Greedy Goblin

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

"Experience" trolls

Unlike most bloggers, I like trolls. Not the "u suck d### u matherf##### a##" class ones, but those who just express their hatred or pity.

For today, let's go with Ontherocks, who placed his masterpiece on my yesterday post: "It is very telling that Gevlon rarely ever addresses a comment made by someone that challenges his assertion that the poor are M&S. This view indicates someone very young and full of all the knowledge a book can give him, yet utterly and completely ignorant in how the world actually works. In other words, Gevlon lacks perspective and worse lacks the interest to get it because of the amount of book knowledge he has.

This blog is fascinating in the same way that I stare at a car wreck as I go by. It's a glimpse into one person's macabre view of the world. It's sad, and I can't help but pity him. (Yes, another worthless ape-subroutine, in Gevlon's vernacular)".

Well, the second paragraph is simple "I'm good, you're bad" statement, let's ignore it and focus on the first one. This is one perfect example, why many arguments can not be settled, many debates concluded.

If there is a statement, like "X is larger than Y", intelligent people can either say "it's true because [explanation]" or "it's false because of [explanation]". The different kind of trolls say "this is false, because you say it's true and you are stupid/evil, while I say it's false and I'm smart/good".

There are several kind of trolls, this time we encountered an "experience" troll. This species says: "everything I say is from life experience, while everything others say is from books/theory, therefore I'm right and others are wrong".

Like all trolls, the "experience" troll never bothers to even try to prove his point. He is right, since he is experienced, while others are young and ignorant.

Why do I care, I could just delete his post with the rest of the trollings? Because I know that many people afraid of trolls. Trolls "belittle" people, cause them bad feelings. I've already wrote about belittling (is that a word?), but that does not change how people feel. They don't want to face rampart, unconstructive critism. So they shut up. I don't want intelligent people to shut up.

Understanding how the troll works increase your resilience against them. This troll claims that he has an invisible quality (experience) that you do not, and have no chance to fix it, as you "lack perspective". You are worthless, you are nobody, therefore your opinion is wrong.

No you are not! The "experience" is not a quantity. Actually, it should not even be a word. "Experiencing" could be one, as you walk the world with open eyes. However you don't gather anything supernatural. You gather knowledge that can be tested by exams. You gather skills can be tested by tasks. But there is no such measurable thing as "experience". The "experience" troll lies, claiming he has something invisible and you do not. Actually, he could claim he has more mojo than you. Or more spirits. Or more voodoo power.

And as always, the anti-troll bottom line: "you are bad, so you are wrong" is wrong. Even if all his insults would be true and I'd be the lowest lifeform on the planet, my statements would be no less valid. They are true or false because of themselves, and not because I say them.

So my troll policy remains the same.

PS: when you transfer servers, your friend list becomes completely empty and it's quite frustrating... to others. I was surprised by my empty ignore list. I even keybound "/ignore", waiting for an ingame troll.


Anonymous said...

Yo Gevlon,

Thanks for writing your blog. I really enjoy the information and ideas you share here. I object, however, to the claim that experience is not measurable. Just as length or weight are difficult to measure without a ruler or a scale, the same is true for the collection of things such as facts, ideas, data, knowledge, attitudes and so forth that are meant by the term "experience". Operationalizing how to measure such a thing is difficult, but it's not beyond our abilities. That said, it's probably doubtful that your troll was thinking in these terms.

tl;dr -- Experience is real and useful. Without it, you're just a brain in a jar.

Sojourner said...

fascinating really. never thought to read your blog until recently, and I'm glad i did. :)

Seth said...

to Anonymous,
what you say, in my opinion is wrong;
"Experience" is a way the old keep the young down. If your young and have "little experience" but you have a IQ of 135 you'll be "better" then a man of 50 with a lot of "experience" and an average IQ of 110. "Experience" or "Wisdom" can be replaced by pure intellect or hard work. The Troll thinks he's better because he has a certain age ("Experience") which isn't worth anything in a fast and everchanging world (RL and WoW)


Quicksilver said...

I usually gank trolls :)

Anonymous said...

Trolls are idiots. Orcs are however worse...

Your blog rules and IMO your experiences and advice are a sound way to play WoW and deal with people.

Anonymous said...

Belittling is a word.

Voodoo is a word, Woodoo isn't; it's unclear if that mistake is deliberate.

The phrase 'anecdotal evidence' might be one you are looking for. It's proof-by-it-happened-to-a-mate-of-mine. Experience in aggregate is potentially useful - when dealing with something we can't model perfectly (such as human interaction), it's the only sort of meaningful argument. Experience in the singular? No.

Anonymous said...

@Anonymous, and Sidenote on Seth

For an argument, what important is the reasoning itself…
Anything you have, such as Experience, IQ, knowledge etc is only essential for generating the thoughts and idea.

