I have other things to write about today, but I'm going to spend a little time first talking about last week.
I've held off writing this post because I did not want to rant. My first instinct was to do so; this is my typical reaction to stupidity in great amounts. I hoped with distance I could sound more sincere.
Last week, Zak the porn dude was booted permanently off rpg.net. Now, the internet being what it is, the ban has probably been rescinded. I don't care about rpg.net, but I was made curious by this really stupid post by Roger the GS. And after reading the echo chamber in that comments section (which happily rushed to explain to me why I'm a bad person by daring to disagree), I found myself reading this even stupider post by Noisms, in which he proudly makes the argument that no one ever argues except to show off how big their brain is. This was followed by another tremendous echo chamber of comments.
So finally I had to go look at Zak's inevitable post, which turned out to be an open letter to the owners of rpg.net ... which seriously upped the stupidity standard quite a bit, as well as the profundity of cognative dissonant blog echo chambers.
Well, after all that, I had to go find the rpg thread ... which none of these fuckers linked to, so I had to find it through Google. And found that rpg.net has seriously changed.
I really like the booting policy they've instituted. I respect it. Reminds me of my own.
Now, I don't know if the gentle reader wants to read through all this shit, but I'll tell you the best easter egg in the whole thing is where Noisms gets banned from the thread on page 35. Remember, this is the man who tells us argument is ego masturbation.
Noisms says he can't ever recall changing anyone's mind by arguing with them. The only thing I can say to that is that he must be really, really BAD at arguing. But then I've never seen Noisms change his mind, ever. The same can be said for Zak, for that matter. Roger the GS is somewhat better. I have seen him change his mind. Which makes this follow up post by him even more baffling.
I don't see that its worth my time to explain why these fellows are wrong. I think that's obvious to anyone with a modicrum of scholarship or responsibility in the real world. I make arguments that prove to change minds all the time - it is how companies make up their minds about things, by presenting arguments and then choosing the best course of action. This is also how the justice system works, as well as the political system (in a country like Canada, at least, where the government still passes meaningful legislation), how scientific journals work and just about all scholarship (I'm not too sure about business school, but I'll give them the benefit of the doubt).
The thing about all these arguments is that they rely on the presentation of facts, then upon the presupposition that the individual presenting the facts will attempt to argue how they are relevant. These are not 'internet arguments.' That is, they're not arguments advanced about the wastefulness of arguing by people who are arguing on some other thread - at the same time, as happens in the case of one recent tit who was commenting about NOT arguing on Noisms thread while simultaneously arguing like a complete hysterical prat on MY blog. Check the timestamps. That is really impressive.
I think it really does come down to these people who do not change their minds. Naturally they presume no one else does, because they're so calcified in their own crystalized bullshit. I'm sure Noisms runs the same campaign today he ran twenty years ago, still thinks it's as brilliant today as it was then, and will still be running the same campaign twenty years from now. I'm presenting this as an argument. I'm pointing at Noisms blog as evidence. I'm citing the evidence to back up my own personal experience with him, that ended in banning him from this blog because he was utterly immovable.
Everyone knows I love to argue. And everyone knows that I cheerfully evicerate people, coldly, disconsiderately, often abusively ... and people love to ride horse on that as proof positive that I'm no better than anyone else on the net, and in fact that I am a LOT worse. I'm described as a solipsist, an egoist, a narcissist, as someone deluded by his own myopia and so on. Well, the gentle reader that's here is ready to make up his or her own mind. I'm pretty sure I don't run an echo chamber around here. There are people who like me. These people put up with a lot of shit and don't hesitate to criticize me for posts like this one. They'd rather I got back to the hex generation (and I will). The reason I write these posts, and the reason I do my best to humiliate people in the comments section, is to get them the fuck off this blog. I don't want morons like Noisms here. He pollutes enough of the net with his crap as it is.
Nor do I need Zak “I have porn stars and viewers and therefore I’m always right” around. I don’t know about Zak. He seems to really believe that the opinions of people in the porn industry have pedigree in the world outside the porn industry … he also seems to believe that somehow his success couldn’t be duplicated by anyone else ready to have weekly porn stars on camera playing D&D. They might even do better, if the porn stars could be convinced to wash once in awhile and not slur every line they speak.
Sorry, I’ve been waiting to say that a long time. It’s catty, I know, but if you read the rpg.net thread, you’ll find Zak pounding his chest about all the people he knows who believe this or that, and if you follow the comments thread on Roger the GS’s first post, you’ll find Zak doing it directly to me, clearly disproving that his vouched for opinions of other people couldn’t be made up because, well, porn stars.
Zak opened the door on that one. He gets to cite his connections as a source, I get to kick the shit out of his source. We call that ‘argument.’
One thing that I'm proud of is my willingness to change my mind. In particular, my willingness to improve upon something I invented, understanding that whatever it is, I can make it better if I have more time. All this recent hex generation thing actually disregards ideas and propositions I made on the subject last year, because even if no one else understood that they weren't going to work, I did. This recent stuff? No, this is not the best I can do. In many ways it is inadequate. It is clumsy. It isn't quite right. It needs more effort, more time, more research, a better layout, etc.
See, I know that people THINK I'm full of myself, but in reality I'm the first person to tell you that anything I've done, and everything I've designed, is inadequate. That's how I have felt since the beginning of my life. It's just not good enough. But that's fine. I know it's going to be better, because I'm going to change. I'm going to toss out things I believe today for better things that I will believe tomorrow. All anyone has to do is advance an argument and support that argument, and I'm on board, ready to change my mind.
That's what makes me different from these other failures. And don't question it ... that's what makes YOU different too. You're ready to read this, to doubt it, to question it, to not take it on face value and to NOT echo it back to me like we all have to be on the same fucking page to be friends. For the love of knowledge, don't go that way. That way is stagnation and death and six kinds of internal pathetic masturbation.
Let's all gently applaud rpg.net for finally realizing that the only way to have a discussion is to throw on people after the first ten words of bullshit. It's the only way this whole nonsense is going to be cleaned up ... when people like Zak and Noisms only have a voice with people too stupid to have their own.