Brandon's personal style (was)

Brandon J. Van Every vanevery at
Tue Aug 19 11:03:56 CEST 2003

Cliff Wells wrote:
> To try to force those battles is about as reliable an indicator
> reliable indicator of Nigerian spam.  It should come as no surprise to
> you that people mistake your posts as trolling.  They may be
> incorrect, but it is certainly a reasonable assumption.

I hate to use an Eep-ism, but it's time for people to evolve.  "You sound
like a troll" is not that reasonable an assumption.  Outside of politics
newsgroups, I've almost never seen actual trolls.  I've seen plenty of
people insulting each other, totally unable to see the other person's point
of view.  I've seen countless instances of Troll Hunting all over Usenet
that had nothing to do with me.  In fact, it's clearly a popular newsgroup
sport!  People are intellectually lazy, they don't have an ironclad
criterion for what is or isn't a troll.  A troll is anything they don't
like.  They don't use imagination or exercise benefit of the doubt when
controversial posts appear.  They just enjoy naming things within a familiar
pigeonholeing system.  It comforts them.  They are so focused on controlling
group discourse, and not letting "the wrong kind of conversation" happen,
that they don't put much thought into what was said in the first place.

> Were you known to be a contributor, either with code or
> knowledge, your forays into time-wasting speculation would most likely
> be much better received.  As it is the only "contribution" you've made
> is a generous use of other people's time and bandwidth.

As I see it, my detractors are enginerds with no appreciation for or skill
at marketing.  Nor, probably, much awareness of Python marketing efforts.
That's how I figure you can (1) blithely ignore my analysis of Reality On
The Ground, (2) merrily claim I'm a do-nothing.  I've suggested you look at
the marketing-python archives several times, it's a comment I've peppered
here and there.  Have you?

> The fact that you get "kills" in every ng you spend time in probably
> says more about you than other people.

Actually, it says more about where I am in life.  There was a time when I
never killfiled anybody.  If I was rude, and we got into fights, we'd just
keep fighting.  Often we'd kiss and make up.  But sometimes, I'd get an
intractable, unforgiving, obsessive compulsive fixated asshole on my ass for
years.  It drove me out of* for a time, the
hierarchy I created.  I got fed up with being told that I was a troll,
seeing as how I'd been Newsgroup Proponent.  What the hell is that, the
ultimate trolling?  I've never trolled in my life.  Abrasive, argumentative,
violent, sure.  Trolling, never.

Anyways, a few years later I came back.  I've been summarily killfiling
people ever since.  It does wonders for my long-term interaction with people
and groups.  I don't have to deal with the people I can't work with.

> Personally I've never
> killfiled anyone (not even the ruebot[!]) and to my knowledge, I've
> yet to be
> killfiled (although at times I'm a bit surprised at that, today being
> one of those times).

It's really very simple.  Your behavior is not the same as other people's
behavior.  That's why we're still talking.

> Why then, are you surprised when people choose to fight with you?

Why do you say I'm surprised?  This is all very predictable to me.  Seen at
this moment in time, you are a static type within this system.  You just
happen to be a benevolent, workable type.  You are the "Well, are you going
to killfile *me* too?" type.  The kind of person who doesn't behave in a way
that I would killfile, and who doesn't quite understand how his behavior is
different from the people I do killfile.  But, who probably will understand
by the time I get done explaining it.

Have you seen Enter The Matrix?  The scene with The Architect is very
profound.  The Matrix demands Neo.  Someone else observed, this stuff is all
about young males.  That's no accident, it's a feature of our genetics.  Our
genetics demand certain confrontations at a certain age.  In our lives, we
obey certain Grand Strategies, even if we are sapient and exercising choice
over the details.

> Taking your statements together
> would seem to indicate that a fight is what you want.

That's sorta true.  This is really what I call a "posting binge," to avoid
other things I don't want to be doing.  I'm an intellectually violent
person, I like a good debating scrap.  But I've got Rules Of Engagement
about what I think is appropriate, intellectually defensible debate.
"You're a troll!" instead of hearing someone else's opinion ain't it.  Those
people, I want to punish.  It's irrational, because intellectually I know I
can't actually change them.  Rationally, I can killfile them.  Possibly, I
can stimulate cumulative change in the system, but I am uncertain of it.  In
10 years maybe I will have let it go.

For instance, I'm reasonably sure I can stimulate minor change in your own
static type.  You understand enough of the dimensions already that you're
capable of absorbing more of them.  But you'll have probably gotten there on
your own soon anyways, so am I really needed as a stimulus?

Actually, I suspect I'm not for your benefit, if I am for anyone's benefit.
I suspect it is for someone who is lurking.  Maybe someone who hasn't formed
much of a world view yet.  Mine, at any rate, is in my .sig.

Brandon Van Every               Seattle, WA

20% of the world is real.
80% is gobbledygook we make up inside our own heads.

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