After it’s formed, it’s as what it is.
As Gevlon put it.
“My statements would be no less valid. They are true or false because of themselves, and not because I say them.”

Of course, Experience, IQ, knowledge is important for a human being; however, it’s not relevant to the argument’s validity.

Think of a jewelry crafter and his master piece, of course his craftsmanship is important for creating the work.
But the beauty of the master piece is of itself, but not as who crafted it.
(Sorry that I can’t think up a more suitable metaphor)

The troll’s mistake is that, he equals his statement to his “invisible” quantity, while there is not such connection about it.

(Yes, you can said a doctor can have specialized knowledge on his area, but yet, it’s not for the argument, but for the information only)

Seth.onecopper said...

@Zekta chan
I understand what you are saying, and aknowledge that what is said maybe came of wrong.
What i was trying to say is similar to your explanation.
just that Experience isn't a I-Win button for the troll since it can be countered by numerous variables such as intellect etc. There is no real "I-win" button in thoughts or posts or whatever. ehmmm i think this is comming over wrong again. point is: a Troll is a Troll and says about anything and plays any card just to say he's right without proof. Troll, Give me proof and i'll listen then.

Xaf said...

Gevlon, do you think you would be an M&S if you were born in a poor country in Africa ? I'm French and I'm not sure I get exactly the meaning of M&S, but I guess that a M&S is not somebody who lacks of knowledge but somebody who lacks of intelligence.

Then you would not be an M&S but neither would you be rich, because I highly doubt you would have been able to earn a lot of money living in a country like Somalia.

That is, I think, what a lot of people think. It's not that easy and poor people are not all lazy and stupid...

But then you can argue on the fact that intelligence is not something you get at your birth (genetics...), but something you get while working intellectually. I personnally think that your degree of intelligence is determinated at your birth.

I hope what I said was understandable, as English is not my main laguage :p

ziboo said...

Keeping the youth down... - that gave me a giggle!So Seth based on your argument (we'll use a WoW examples) if I'm really smart but have no actual experience raiding I'll do better than someone that has raided thousands of time? I'll duel better because I read a book or watched a video? Pvp better because I have theoretical knowledge versus experience? Work the AH better because I have a high IQ versus the 'experience' of knowing what sells/why/when?

Read the trade any day - need tank that knows xyz boss fight. I've yet to see one that says need very smart tank, no experience required.

As for your IQ analogy - I'd rather have a mechanic with an IQ of 50 that's worked on cars for 20 years than a mechanic that has an IQ of 150 and is going to work on his first car! (fill in surgeon, chef, pilot, whatever!)

I'm not knocking Gevlon, he has some wonderful ideas, and he's spot on with much of what he posts. I especially admire his take on trolls, almost more than his economic advise - which is superb btw.

I don't always agree with him, but I also don't have to!

But don't knock experience, unless of course you have none.

Anonymous said...

And as always, the anti-troll bottom line: "you are bad, so you are wrong" is wrong. Even if all his insults would be true and I'd be the lowest lifeform on the planet, my statements would be no less valid. They are true or false because of themselves, and not because I say them.Correct, the term you are probably looking for is an Ad Hominem argument. A rhetorical fallacy that attacks the source of an argument rather than the argument itself.

Seth.onecopper said...

to go on over your WoW example:
A tank that has raided a thousand of times vs a An Intelligent tank.
If something goes wrong with the fight the intelligent tank will automaticly adapt (spelling?) while the experienced tank will just follow "standard procedure" he will use his "Experience" to adapt, so what if the boss fight changes?
The intelligent tank, will adapt while the expierenced tank will go blank, since he has no experience (since the fight changed) and have nothing to build on he will fail and cause a wipe. Same with pvp and AH, someone with the ability to adapt or at least half a brain, can kill life-time PVP'r or make a decent profit at AH. they will inspect and evaluate and find the weak point (on the pvp'r or the ah) and exploit it for their own benefit. while expierence just means rust, they will go over it the same way time and time again, if something changes, a new market is introduced, a new pvp mechanic, ... the expierence melts away and is worth nothing anymore.

"having expierence" is probably the most relative of of words/sentences ever... i've fixed my car 3 times so i have "experience" while someone with 10years of carmaking will laugh at your face of it.
For me "experience" is used to compensate a lack of thinking and a lack of adapting to new and improved ways. i'm going to stop here, since i think we are going of topic here.

zeonz said...

