Greedy Goblin

From M&S to rational

I posted various things against irrationality. Others did too. None of them worked. None of them even was coherent. I wasn't coherent either. I cursed the group I praised the next week. I battled the behavior that I did myself a month later. It was a mess. Took several years of blogging, reading, thinking to finally figure it out. Huge thanks to those who kept reading and commenting, cutting the way in the chaos during these years.

The solution is that there are 4 levels of people. The levels are consecutive, can't be skipped. What is good to one is bad for the other. The reason why no one could help people to elevate is that he focused on one level and his advices were useless or harmful for people on a different level. The levels:
  1. Morons and slackers
    • Goal: acceptance and love
    • Strategy to get it: whining, crying, demanding, tantrum
    • Place in the society: leeches, parasites, bums
    • Description: the M&S are practically on the level of babies. They depend on the society in every way and give nothing in return. They don't even think they shall give anything in return. Their unquestionable belief is that things are out of the control of any person, therefore someone without resources is just unlucky and deserves help. They expect to be accepted and loved the way they are. Those who don't do so are mean and evil according to them.
  2. Socials
    • Goal: acceptance and love
    • Strategy to get it: following norms, "being good"
    • Place in the society: blue-collars, grinders, grunts
    • Description: Their unquestionable belief is if you are good, the world is good with you. While the individual has no control over his fate, the group is powerful and it is powerful because the members contribute. Therefore everyone must do his part, follow the rules and be supportive with fellow members. They hate "selfishness", the ones will to serve their own good.
  3. Anti-socials (selfish ones, griefers)
    • Goal: Respect
    • Strategy to get it: Competition, winning, being better
    • Place in the society: experts, low-mid level leaders
    • Description: They recognized the futility of following orders. They see that socials are merely pawns. They serve no one and don't need the large public to like them. They are better than the average guy and they are eager to prove it. They respect others who are as good as them and expect respect when they prove themselves. They team up with other experts and feel fine within this social group. The term "anti-social" is placed on them by the large society, they aren't lonely or without group at all. They ignore the feelings or needs of the ones they consider losers. While they don't believe that they have effect on the World, they believe that they are in control of their personal life and surroundings and their progress is in their own hands.
  4. Rationals
    • Goal: making difference, flow
    • Strategy to get it: analyzing, understanding, acting
    • Place in the society: leaders, inventors
    • Description: They see that peer respect is as useless as peer love. They have the strong belief that they can make difference in the large scale. Being in control of their personal life is a triviality to them. Their altruism comes from the fact that everything they'd need for themselves they already have. They can only find challenges in solving problems of the "world". Don't necessarily think of World peace here, rather the environmental protection of their city or the victory of a video game group. The point is that they work on something that is bigger than their person.
No one can jump more than one level. Upon entering to a new level one must spend time to fully complete the goals of that level. The reason why the various "betterment of society" ideas failed is focusing on people on one level and trying to enforce their methods on people who belong to another level. Since one who tries to make difference in the society by definition belongs to level 4 his personal experience is usually from the L3-L4 transition. So he talks about win-win solutions, the importance of relying on self-esteem instead of the respect of others, global thinking and so on. These ideas are incomprehensible to socials on L2 and outright dangerous to M&S. Self-esteem and "be yourself" are the worst possible advices you can give someone who don't want to work and dumb like a rock. To make difference one must understand these levels, understand where his target demographics are and tailor his methods to them.

The first step, from M&S to socials: Trying to change the core belief of the M&S "everything is out of my control, I'm responsible for nothing" is in vain. This is probably the hardest to understand to any rational (or even anti-social) person. For us "if I do X then Y happens" is as natural as breathing.

How does a mum make a small kid understand that electricity is dangerous? She doesn't. She merely teaches him an arbitrary rule: don't put your finger to the plug or mummy hits your butt. The kid doesn't stop his attempts to turn into charcoal because he got a clue about electric shock. He wants to avoid punishment and gain hugs.

The hard thing is that no matter how much we know it's sub-optimal or even silly, we must support the social norms for them. Untanked Hulk? Bang, enjoy being ganked punk. Your gear has no gems in it? Groupkick for you! Gank them, grief them, hit them when you see them disobeying the most basic rules, even if you laugh on the same rules and break them every day. You can, they can't. Adults can and shall use the electric plug which is forbidden for kids. Self-reliance makes the difference: if you live on your own resources, you are entitled to experiment with it. If you need group help to get by, you must do as the group says.

