Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Why Pigfuckers Fuck Pigs And People Just Watch

First, let's have an example of a pig-fucker.

Squee squee! Who will fuck me??

Mark Carroll: A Fucker of Pigs

So we were talking...

Zak: 
The DIY D&D crowd has (unlike many other game design cliques) consciously prioritized
-having confrontations until disputes get settled
over
-avoiding confrontation in order to build a community of people who all play the same games and papering over differences with positivity. It might be one reason why we keep making such awesome stuff.

Mark Carroll:
I'm fairly dubious on the 'argue until fixed' approach, but YMMV.

Zak:
It works flawlessly and eliminates the weak, so I'm a big fan.

Mark Carroll:
We'll have to agree to disagree, then, since I find design-by-social-Darwinism repellent.

Zak:
If the stakes were life and death, I'd agree. The stakes in RPG arguments are…almost nothing  . So people who can't even hang in a conversation for fear someone might say "I don't like Rolemaster" are not exactly the same as underprivileged youth who've fallen through the cracks of the system.

(from here)
-----

This is a typical RPG exchange. No harm, no foul.

Now watch as Mark Carroll fucks a pig, in public, by what he changes my statement into, a day or two later:

Mark Carroll:
My personal problem with Zak is his take that ad hominem, ad argumentum, and game design by way of Social Darwinism are 'great tools' because (and I quote) 'they weed out the weak."

Did you see him fuck a pig just then?

Mark just put his dick into a pig.

He turned me saying that you produce good game stuff by openly discussing problems into me saying I support ad hominem attacks. That is putting your penis into a giant fucking sow and jizzing right up in her.

Saying "Mark Carroll lies and my evidence is he fucks pigs" is an ad hominem attack. I do not believe in that and do not stand behind that. His sexual activities with barnyard megafauna, if any, are unrelated to his honesty.

Saying "I'm comfortable calling Mark Carroll a (metaphorical) pig fucker because he lied about me in public" is true. And not an ad hominem attack. For an attack to be ad hominem it has to cite, as evidence, the suckness of the person arguing--not draw the conclusion that the person sucks.  It's just being really mean to someone because they are terrible and deserve it for slowing down the RPG conversation.

Mark Carroll has gone from being a real human who we can sympathize with to being The Comments. He has proved he's useless as a voice in any RPG conversation.


How This Is Relevant To You

Now why would Mark Carroll fuck this pig? Who cares?*  He is shit and nothing he does matters.

The more important question for all of us is:

Why is so much of the RPG community so ok with people fucking pigs?

They're ok with it? You ask. Yes they are. Mark Carroll fucked this pig in an RPG thread with 20-odd other people in it and none of them did the honorable thing, which was go:

"Mark--Zak said ad hominem attacks are good for the RPG conversation? That is a crazy thing for Zak to say--where is that quote, Mark?" (To his credit, Viktor Haag came near the issue.)

Luckily, we have an answer: someone in the thread, in a very roundabout way, a tolerater of Mark Carroll addressed the issue of tolerating people fucking pigs (and, thereby, fucking pigs of their very own).

It was A Professional Game Designer associated with the indie scene.

He described his experience in college:

Got in the habit of picking fights with friends to flex philosophy debate skills. Won all the fights. Pissed off all the friends. Realized it wasn't about arguments but maintaining good relationships and common experiences.

In MN, the GOP tried to introduce an amendment to define marriage as between one man and one woman. OutFrontMN and Minnesota United knew that every previous attempt in other states to defeat these amendments had failed. Those attempts tried using Constitutional law, refutations of Bible verse, talk about civil rights and persuasive argument. None of it worked.

We tried a different approach. We staffed thousands of phone banks, knocked on thousands of doors, engaged in thousands of one-to-one conversations with Minnesotans, most of whom were if not hostile to same-sex marriage, at the least unconvinced of the need to call it "marriage" at all. We shared stories of couples in love who wanted the same thing anyone wants, to express their love and support and commitment to their partner. We asked the opponents to share their own marriage stories. We engaged empathy, common human experiences. 