@ ziboo

i think your reading a bit to mutch between the lines.

someone who has been working on cars for 20 years has gained a lot of knowledge about cars, and a lot of skills to handle them.

whereas the 150 IQ person probaly has more knowledge, or easyer understands that knowledge and get's more knowledge, but still has less in the department of skills.

as always there's more then 1 factor to consider. perhaps you could call the combination of these things experience, but experience alone can't be tested or accounted for. but the factors out which it might excist can be.

and then comes the obvious part of course, what IF they would have both worked at cars for 20 years? obviously you'd prefer the person with 150IQ over the person with 50IQ ( as long as you would know there IQ's, and there prices and general kwality would be the same )

as for wow, someone with no knowledge about a raid ( and which does not gain an explenation beforehand ) wi'll do significantly bad compared to people who would. however doeing that raid could gather you more knowledge about it.

also if you would watch video's/books about how the mechanics behind a class/computer/etc works you could indeed become better at a task. but again, it's a combination of many factors.

Sweetcherrie said...

Experience is something in my eyes that has nothing to do with age. It has all to do with learning from mistakes however. So the more you experience in life/wow, the more likely that you make mistakes, which allows you to learn from them.

Pointing out that age automatically comes with experiences doesn't seem to hold true. If you do the same thing your entire life, you have a lot of experience with one situation, but none with other situations.

My experience is that these are not your usual trolls, these are generally nice and quiet people who seem to get all confused when introduced to something new, and would certainly not go out to pick a fight, because 'oh my, what to do with the new situation'.

So the experience troll must actually have experienced things, because otherwise they would be totally overwhelmed by trying to experience something new like trolling.

So where experience trolls probably go wrong is under the second part, they experience lots, make lots of mistakes, but don't learn from them.

So in the end all the experience troll has to share with others are the mistakes they made?

(Sorry if that came out chaotic, just let it be known, I hate experience trolls, people who think they always know better because they're older.)

hound said...


Everyone should read this post twice. If you still don't get it, read it a few more times, it'll come to you.

Experience is really nothing more that knowledge earned through trial and error, i.e. practice. It can be tested if someone cared to make a test for it. Using Ziboo's mechanic example, a person with experience might be able to tell you what is wrong with your car simply by listening to how it performs. A person with intelligence might require a more technical solution to finding the problem. Sometimes the scenario can be reversed.

However, I think Gevlon was just trying to point out that this guy was trolling him and was doing so in such an obvious manner that he falls into a specific category of trolls.

Honestly, sometimes you guys take Gevlon's posts far too seriously.

Quicksilver said...

I believe that trolls have such a "success" on forums simply because of the way these forums are organized. And by success I imply the fact that they sometimes manage to stir nonsense and drive people away from the initial topic.

The profile of the average troll is somehow variate. From dumb kids who just get their kicks out of annoying everyone else and having a good laugh when they see the reaction of all those people hopelessly trying to contradict them with reason, to the narrow minded aggressive bloggers that cannot impose their point of view through logic or any other valid arguementation so they simply attack the person posting, or his grammar, style etc.

The main difference with a real life setting is the fact that these kind of people are much easier to marginalize in real life than on forums where everyone is on an equal setting.

In a group conversation or lecture, or anything similar we might imagine to a blog, those who go off-topic or usually start bashing are simply ignored from the conversation. Hell, these people are usually spotted from the beginning and ignored whatever they would say.

They might talk by themselves for a while, or try to get back in, but in a setting with intelligent people, these kind of persons usually dont get enough attention to become a matter. They end up by shutting up.

In a forum or blog however, imo, the biggest difference is the fact that everything remains written, black on white. A troll's post, in the moment he writes it, is on equal footing with all others and lingers on for everyone to see long after it has been written.

Even worse, because of the fact that on an internet discussion talks are usually not centralized (as in nobody usually talks about the same thing, but more likely posts in the general idea) and non-sequential (as in I can answer to any post made above, unlike a RL conversation where I usually answer just the person who has spoken just before), the effects of this kind of behavior are usually noticeable.

A good system for filtering trolls has been implemented so far, where people assign a mark to each of the posts and low marked posts usually become hidden by default. However I'd also like to see some sort of system where posts decay in time, the bad rated ones dissapear and trolls be forever forgotten as they deserve.

Me said...


Experience in "life" is completely different than knowing a routine (surgeon, mechanic, etc). I may come from a rich family and have no difficulties my entire life while you may come from a poor one who has to fight to keep food on the table. Which one of our experiences are "right" and which are "wrong"? Neither. Experience in "life" varies and is not "right/wrong" or "black/white".

Also, lets say you did visit someone who had been a mechanic for 20 years and had an IQ of 50. Having been in a profession for a long period of time does NOT mean you were good at it. It can mean you just weren't fired yet. Or that you go from job to job. Studies show that people who have done their jobs longer become complacent. Complacency is a leading cause of accidents. (I'm on a safety board at work, this is how I get that info). The person who is working on their first car/person is likely to ask more questions and be more careful out of fear of messing up.

In this case, the troll was doing nothing more than patting himself on the back. I see people do this a lot lately and it confuses me.