The point is not to make them understand that tanking a Hulk makes sense, they can't do that. The point is to make them learn that violating the norms draws punishment while adhering to the rules bring acceptance. The core belief of the social does not deny the core belief of the M&S, both think that the individual is powerless. The difference is that the social thinks "the group" is in control, while the M&S thinks "luck".

Functional social groups (not a lolcorp where everyone is stupid like a dungheap), deserve support. We shall not seek destruction of them because they are the place where M&S can elevate. We shall of course seek to pull out members to the next step.

Second step, Socials to anti-socials: the social follows the rules and fits in the crowd. However somewhere deep within he wants to be more than one in the crowd. He tries to work harder, be better, but receives no recognition as the social crowd rejects the idea of personal importance. If you are doing better, you were lucky. The way to break it is to point at the M&S. Show the social that the M&S are breaking the rules he worships and keep getting help from fellow socials. Hell, they consider that disgusting punk equal to him! This is outrageous!

When the social recognizes that he was abused to carry M&S, he was disrespected by calling him equal to them, his efforts to be good were unrewarded and exploited, he'll be angry. It is normal. It shouldn't be quenched. He shouldn't be told to "get over it and live your own life". Most rational attempts to make these people better fall here, because socials were following rules and orders. They never tried to do things on their own and their abilities to think for themselves are limited. They can't live their own life yet. They must gain control over themselves first.

Their anger and their need to take control over themselves, shedding the social rules must be fulfilled. There is one way to do so without being utterly destructive: controlled competition. They should go out and gank in games. They should challenge themselves climbing on silly killboards in EVE and Arathi Basin, or in the equally silly "who has the coolest car in the neighborhood" competition. Just because we see these goals as tiny and meaningless, they must do it. They must feel that their individual actions shape themselves and the reaction of others to them. While the will to climb higher is strong with them, they shall not be touched. They are not ready. They can be used though as punishers for M&S and good example for socials.

Large part of them get stuck forever on level 3. It's sad but not a tragedy. Since the competition is controlled, his efforts to be better makes him useful. The guy with the coolest car in the neighborhood is the guy who made the largest profit to his employer and largest tax to his country. Similarly the l33t is an asset in large group actions in a game. If everyone would elevate to level 3, the world would be a much-much better place. The rational people shall focus on the M&S and the socials, the anti-socials are the least of the concern of the World as the competitions they want to win are fully controlled.

Final step: the light of rationality: some of the competitive ones "burn out". He won the race, he is the top 1% of the killboard, income group and his car dwarfs the whole neighborhood. He isn't happy though. He feels like in a treadmill. Also, he sees that others lead organizations with hundreds of people, with assets to buy dozens of Porches. He wants to know how. Also he sees that he is limited not by other individuals but by systems. Having to slow down the car because of speed limits is a common frustration here. He is ready.

He and only he can be told that peer respect is worthless, the ships he "pwned" were replaced on the same day, his Porsche is as useful as a Mazda MX3 for 1/10 cost. He can be told that the respect he gained earned him nothing. He can be told that he can and shall make difference in the large scale if he start looking for solving problems instead of making himself look better. That he shall only be measured by himself and not the neighbors or the killboards. He shall be shown that those who lead hundreds have no Porsche and killed nobody with their own ship. Couldn't even be bothered to log in and still affected thousands. He'll want that. From there, he'll have to walk his own path. No recipes exist beyond this point.

The common point: hunting M&S. The above can only be used in direct interpersonal communication or teaching a carefully-selected group. However when you write a post, give a speach or talk in a mixed group you can't just say "everyone below mid-L3 cover your ears, I want to talk about the importance of self-esteem and you aren't there yet". The lessons of the levels are different and plain opposite, except one point: "hit the M&S"!
  • The socials on the early L2 shall hit the M&S because they are breaking the rules, and early-L2 socials shall remind themselves that rules are important to prevent them slipping back.
  • Socials in late L2 shall hit the M&S because they must focus on the M&S to see that they are freeloading on the system the social so blindly serve.
  • Anti-socials in early L3 shall hit the M&S to experience their power over another man (even if that's just an M&S).
  • Anti-socials in mid L3 shall hit them to race with other anti-socials
  • Anti-socials in late L3 shall focus on them to see that the World is fundamentally wrong if they can exists in so large numbers and systemic changes are needed
  • Above all: the M&S shall be hit to stop being M&S.
Win on every possible level.