike but can't help but respect as a psychology classic: "Games People Play" by Eric Berne.

vinciblegod said...


Legendaries this expansion aren't actually that good since they don't have powerful secondary effects. Heck, you can get ilevel 890 gear already so a 895 legendary is only slightly better than the first tier. Is that really your way of gauging quality? OH NO SOMEONE NOT AS GOOD AS ME HAS GEAR I MUST HATE THIS GAME NOW BECAUSE IM NO LONGER UNIQUE AND A SNOWFLAKE.

Phelps said...

"Household incomes are over $4,000 less today than they were in the year 2000.” Hyperbole. Everyone can see his own income so there is no hope to make anyone factually believe he is worse off than before. He is merely stating the obvious: under the Democrat Presidency the economy didn't particularly shine.

This one is actually correct, and there are a lot of Americans that are feeling it. Percentage-wise, my real salary (base+overtime) hasn't gone up significantly since 2009, while inflation eats away steadily. I think that eastern Europe underestimates how well Americans were doing in 2000.

"I lost hundreds of friends on 9/11": nicety. No one has hundreds of friends, it's over the Dumbar number. It's merely a nicer way to say "lots of good people were lost that day"

Remember that to Americans, "friends" and "acquaintances" are largely interchangeable. In fact, acquaintance is often used as an insult hiding as a back-handed compliment. It's highly likely that Trump was acquainted with hundreds of people in the WTC. I'm less than one degree from hundreds of people who died there (between professional acquaintances and an uncle who worked for the Port Authority) and I don't even live and work in NYC like Trump.

Anonymous said...

Hi Gevlon,

i read your blog for quite a while now; i played eve using your trade guide and became rich in 6 month ; i even joined moa and fought with them for a while; i left eve 2 month after you, cause there was no reasonable goal anymore , all the money goes to the big citadel owners as you predicted;

i read your BDO posts, but never played it myself; it felt too much like wow , and i really dont do this anymore;

i do like to follow you into LOL i guess,

so my question is: can you write a little bit more how you approach LOL ?
I know there a tons of guides, but which one is really good and useful for beginners?
Just a write up what you would recommend in terms of guides or playstyles, or just do your own guide :-)


PS: Whatever happens : Never stop your blog please ! :-)

Hanura H'arasch said...


Have you actually read through the secondary effects? Sure, some are better than others but most are quite powerful. Yes you can get 890 ilvl gear ... by raiding mythic, which almost no guilds are capable of at the moment. Oh wait I can't even do that, because blizzard thinks mythic is too hard for PUGs. But hey, you can just be on /follow in LFR and drop legendaries.

I don't hate WoW, and I knew what I was up for when I resubbed. Nonetheless these things make WoW unviable as a competitive game outside of dedicated progress raiding. And thus, unfit for players who are looking for a competitive environment like gevlon and myself.

Gevlon said...

@Vinciblegod: having a flawed reward structure kills competition. You can't tell how big part of the players are interested in competing just for competing sake without recognition. While Hanura and me don't care about being unique snowflake, most people do. And they won't care about raiding, making it a niche like pet battles.

maxim said...

I view the "legendary in every slot" thing as an attempt of Blizzard to give every player a unique competitive advantage to work with, thus breaking out of the homogenisation of gearing process that we saw happen previously.
If everyone can collect a full legendary set, that's one thing, but i don't think they went there. If you can only have one or two and you can't predict which, where and when you'll get (but you most certainly will), that's a completely different thing.

This is certainly an experiment. It is also very likely to fail. But if it suceeds ...

Unknown said...

I have an additional tip which you may have already begun implementing: queue dodging. Leaving a game in the champ selection stage will only cost you some league points, but your actual MMR (the thing that really determines the quality of players in your game) will not be affected. The leagues/divisions are just fluff, and even if your goal is to reach a certain league, queue dodging unwanted teammates* will help you in the long run especially if you are in a coinflip elo but lack the mechanical skill to carry the game regardless of how much your team feeds. In case you care about promos, keep in mind that dodging a promotion game will count as a loss for that purpose (still won't affect your MMR).

*people that are toxic/obviously on tilt/didn't get their desired role/play a demanding champ they have very little experience (or a very low winrate) with. The last part you can find online on any number of sites that track this data. Queue dodging games with risky people gives you the advantage of not playing with such people on your team whenever you can detect them in the select phase, so in games you actually play they will be more likely to show up on the enemy team than your own. The tradeoff is slower advancement through leagues at the start, which doesn't actually influence the matchmaking in a significant way.

Samus said...

One point missed by everyone here: you can only equip ONE legendary item (two later in the expansion). They do have a chance to drop from LFR and other places, but it is a very low chance. You can't just run your first LFR and expect to get your legendary. A few players will get lucky and have a legendary in one slot, but that isn't enough to cancel out all other gear. As vinciblegold said, they aren't that much better than gear already available. When the next patch comes, the current legendaries will become obsolete just like all the other gear.

There probably ARE reasons Gevlon would hate Legion, but I don't think legendaries are significant enough to be on that list.