Shawn said...

"There are several kind of trolls, this time we encountered an "experience" troll. This species says: "everything I say is from life experience, while everything others say is from books/theory, therefore I'm right and others are wrong"."

This is almost exactly how I would describe Gevlon. His opinions seem only to come from his own experience and not a broader range of knowledge *or* a broader range of other people's experiences.

The "troll" who he is responding to states that Gevlon doesn't back up his claim that the poor are M&S. This is something that I have noticed too. And in responding to that claim Gevlon doesn't make any sort of case why the poor should simply be dismissed as M&S.

In Gevlon's experience the poor are M&S, and no amount of research, facts or other people's experience is going to change his opinion.

Quicksilver said...

And aren't they?

Keep in mind, that ultimately, the world Gevlon is talking about is WoW. This is not a 3rd world country with no possibilities.

It is, even more than any real contry, the place of all oportunities with all the western moral advancement (equality in rights, equal opportunities etc). Any player is free to farm and sell whatever he feels like it etc.

Similarly, the parallels being drawn in this blog are in respect to similar worlds/economies/environements to wow, i.e. capitalist countries with a similar economic system: The Western contemporary society.

So, please think about the premises we are talking about here before you jump to conclusions. And especially, pls no more trolling about Africa, mkay?

Anonymous said...

Honestly, sometimes you guys take Gevlon's posts far too seriously.Yeh this guy is totally right.

WoW is a game that you pay to play and therefore can play anyway you like.

This is a blog and as Gevlon maintains it he can post exactly whatever 'opinions' he wants to.

Neither are real life. Sort it out ladies.

Neil said...

Perhaps there is a double standard at play here.

Gevlon, you often say "the poor are M&S", talking about real-life poor people and not just the poor toons in WoW. But have you presented any academically-sound proof on this blog, showing that all poor people are M&S? Perhaps "poor people are M&S" is just an opinion as well, without any real evidence?

Challenge: Prove beyond any reasonable doubt, in a scientific way based on evidence and logic, in a way that any intelligent human being could understand: all poor people are M&S. If this is such a certain truth, it will be easy.

Then, it will be no more possible to troll you for saying "poor are M&S" than it would be for saying "grass is green" or "2+2=4".

Or am I just "proof trolling"? :P

Wiggins said...

I may not agree with your opinions on certain things 100%, but you've done what I have yet to do. That is, reach the gold cap.

You obviously have the knowledge, and the experience to create a vast amount of income on a new server through your research.

So, though you say that experience cannot be measured, I hypothesize that it can be, based on current results of the attempted goal. From what I can tell, you've experienced quite a bit of success :)

Keep writing, there's quite a bit of useful info to be found here.

Sydera said...

Hey Gevlon,

I think that what you call a "troll," others might call "fair comment and criticism." There is a long-standing tradition, in journalistic writing (into which category blogs certainly fit, though they are more personal than other forms of reporting) of commenting on and criticizing social phenomena, events, and others' work.

In other words, your readers are entitled to their opinions.

In my own opinion, you're at your best when you're analyzing something. This post has a tone of defensive hysteria to it that doesn't really suit your blog. Not everyone has to agree with you. You can keep writing anyway. You know, I don't agree with you either! I don't think you can scold your blog audience into becoming Gevlon clones. As for me, I'm just as likely to read something that I disagree with as something that I agree with. Sometimes the act of dissent--criticism--can be a creative moment, and that's what I'm after.

Liz said...

“You are wrong because…”

There are two categories of the destitute poor (way below the poverty line and on welfare) that I would like to address: (I am sure there are other circumstances that cause people to become poor).
1) People (children) born into horrendous circumstances (example: father dead, mother druggie, big brother in prison).
2) People who are physically or mentally ill (including alcoholics and drug addicts.)

With #2 there is little we can do to improve the situation. I don’t mind my tax money paying for shelters because then they are not sleeping on the street on my walk to work. (And because my moral code is founded on the golden rule. I am sure you would let them die on the street, which is your moral code.)

With #1 there is a hope that these people will improve their situation and start being contributing members of society. Some (very rare) individuals will claw themselves out of poverty and improve their situation without any help. Others need help on their way up (basic healthcare, basic job training, a safe place to sleep, information about how to get into college, scholarships, etc.) Yes, that assistance could be abused. However, statistics show that helping children and teenagers become productive members of society has a net positive effect overall – they start paying taxes instead of consuming them. So even to a ‘goblin’ the benefit to society should seem logical.

Also you should probably read Ayn Rand, you are quoting her philosophy whether you know it or not.

Gevlon said...

@To all, who come up with Africa: just wait a couple of days!

About experience: you gather skills and knowledge about SOMETHING like fixing cars. However about "life" you cannot gather specific knowledge as "the life" is not specific, it's everything.