Without conflict, without trying to assert logical superiority, without resorting to semantic or rhetorical tricks, or even calling them out for being bigots, we turned them around. We won. 

And then we did it again, putting same-sex marriage on the ticket and getting a bill passed. 

Sometimes you need to get into it with people, to have those brave fights, be aggressive, poke holes in arguments, question relentlessly. I know this, I did that all through college. But true activism that brings about real social justice and progressive change comes through empathy, common ground, and love. 

So that's what I learned. 

___

Sounds nice, right? Persuade. Catch more flies with honey, right? However, I replied...

If writing and playing RPGs was a political campaign or activism (sides, votes, final outcome) then that would make sense.

But it's not.

I understand many indie RPG people think of it that way still-- (public campaigns, "our side", "proving things to the community" "representing the community") etc. But we're not doing a collective endeavor that gets voted on in public (that is, me and the people reading this in my community). We're making individual creative things and deciding how to get rid of people who make that conversation worse.

So it's an utterly different paradigm. Charm and coalition-building avail us nothing. Let's say you get  a coalition of people who agree on a simple idea, what do you get for that? Nothing. Unless you're selling something.

Let's say you, instead, eliminate all the irrational people, the boring, the stupid, what do you get? 

You get what we have here: The unbelievably awesome DIY D&D RPG community that keeps producing cool stuff all the time with a very low noise to signal ratio.

The job is not to convince. It is to judge the trolls and eliminate them. To bounce them out of the club so the club can pursue private goals without noise. Not suffer fools so long as the fools vote for our "side". We don't have a side. We need the wise and clever, not the gullible and the evil-but-willing-to-go-along.

_
Incompatibility

Or, to put it another way: DIY D&Ders do not see this activity where we talk games as activism (How could they? We have no cause but to trade ideas about how to run games we play at home.)

When people go "Oh be nicer, Zak, you may convince the fence sitters". What do I need with fence sitters? I am not trying to get legislation passed, I'm trading tips on how to make dungeons with people who hopefully are even smarter than me.

If I am talking to someone who won't accept true stuff unless it's delivered with a spoonfull of sugar, I'm talking to someone dumber than me. And they have nothing I need. This isn't charity. When I make a porn movie or have an art show and then donate the profits to charity, that is charity.

A lot of gamers disagree fundamentally on a basic level and never think about this disagreement: they do think what they do is a crusade. They consider themselves and their friends to be on a path for some higher cause and so they tolerate lying, they don't ask questions when they see something "off", they don't debate because they are trying to build the biggest community possible. They consistently avoid (i.e. Story-Games) or silence (i.e. RPGnet) debate in the name of Getting Along.

I don't want the biggest community possible--I just want the smartest, fairest one online where I am. Every time I find out another person is writing an awesome game blog I groan like "Ok no, now I have to read everything Arnold K writes, too? Fuck!".

This is, I think, why we keep getting such high-quality stuff. We keep eliminating or ignoring the dumb.

I want a community that accepts every kind of person, and then ruthlessly combs out the fucked ones from among them. And when I see people willing to accept dumb--to accept the Mark Carroll's of the world--people who lie, troll, attack people then flee, or believe shit without evidence--especially when it's directed at me or my friends, I wonder what the fuck is wrong with them.

Well this is what's wrong with them: they just want to get along with as many people as they can. So that one day they can all get together and… something.

Some want to change the industry's attitude toward things, some want the industry just to be big because it'll encourage diversity or because they buy a lot of commercial RPG products and want the industry to give them more or because they want to be in the industry themselves, or because they just want more people to play with. Or just because they feel embattled and want to feel loved and like other people are with them--even pigfucking people.

All these goals are fine, and they are right to think that a Big-Tent-Ignore-Conflict attitude is good to achieve those things. Love-in hugboxes are good for that.