@Sydera: a critic adds a point, an argument, an evidence (even if anecdotic) to his opinion. "I'm smart, you are stupid" is not critism, it's trolling. Just because you disagree, you should not place yourself to the same platform as primitive trolls. Would you like a comment like: "This is all bullshit and Sydera is just a stupid girl who should be in the kitchen instead of spreading her dumb bullshit" on your blog? Would it add any value to it, or would it be just annoying?

Anonymous said...

I agree with Ontherocks, though think he/she phrased it pretty poorly.

For one, they didn't imply that you'd never gain this experience. You will. You just don't have it now.

Two, there is a very obviously implied factual basis. Roughly: "I've seen poor people who work hard but, for circumstances beyond their control, they are still poor. They made all the right choices and are still poor. Life just isn't fair sometimes. You claim these people, who I've met, don't exist. It must be that you haven't met them yet. Therefore, you're pretty inexperienced when it comes to life."

For someone so fiercely independent, you seem to rely so heavily on the premise that life is fair. That if you work hard and make the right decisions, you will always be rewarded for it. Life obviously isn't fair, and if you question this yourself I think you'll agree.

If you said *most* poor people are M&S, fewer people would question your experience. Then again, an unignorable percentage of the world's population consist of starving children. Its hard to argue that children born into poverty and starvation are just lazy. Their parents, maybe, but not them.

Gevlon said...

@last Anonymous: I guess the proper way of getting "experience" is agreeing with you. As soon as I say what you say, I'll be "experienced".

Typical social manipulation: offering positive traits for those who obey. Well, it works only on humans, goblins are immune :-)

Anonymous said...

Eventually, you will agree with me. For now, you'll continue to ignore my points (proving that you will agree with me, since you can't even argue with me now - the seeds of agreement are there).

The "positive traits" I was offering aren't positive at all. I was offering a world that's harsh and unfair. Honestly, its good to not experience this at all - its just pretty damn stupid to criticize something you haven't experienced. I wish you never do have to experience it, but don't criticize that which you do not know.

Anonymous said...

For a community based upon a game... we sure do take life seriously hehe

I think many people are taking Gevlon's posts out of context; it hardly needs clarification on what he is talking about in them, and if it does, read more from him before commenting. While like most, I don’t agree on everything that he writes. Nevertheless, I do love it when I don’t agree; you just can’t beat a good discussion, albeit heated at time :D

P.s I don’t think experience is measurable, however, it is recordable. That’s what CV’s are for. In addition, the mechanic who has worked on cars for 20 years… how do you know that he’s not just been changing oil and window screen wipers all that time. Then how good is his 20 years as ‘being a mechanic’?

Viscount said...

I hate to say it but everyone is using the word experience wrong and their examples wrong. Experience is beeing thrown out as a general word for whatever is quantifiable in the subject. It usually refers to time but it DOES NOT ALWAYS. For example with Ziboo's doctor and mechanic example. The 10 years vs. first has nothing to do with it. What IS important is the success/fail rate. A mechanic that has been working for 10 years yet has a reputation for being a part swapper (replacing parts because they have no clue what is wrong) is not someone I would go to. The first timer is an unknown quantity, so in this example they are ranked about the same in my opinion.

Also another thing I want to point out. Maybe I mis-read the article but no where does the reader actually say that they are more experienced (Older) then Gevlon, just that he is lacking. All my point is, is that alot of people are assuming this and that is a falicy itself. For all we know he could be someone getting his degree in communications and debate (which I doubt cause he should be able to do better) and is accusing Gevlon based on text books examples. I doubt this is the case but the irony would be delicious.

All in all, regardless of whether you support or are against Gevlon in this point. Dont make the same mistake the poster did by infering things. Go with what you know as absolutes. THAT shows experience.

Joe Nothin' said...

That's a classic fallacy, called ad hominum.

I too often find myself lacking english words, so i thought you'd like this one.

Jane said...

The value of experience depends on the information gathered and the quality of analysis. Some folks get lots of information that they ignore rather than learn from. Books can provide distillations of experience, but not all books are good. And again, reading a book is an experience in and of itself; what is gained depends on the learner and the book.

I think that what greater age can bring to the equation is a larger sampling of experiences to learn from, more pros and cons to any position taken. Perhaps because new experiences are a smaller percentage of the mix, adaptation to a given recent change may seem more of an issue for older people, but remember that Seth's "everchanging world" has been a constant for a long time.

Anonymous said...

You're all rat-holing about the definition of the word "experience". It really doesn't matter what you call it. Its just that "experience" is a shorter word for the phrase "Gevlon has only interacted with a tiny microcosm of society and uses that to make judgments about classes of people he's never had any interaction with".

Anonymous said...

Dood, he's definitely a troll. I'm with the Goblin on this one.

However! I think with the experience, knowledge, jewelcrafting and mechanic ideas that the more pure distinction is in the craft itself.
While many struggle with the basic craft of the task (building a cabinet using tools, glue and wood) the goal in life is to transcend the craft to make something more or greater or art.

The low IQ guy may be able to grasp the craft (or the mechanics of tanking) but what we want to see is those who can go beyond it and do something brilliant.

Prime example: the craft of making money is WoW can be learned by almost anyone. The brilliant move is to make on contract based on that money to get a unique gaming experience. Totally transcending the "this goes here" playstyle.

Anonymous said...

Another example: Hunter soloing a dungeon.

We marvel at those who transcend the craft ... in fact, that is the goal.

Former Objectivist said...

To help people differentiate me (the anonymous Gevlon responded to as "last anonymous" a few comments up, plus the "rat-holing" comment) from the dood-anonymous guy, I created a nickname.

Hatch said...

Gevlon, I think you are miscategorizing that guy as a troll, at least for the reasons you state. The second paragraph about you being a car wreck is obviously trolling, but anyway...

He's not saying your opinion makes you inexperienced "because he assumes all his knowledge comes from experience and yours comes from books". It's because your opinions reveal your lack of real-life experience.

I've seen so many freshman college students who read Ayn Rand once and sound just like you. After a few days or years of being exposed to reality (unless they are so antisocial and insular that they are never exposed to much reality), they all change. They all grow up and realize these "goblinish" ideas are too simplistic and don't reflect the objective facts of the real world around us (rather than the made-up world of the Fountainhead)

He's not saying you are inexperienced because you disagree with him. He's saying you are inexperienced because the only people who have the same opinion as you are invariably lacking in RL experience.

The only people I've ever seen with your opinions got them from too much reading libertarian/objectivist books and not enough time in the real world.

You are obviously very intelligent, and have paid attention to your education. But your specific opinions scream "inexperience", and I've seen it so many times before, usually striking smart people when they are old enough to be exposed to these ideas but too young to have seen much of the world.

That said, I enjoy your blog, keep up the good work.

Yaggle said...

Yeah. The troller probably did have an actual idea swimming around in his brain about why you were wrong, but did not want to take the time to form it into sentences and type it out. I remember reading their post, and thinking that. It is sad, because the person might have had an intelligent argument for us to enjoy if he would have bothered to do so.
A lot of people say that when they grow older, they realize how their parents were right about so many things, and that when they were young they always thought they were right, but they were not.
My experience(I am 40 years old by the way) has taught me just the opposite. My parents were wrong about a great number of things, and most of the time, when I was young and thought they were wrong, they were wrong. In fact, a lot of older people were wrong about a lot of things. My regret is that I did not have confidence when I was young to believe in my ideas, and to stick to my guns. And my advice to young people, is if you believe you are intelligent, then believe in yourself, and go forward with your ideas. A lot of older people will give you bad advice, and will think they are wise because of their "experience". Their advice is often worse than a survival-spec snake trap.

Yaggle said...

So in conclusion, I guess I should say, that by my advice, you really should not take my advice. I certainly wouldn't. Sorry, had to say that before somebody else did :D

ziboo said...

Way to get a debate going Gevlon! Interesting to see the various interpretations on experience vs ...

I'm still in agreement with you regarding the M&S's in life/gaming, excepting for people born into poverty or unaware of how they can make their lives better.

Ignorance is (IMHO) different than being an M&S, it can be overcoming - ex. in WoW someone new to the game would be ignorant of how to do xyz. They could choose to learn, question, educate themselves or sit around whining and begging.

M&S's you'll find at all levels of society or in game, its not an exclusive 'poor man's' problem.

Sydera said...

You know Gevlon, I get those sorts of comments from time to time, and what do I do? Ignore it. I'll defend another blogger if they get them.

But part of the blogosphere is free exchange of ideas. If I required all my readers to be eloquent and well-informed, well, I'd be down a considerable number. Heck, go read some academic book reviews--even the professionals take potshots now and again. "I don't like what you said" is actually a valid criticism--there's no review process to filter that type of blog comments unless the blogger wishes to do that himself. I would urge against it--part of the appeal of blogging is seeing whether I can convince people of my point of view, and if I've failed to do that, I'd like to know it.
I'm just urging you, as the blogger, to take criticism calmly, and not defensively. With your particular moral slant, which I believe is quite often meant to shock the readership, the big surprise here is that negative comments rattle you. You should expect rants--many, many of them--based on what you post. For me, I know when one of my articles is going to get some backlash--don't you get that feeling with some stories even before you hit the publish button?

Firespirit said...

I don't think it is a secret that I do not agree with many of Gevlon's comments.

His blog, however, has a knack for sparking conversation. I love that. It gets many people thinking, formulating, and expressing things they probably would not have thought of before.