But I don't care about those things: I just want a conversation that helps my game get better. And occasionally to help folks I like. My altruistic energies are not expressing themselves in a desire to enlighten or expand this industry--I just want the part of it I use to be useful. And I don't think the RPG hobby is a better hobby for all the non-RPG playing people than whatever they're entertaining themselves with now. RPGs aren't medicine--I see no pressing need to distribute them further if it's at the cost of the conversation being shit.

So this clash of goals creates conflict: someone attacks my girls, I go "That's not ok". A pigfucker goes "Perhaps you misunderstood, maybe there are good intentions there" I go "It's not my job to find out if the people who just fucked a pig in front of me had a good reason. They can come apologize later if they (on their own or due to some wise entity) grow up."

I am happy to just make and help people make awesome things and invite any non-pigfucker to help.
-
-
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*He does keep fucking pigs: Mark on this article: "Shortly after, as is his wont, he _totally didn't passive-aggressively call me a pigfucker for daring to disagree" (I didn't call him a pigfucker for daring to disagree, I called him a pigfucker for lying. And not passive-aggressively either.)
_
-
-

59 comments:

  1. Now, if you could only get LBJ to join the conversation.

    FMB

    ReplyDelete
  2. "When people go "Oh be nicer, Zak, you may convince the fence sitters". What do I need with fence sitters? I am not trying to get legislation passed, I'm trading tips on how to make dungeons with people who hopefully are even smarter than me." - This for me is exactly why I play in a band with better musicians than myself. If I was the best then I would never grow, I would never learn, I would just continue to do what I do. I haven't had a chance to really read all the back and forth between you and Mark, and in all honesty, I probably won't, as drama isn't really my cup of tea. (there is enough in real life). I do however agree, that to create your own little DIY community with like minded people, who push each other to create is a great thing! Sure you can have a few disagreements, that's all part of it. Its usually the best plan to weed out the "Gronards" that will refuse to change, or the ones who will continually challenge with the "my way or the highway" perspective. I honestly appreciate the circles that I have, the blogs that I read, and those are all choices that I've made. I do not have a big voice in the RPG community, and I do not really want one. I am happy to read, blog and learn from the wonderful people I've surrounded myself with.

    In the end... that was a good post, and made me think.

    ReplyDelete
  3. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. i don't understand. are some gamers going to drop dead if i don't let Mark Carroll lie about me?

      How did they get along before my blog even started?

      Delete
    2. This comment has been removed by the author.

      Delete
    3. Suggesting something "undermines my voice" misses the point of the entire blog entry.

      I WANT my "voice" undermined so long as my argument is unimpeachable.

      Everyone who can see the truth through an "undermined" voice _IS SMART_

      Anyone who can't see the truth because they're too busy going "UGH--TONE POLICE!!!!" is stupid and I

      do

      not

      want

      them

      around.

      Get it? I do not want to pour sugar on stuff. It attracts flies. I don't want flies.

      Delete
  4. Pig Fucker demeans pigs.

    Seriously, good on you, this hobby i about make believe and playing games, if I want to deal with politics, I'll run or design a game about politics. I just want to kill some orcs and take their stuff. Save the agendas for real life and real issues.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This brings up a very important point:

      Many pig fuckers justify their attacks on other peoples' games _by saying_ it's about real life and real issues.

      Prime example:
      https://plus.google.com/u/0/109616066482995054868/posts/FAEZkJmVFTc

      This overlap is dangerous for obvious reason. Tactics like trolling or "attack then flee" which would be obviously silly if they were "only about elfgames" suddenly become justified if its about a social issue allegedly affected by elfgaming.

      Delete
  5. It's a matter of who can have a share, I think. In politics, the goal (ideally, anyway) is to produce an outcome that can benefit everyone, so that everyone can share in that outcome. This means balancing everyone's interests against the others to maximize results for everyone.