And for that, I am glad Gevlon was able to continue his blog. Perhaps, though, the focus is more on social issues, and less on money making? :)

With that being said, I do want to chime in on the experience. There is a way in which one measures experience.

Im going to continue with the theme of WoW, that is where we are all playing, after all.

Experience can be defined as previous work in a said topic or subject.

An experienced tankin a raid sees a void zone on the floor of a new boss and immediately moves out of it for fear of dying.

An intellegent, but less experienced tank may hesitate. Why? because he knows that some bosses give buffs in the form of said zones on floor (see malygos). Its a crapshoot with an "intellegent" tank. He knows his class, knows potential abilities, etc...

An experienced tank knows that even if it was a damage modifying zone, rather than a damaging zone, the dps loss he would have had is negligeable compared to the potential risk of death to the raid.

What I guess I am getting at is that experience is a thing that can be measured. It can be measured in many different ways - years tanking, number of raid bosses tanked, how long your have played the class, etc....

However, its not easily QUANTIFYABLE. There is no measurement that gives a true and correct formulation of your experience. That is why, in most guild app's, experience is rated using many of the questions I outlined above :)

Former Objectivist said...

The reason people comment is because Gevlon is smart, and his posts on WoW are spot-on. He's just applying his intelligence to incomplete real-world data and making fantastically wrong (even offensive) conclusions about the real-world from it. Its a waste of an otherwise good brain. Conversely, I wouldn't waste my time telling an idiot on a soapbox that his ideas are wrong, because that person is just an idiot.

His ideas, when applied to WoW, are right. WoW is a fair game (for the most part - a hunter nerf here or pally buff there isn't going to mean the difference between being rich and poor). Life, on the other hand, isn't fair.

Anonymous said...

Ill have to agree partially with Gevlon.

Experience you can also say is "learning it the hard way". If you are not a M&S you will notice that some things will improve your life and give you advantages.

For example, if you are going to sell something to a company there are methods of doing it in a more efficient way than others. You can get this knowledge from 2 ways. The first is to just go out and try to speak to companies and try to sell in the stuff you are selling. You will most likely fail a lot by doing this, however, unless you are a M&S you will learn some from the failures and get better each time. This is what people are calling "experience".

Second option is that you go and take a course in selling. Suddenly the times you have to get out and fail will drop drastically since you will learn the basic mistakes from someone who already did them. This is then also getting "experience" or, as Gevlon said, knowledge.

So it's more of a matter of definition of the word experience.

A professor in Physics will teach you the basics of it faster rather than you trying it yourself and learning it from "experience".

Tried to write this up while raiding at the same time so I guess its not as clear as it could be :)


yes but ... said...


I am not defending Gevlon, I simply thought your comments were interesting. I used to troll the WoW forums constantly (not necessarily bating people, but posted quite frequently for fun), but I have never been on the other side as a blogger.

You said: I think that what you call a "troll," others might call "fair comment and criticism." There is a long-standing tradition, in journalistic writing (into which category blogs certainly fit, though they are more personal than other forms of reporting) of commenting on and criticizing social phenomena, events, and others' work.I often read the comments on Gevlon's posts, and there are a great many instances of Gevlon responding, individually, to someone who disagrees with his analysis or just has a question about something.

While I can respect what you are trying to say, I think that Gevlon actually does do that. If you look at what the "troll" said, it is rife with condescending language. His first sentence may be correct - that Gevlon does not often address the poor/M&S challenges. But every sentence after that is an attack on Gevlon in order to further prove his first statement.

Do you really think that "very young", "utterly ignorant", "lacks perspective", and "I can't help but pity him" are truly fair comment and criticism? It certainly doesn't seem like it to me. Attacking someone personally, which is what the "troll" did, is a fantastic way to beat someone in an argument. Because once you've "proven" that the person making the argument is incapable of producing a worthwhile argument, well, you've won.

You talked about the act of dissent (criticism), being a creative moment for the bloggist. Where does the "troll" lend his own opinions? Does he offer an argument? No. All he does is say Gevlon is not correct because: [insert character assassination here].

So while yes, people should be able to disagree with Gevlon in a way that promotes further discussion, and Gevlon should be able to handle it reasonably ... I don't think that's what happened here.

Former Objectivist said...

You're very right that the comment Gevlon quoted was very offensive. However, Gevlon was very wrong in using that to make his point. Its called a "strawman" argument. Its a very poor representation of a very widely held criticism of his beliefs. Rather than quote someone who eloquently criticizes him, he quotes the bottom of the barrel, and uses that quote to criticize everyone.

Now that I write that, it gives me an odd feeling of deja vu. Gevlon take limited data and extrapolate that to an entire class of people incorrectly? Where have we heard that before? Oddly ironic that Gevlon's defense is actually damn good supporting evidence.