    In creative endeavors, the goal is to produce a work that is awesome, because everyone will potentially be able to share in every work anyway, so you need to get to the best possible work by any means necessary. This means ruthlessly weeding out the awful stuff so that the good stuff has room to flourish.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Are the pigfuckers afraid that the PDNDWPS is the gatekeeper to all RPG development? (Which would be infinitely cretinous considering how many times you've made it clear you're talking about DIY RPG stuff in your circles.) Is the issue that they are not allowed into your circles, and want in? It's like all the butthurt over "so-and-so moderated my comment".
    Anyway I missed all the fireworks over People Some RPG Players Do Not Like being in the credits to a game. I'm sorry people are such cretins. It looks like you're holding up ok, though.
    "The dogs bark but the caravan moves on," right?

    ReplyDelete
  7. Isn't calling someone a pig-fucker ad hominem? Arguing until the conflict goes away is the definition of ad argumentum. You are supporting these two things by indulging in them, as well explicitly agreeing w/Social Darwinism in game design. How is this person lying?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Did you read the post you're commenting on?

      "Saying "Mark Carroll lies and my evidence is he fucks pigs" is an ad hominem attack. I do not believe in that and do not stand behind that. His sexual activities with barnyard megafauna, if any, are unrelated to his honesty.

      Saying "I'm comfortable calling Mark Carroll a (metaphorical) pig fucker because he lied about me in public" is true. And not an ad hominem attack. It's just being really mean to someone because they are terrible and deserve it for slowing down the RPG conversation."

      As for the lie:
      "He turned me saying that you produce good game stuff by openly discussing problems into me saying I support ad hominem attacks. "

      Please never comment after skimming again.

      Delete
    2. He *also* said you support Social Darwinism and ad argumentum. Having only a small piece of his statement be wrong, on what I feel is a technicality (ad hominem is probably the wrong fallacy), is hardly deserving of such a vitriolic post.

      Delete
    3. Then you and I disagree_wildly_on what counts as "small".

      Insulting lies deserve complete vitirol. all the vitriol, total condemnation.

      Why? Because it's the _willingness to lie_ that poisons the conversation. Once someone does that any conversation including them or based on information traceable to them is fucked forever.

      It's like letting a guy who'll slam on the brakes randomly for no reason onto the freeway.

      If you don't care about the quality of the conversation: you don't, ok That's your prerogative.

      If you DO care about a liar's feelings: you do. That's your prerogative. I do not.

      Delete
    4. There is a difference between being wrong and lying.

      Delete
    5. Perhaps he made a mistake. If so, there is a procedure to follow:

      _Before publishing (in public) an insulting "fact", check it_

      Then, when your mistake is pointed out, apologize.

      Since, (go check the threads linked) it was made clear several times this was a (ahem) misinterpretation, Marc failed to follow either of these procedures.

      So….waaaaah waaaaah.

      Delete
    6. Example:
      http://www.therpgsite.com/showthread.php?t=30022

      Delete
    7. First, from what I can tell, Mark hadn't responded yet to pointing out that ad hominem may have been the wrong term when you posted the pig-fucker post. Isn't that breaking your own rule of insulting someone before getting the facts?
      Second, that someone has lied and thus all future conversations with them is invalidated IS an ad hominem attack.

      Delete
    8. "First, from what I can tell, Mark hadn't responded yet to pointing out that ad hominem may have been the wrong term when you posted the pig-fucker post. Isn't that breaking your own rule of insulting someone before getting the facts?"

      No, I got the fact already, and I got it correct. Even if he apologized, he's still done the terrible thing.

      Mark did one of 2 terrible things:

      -lied
      -didn't check facts before asserting an insulting thing

      So he did something wrong (he typed an incorrect and insulting fact--for whatever reason--on the internet. It is there now until he changes it.) and deserves punishment and a reappraisal of him as a human. Whether he took it back later is irrelevant at that moment.

      "
      Second, that someone has lied and thus all future conversations with them is invalidated IS an ad hominem attack.
      "

      Incorrect: mine was not a scientific statement, it's a practical one.

      I am saying:

      -given literally _thousands_ of RPG people to interact with on the internet, many of whom would _not_ do the evil thing Marc did.

      -the fact that time on earht is limited

      …someone who would lie or fail to check facts the way Marc sinks so far to the bottom of the barrel that it's inefficient to converse with him instead of someone else.

      It would cost too much fact-checking and/or rehabilitation.

      If you know, say 3 people and Marc is one of them, your math might be different.

      Delete
    9. Again, being wrong on terminology and lying are two different things, and you very distinctly claimed one over the other in the pig-fucker post. Unless you have a citation from Mark decivesly responding to the claim that ad hominem was the wrong term to use *before* you made the decision to call him a liar & a pig-fucker, then you yourself are showing a failure to fully check facts before making the claim of deceit.

      Delete
    10. For your response to my second point; I never claimed you were making a scientific statement, nor does the use of the term 'ad hominem' imply this. Please clarify, for I would hate to see you fail to properly check the facts before making a claim.

      Delete
    11. 1. I didn't make a claim of deceit (or necessarily deceit). There is also the possibility he was just dumb and negligent.

      Since _neither_ is acceptable and _you have offered no other possible explanation for his behavior_ you're wrong here.

      If you can think of another explanation for his statement ("He speaks a language where every word looks like english but the phrase "ad hominem" means "likes to eat berries") besides:
      stupid negligence or
      lying

      …then you might get near a point.

      2. "that someone has lied and thus all future conversations with them is invalidated IS an ad hominem attack."

      it's only an "ad hominem attack" if I'm making a scientific statmement (i.e. saying "this creature is therefore incapable, literally, of producing a conversation with any use")

      Instead I am making one about the practicality of those conversations since the creatures' demonsrtated the ability to lie and/or fail to check facts before making an insulting statement.

      Delete
    12. 1. Yes, you did make a claim of deceit. Saying someone is lying is literally the same as claiming deceit on their part. Please understand that saying you haven't is a sign of negligence to understand their synonymous meanings on your part
      I don't need to offer alternatives, because using ad hominem instead of argumentum verbosium (or whatever) is an accidental misunderstanding of terminology and remains a very viable alternative to your original claim of lying/deceit.
      2. Again, ad hominem attacks aren't scientific statements (let alone only). I am pointing out that you are using the wrong terminology, because otherwise you may find yourself commiting stupid negligence, an act you yourself have thoroughly explained as bad.

      Delete
    13. 1. Incorrect: I said they were LYING or STUPID (they said the wrong thing)
      If it was a mistake: they never apologized (deceit or otherwise evil).
      One or the other:
      Deceit or
      stupidity+negligence
      Pick one.
      Do you have another option that could explain Marc's behavior?
      You must answer this question or be banned from commenting.

      2. That didn't make sense.

      Delete
    14. 1. Not incorrect (your incorrect is incorrect?). I have been repeatedly & explicitly referring to the original post, and in that post you made NO mention of the possibility that it was merely a mistake of terminology. This isn't a matter of whether you treat deceitful people the same as those who are wrong about something (which I feel is morally repugnant), it's about you saying one thing without actually checking the facts first.

      2. I will simplify then. Ad hominem is not a scientific statement, and you are *wrong* to call it such.

      Delete
    15. 1. Wrong and lying are equally bad. If lying was _more_ insulting than simply wrong, you'd have a point. It isn't. Either way: he deserves total disgust and repudiation. The same punishment.

      If it is important to you that I distinguish between
      Evil because dishonest
      and
      Evil because stupid and negligent

      then I apologize.

      Either way: the action was justified. The punishment fit either crime.

      2. I didn't say it was. Please re-read.

      The only way my statement could be an ad hominem attack would be if I said "since Marc is a liar or stupid+irresponsible, future statements by him are inevitably (some specific thing)"

      Instead I said a logistically plausible idea:

      "since Marc is a liar or stupid, future statements by him are below my (personal) threshold of trustability and therefore usefulness"

      I apologize if my earlier statement made that unclear.

      Delete
    16. 2. "it's only an "ad hominem attack" if I'm making a scientific statmement" -that is the exact phrase I'm referring to. So, yes, you did say it was. But I accept your apology for using the wrong terminology.