Anonymous said...

Yep, this blog definitely sparks debate! :) I like it!! :)

@Firespirit I think experience is easily quantifiable - how many years has someone played, how many raids have they done, how many encounters etc etc. Intelligence is a lot harder to ascertain with a brief interview :)

Anonymous said...


His first sentence may be correct - that Gevlon does not often address the poor/M&S challenges. But every sentence after that is an attack on Gevlon in order to further prove his first statement..

You and Gevlon are both wrong, or at least you have no basis for your stance (even if it is correct) in your assumption that all the insults towards gevlon where meant to prove the first statement. There is no proof of this. The "troll" could merely be ranting, or maybe he likes insulting people, or he wished to convey the distaste he had for gevlon. There are many reasons people insult one another other then as a ploy to prove ones argument with an ad hominum attack.

Besides.... "attack or not" is a moot point. Gevlon himself has (unknowingly) supported the troll when he said " Even if all his insults would be true and I'd be the lowest lifeform on the planet, my statements would be no less valid. They are true or false because of themselves."

The Troll's argument IS true... no matter what insults he added into it.


In fact, by discounting the trolls arguement because of the trolls insults Gevlon has committed the exact same paux pas that he accuses the troll of doing; discounting the truth, or lack there of, of the statement based on an irrelevant thing (the insults.

Richard said...

I often find it funny that the young claim that experience does not matter, while the old claim it is all that matters. The truth is a good education, backed up by real world experience is the golden ticket.

For example, I am in engineering. One type of person I encounter a lot and work with is a machinist. This is a person that cuts steel and other metals using various machines. The best machinists in the word are all well educated in math, but also a great deal of experience working with metals and the machines to cut them.

Why is this important? Well metal is effected by heat. Putting a tool on on the metal to cut it causes all kinds of different things to happen. Warpping, chipping, cracking and the like. In addition, each machine you use to do the work is different. A skilled and well experienced machinist can tell when a peice is about to have trouble, when tooling needs to be replaced, or "that lathe pulls .002 to 0 side."

This is the value in experience. The same can be said for WOW in many ways, especially in raiding. Read all you want, but I bet that a player that has tanked from MC to Ulduar is a hell of a lot more adaptable than a freshly minted death knight, who used to play a rouge. The evidence for this can be found in top guilds like Ensidia. Their main tank, and most of the guild members have been on the bleeding edge since Vanilla, and their expertise comes from years of smashing new content.

Dismiss experience to your own folly. One day you will be 45 looking at some kid just out of school asking yourself "Was I really that naive?"

Anonymous said...

The troll didn't even say you are wrong. He said he pities you for your "macabre" view of the world..

Maybe even if you're right, you views can be macabre, disturbing and unenviable.

Anyway it's interesting that you (gevlon) saw the troll as attacking you. It means you do not like being pitied.

Anonymous said...

You don't have to actually print /ignore Name, you can just right-click the character name in the chat and choose "Ignore" in pop-up menu. You can even report spammers from the same menu.

Anonymous said...

Never posted here before, but can't help but find it interesting that the most "knowledgeable" among us talk about life not being fair. Life is more accurately - too fair. Social structures are constructed because life, broken down to the simplest terms, is completely and totally fair. Governments, politics, and societies arise to mitigate the impact of that fairness - to prevent a "survival of the fittest" scenario where only those that are willing to do for themselves succeed.
The "good" among us decry a lack of fairness when a child is born into poverty. They say "that child has no opportunity, no chance" when in fact that child, should he/she decide to do so, can achieve more than any other - starting from "nothing" and rising on their own merits. The "good" among us would strip all that potential for achievement away by "giving" that child a boost, whether through money or some other "opportunity" (scholarships based on need, jobs based on fairness, etc). The "good" among us, while they believe they are being generous and kindhearted (and, more importantly, can show their like-minded peers how caring they are), do the most to destroy those they are trying to help. The "good" do not believe in the people they help - they do not have faith that the person is capable of doing for him/herself. This destroys the incentive to achieve. Why would a poor person go through the effort of rising from the gutter if the person next to him will be given what he/she would earn? The "good" person is taking something with value - achievement through work - and making it worthless. Take, for instance, an African farmer who hopes to better his life by selling vegetables. He spends months cultivating his crops, building a small market, spreading the word about his wares, setting a just price based on the opportunity cost of his work and the price of his materials. On the day he opens his market, a UN truck arrives in his village and drops off pallets of vegetables, free to the people of the village. Charity from goodhearted people and doom for the man who showed the initiative to do for himself. That man now has no profits to reinvest, no employees to hire, and that African village becomes entirely dependent on the "good" people who want to make life "fair".
If the end result of experience is the desire to destroy achievement, then I hope to remain blissfully inexperienced.