      Delete
    17. Uh, if you say so.

      Anyway, point is Marc deserves what he got. And all he got, let's face it, is some words and links to his public actions.

      Let's not pretend his life or job are in danger now.

      Delete
  8. Wow I'm glad that Zak has already destroyed my irony meter because I think this post would have caused it to go nuclear. Zak you threw a fit about people criticizing your rules within the last week.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I criticized people for lying in the last week.

      And now that includes you.

      I never "throw a fit" about RPG rules--fits are emotional. I am fact-checking.

      So: you can apologize, explain yourself, or be banned.

      Delete
    2. Your repeated misadventures at the Gaming Den have basically flowed from you being upset at their critique of your rules.

      To be fair they also said mean things about you, but on the other hand you did say they should be stripped of their rights as humans.

      Delete
    3. Incorrect: my conversations at The Gaming Den flow from people on The Gaming Den lying or just being so dumb they make very obvious mistakes repeatedly and forget to fact-check.

      Now, yes, trolls should be stripped of rights as humans. They should not exist.

      If you would like to defend trolling (i.e. lying on the internet instead of engaging), you may attempt to do that now. But only by engaging.

      If you troll instead of engage, you will not be allowed to comment here.

      Delete
  9. So, some internet jerks twisted your words and lied... I thought you were cooler than resorting to typical internet jerk-revenge-mud-slinging (YES, I get you are using an over-blown lie to point out an over-blown lie *sigh*).

    Please, don't start trying to out-jerk the jerks. I've been enjoying your blog for years and you're just fucking better and smarter than that.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Do not be smarmy.
      "What is smarm, exactly? Smarm is a kind of performance—an assumption of the forms of seriousness, of virtue, of constructiveness, without the substance. Smarm is concerned with appropriateness and with tone. Smarm disapproves."
      http://gawker.com/on-smarm-1476594977

      This week I've been very seriously libelled by dozens of people at a legally-actionable level.
      http://www.therpgsite.com/showthread.php?t=30022

      Don't pretend even for a second I am stooping to their tactics (lying, avoiding debate, fabricating scurrilous evidence) Ravenconspiracy.

      I am being incredibly mean to people who have done wrong (for reasons explained in the post I gess oyu forgot to read above).

      You are being incredibly mean……for no reason at all.

      Delete
    2. I'm not concerned with appropriateness at all - I'm concerned about this awesome blog being sucked down into the internet troll-hole.

      Delete
    3. Do not insult my intelligence.

      1. I never troll

      2. If you do not wish to read a given post, skip it.

      3. As always, there will be awesome posts full of whatever thing you came here to read about in due time.

      Provided free by me.

      Yet again.

      To you.

      So don't act like it's some horrible imposition on you that I wrote about something besides what you wanted to read. Cry us all a fucking river.

      I have my own purposes here,and they are served by what I do. You, little crow, can come and pick whatever berries you like some other day--until then, do not lecture the guy who gives you all the free stuff.

      Got it?

      Delete
    4. I am sorry - it was pretty stupid to appeal to you about not playing with trolls while trolls are even now pressing on every front. Good luck.

      Delete
    5. Thanks, RC, you're alright

      Delete
  10. @Marisa Kirisame
    Your comment was removed because you lied or failed to check facts. "I don't know what zak thinks people are lying about"

    Either:
    -You do know, because I repeatedly say it in the stuff you posted.
    or
    -You didn't read the things you posted.

    So try again, this time with sincerity.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm genuinely perplexed, in the interest of arguing in good faith could you explain to me what you think the people on the Den are lying about. I know when you're arguing on the internet it's hard to see things from the other persons point of view, so I'd really appreciate it if you explained where you where coming from.

      Delete
    2. Search the links you posted, then find all the places I write about "lying" or "liars" in them.

      This will take quite some time, because there was a lot of lying.

      When you're done, you can ask about specific quotes if you're still confused.

      Delete
    3. (or "lie" or "liar", of course--or any other variation on that theme)

      Delete
    4. This comment has been removed by the author.

      Delete
    5. (drat no edit comment function)
      I was part of those threads I'm just leery of having to go through 50+ of them again (once was enough).

      Once again maybe you could give an example and we could start from there.

      Delete
    6. Just spent an hour or so looking at the most obviously Zak-related thread at TGD, because I'm sitting here with an injured foot and not feeling like doing actual work. (And even so, this relatively quick glance is about all I have the stomach for.)

      I mostly see a lot of talking past each other there. It appears from my perspective, as someone with a foot in both the old- and new-school world, that most of the people at TGD have so thoroughly internalized the worst excesses of the new-school philosophy that they honestly believe it is the only valid, or in extreme cases only possible, approach to game design. They don't seem to get that any other ways *exist*, much less understand what they're like, and will fight like cornered animals to remain ignorant on this point.

      Zak's behaviour there wasn't always exemplary, but at least he realized that this was the problem and tried to address it. Maybe not always with the ideal level of patience and empathy, but on the whole he showed these traits to a much greater extent than he was shown them in return. The TGD regulars mostly just seemed to bitch repetitively and somewhat hypocritically about how Zak clearly didn't understand the One True Way of game design, even though Zak at least somewhat tried to show that he did and articulate why he disagreed with it - points that were never addressed that I noticed save via mockery.

      I think the TGD folks mostly were sincere and just really, really, REALLY don't get old-school gaming. But I can see why that sort of thing starts to *look* like lying after you've tried to explain it repeatedly and what seem like otherwise-intelligent people just persist in not getting it.

      Delete
    7. The most egregious acts of bad faith on their part by far fall into the "Zak asks questions, they refuse to answer" category.

      That's as bad as lying in a debate.

      Delete
    8. That said, at least no-one there, that I noticed, resorted to dishonest smears about his political views.

      Delete
    9. …AAAND my behavior there has to be compared to everyone else in Old School gaming--who didn't go there at all and refuses to engage them and pretends they don't exist.

      Compared to that (99% of people) I'm a saint.

      Delete
    10. @Jeff--did you see the person call me racist? That happened at the end of the last one.

      Delete
    11. No, I didn't, but after the last few days I wouldn't doubt it.

      (By the way, didn't mean to be rude by talking like you weren't here, I just was primarily addressing Marisa.)

      Delete
    12. Jeff, it's not that we're don't understand the arguments that "old school" gamers make. We just find them extremely unconvincing, seeing them as a fig leaf to excuse bad design at best and a way to shut down critical discussion about game mechanics at worst.

      The reason that this blog post caused monocles to drop at the Den is that "argue until fixed is basically our mission statement, and from our perspective he's been spending months being mad at us for doing just that.

      Delete
    13. If they understand the OSR aesthetic, almost anything would have communicated that better than the mockery, dismissal and willful-looking misunderstandings with which I saw it greeted at every turn on my brief jaunt there this afternoon. Of course, I didn't read every potentially relevant thread, or even all 23 pages of the one I did look at (and have more important things to do than remedy this).

      I certainly didn't get the impression that Zak was interested in shutting down discussion in general, only certain non-productive manifestations of it. That's more than I can say for some of the Den regulars, who seem to freak out and take it personally when their presuppositions are challenged. But I suspect that could be argued in circles for hours without either side convincing the other. Suffice to say neither side behaved in a way that optimized the potential for critical, open-minded discussion.

      I will say that I don't see mechanics as Zak's biggest strength, but neither are they as bad as the Den regulars make them out to be. The problems I see discussed at the Den are almost purely theoretical; in my quite considerable experience, they almost never come up when running games for actual humans, and are easily handled by any GM with a spine when they do. I was very much of the Den mentality 10-15 years ago but now have a lot more appreciation for people like Zak, who focus on what actually matters at the gaming table under real-world conditions.

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    14. Looking back over my posts, I probably shouldn't talk like either "old-school" or "new-school" is a well-defined group united by a single, identifiable ethos. Both are large, diverse groups whose members, in the general case, bear at most a Wittgensteinian "family resemblance" to one another. (Much like the word "game" - Wittgenstein's own example - encompasses a very wide variety of activities, some of which bear little resemblance to others.) Anything I say above that seems to imply otherwise should be read as shorthand for something a little more nuanced. (In case that's not obvious, which it probably is.)

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    15. My behavior there was _always_ exemplary and the Gaming Den repeatedly did two inexcusable things:

      -Refused to answer questions

      -Lied

      ...those things make them invalid as people.

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    16. My behavior there was _always_ exemplary and the Gaming Den repeatedly did two inexcusable things:

      -Refused to answer questions

      -Lied

      ...those things make them invalid as people.

      Delete
  11. So, you hate liars. Once someone has told a lie, everything they say ever is suspect and not to be trusted. And generalizations, since they are lies, are, of course, also terrible.

    The most recent lies and generalizations of yours that I remember reading is some old stuff about grognards.txt, where you were talking to your G+ followers. First you say you think one particular user there maybe has mental health problems, then you call that person the "village idiot," which is shitty but not a lie. Then not long after it becomes "some of the people there really need actual therapy," a judgment you are obviously qualified to make (and which has expanded from one person to multiple).

    So then this person's behavior then leads you to smear grognards.txt as a whole, including your usual TAINTED FOREVER-style stuff, in this case "If ever anyone is like 'gtxt is fulla wisdom' well there we go, right there, forever" and the bullshit assertion that the "thesis" of grognards.txt is "anything that is in old games that isn't in new ones is only there because of nostalgia," which is an outright lie. You say the people in g.txt are so angry they can't be reasonably talked to, and assert they're so damn angry because "the people there all had really traumatic experiences with dickheads GMs and have decided no idea about old games being good is ever expressed in good faith," which is both another lie and a ridiculous assumption on your part.

    And then none of your followers demand citations or evidence of such claims, and you *don't* chew them out over it. Weird how that works!

    You are not always right, and you are not always logical, and you do the same shit you criticize other people for.

    -

    On another note, this post right here contains an example of using empathy and persuasion and warm fuzzy feelings to change hearts and minds. My question is: do you actually give a shit about people not thinking you're a sexist homophobe or whatever? Do you want people to stop insinuating or outright saying that kind of stuff about you? Do you want apologies, or retractions, or for offending articles/posts to be deleted so as not to scare off potential employers?

    If you do, why not follow the advice in this post that you admit is, in some situations, a good approach? Automatically assuming malicious intent and calling people who have the wrong idea about you trolls and pigfuckers, instead of trying to set them straight without being insulting, is an excellent way to get them to solidify and spread that opinion.

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    1. "the bullshit assertion that the "thesis" of grognards.txt is "anything that is in old games that isn't in new ones is only there because of nostalgia," which is an outright lie"

      Although it matched all the evidence I'd seen up until that point, I freely admit it may have been a hasty generalization and so do apologize.

      (And that apology: that's what makes me better than them)

      "
      Do you actually give a shit about people not thinking you're a sexist homophobe or whatever?"

      I want smart people to, I don't care what dumb people think.

      " Do you want people to stop insinuating or outright saying that kind of stuff about you?"

      It is good when dumb people do it, as it outs them as dumb. The community benefits from knowing they are dumb.

      That's why this whole thing has been so good--now we know more about who is dumb.

      " Do you want apologies, or retractions, or for offending articles/posts to be deleted"

      Only if they represent a person becoming smart. Not if they represent a person responding to charm.

      Again: the dumb do not concern me

      "
      so as not to scare off potential employers?
      "
      Uh, what?

      I paint and fuck for a living--none of these people care about this bullshit.

      So: this is why I continue to call a pigfucker a pigfucker. Those who defend the pigfuckers label themselves as the terrible, helpfully.

      And, of course, Idid not assume malicious intent--

      I assumed _malicious intent or gross stupidity_
      both of which make an interlocutor useless to us.

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