Tuesday, January 28, 2014


I hate this term. If we could invent a tag for the recognition of stupid people, we couldn't do better than this.

First off, it's a troll term. Trolls use it. On the surface it is supposed to mean, "We have different experiences, so we're likely to have different opinions." Under the surface, however, it says, "Fuck your experience. I have MINE."

Secondly, it's a shyster's term. It was invented in the 1970s, during the oil crisis, when drivers suddenly got really interested in cars that could get a lot of mileage to the gallon, so much so that it became a deal breaker on buying a car. Because manufacturers wanted to still sell the cars they'd already built and designed, they wanted to make claims about mileage that were basically untrue ... but so they wouldn't get sued, they slapped 'your mileage may vary' after the ad's claim. Some lawyer dreamed up the argument that not every car that came off the line was guaranteed to be exactly like every other car, so sorry, poor you, you got the random dodge that still did 8 miles to the gallon, instead of the 16 mpg we advertised. Tough shit.

So, basically, it evolved as a term that meant, "We may actually be bullshitting you, but we'd like to pretend that what we're saying is true." That's just perfect for the typical troll out for a day on the net, who is more than ready to bullshit and back that shit up with a lawyer's trick. Well done you, fuckwit.

There is something really profound in cognitive dissonance that I think explains a lot of human history. Historians - in case you haven't met many - are absolutely Monday morning quarterbacks. They love to tell you how Hitler would have won the campaign in Russia or all the mistakes that Napoleon made, or why the Catholic Church really didn't slap Galileo around the Vatican and make him like it (he and the Pope were friends, don't you know?). Feminist Historians in particular are spectacular in this regard - none of the bad women in history ever did anything bad - it was all press and misunderstandings.  All of the moderately talented women in history were talented beyond all reason, it was just a sexist thing that kept them down. If there hadn't been any sexism in the world, George Sand wouldn't have been named George and her books would be hailed as the greatest literature humankind has yet to produce.

This need to rewrite the past or pretend things could have been different shows a complete failure in justifying poor human behaviour. The quarterback didn't make the brilliant pass because the quarterback was sad or distracted or unfairly challenged - not because he blew it. The tendency is to think the quarterback saw the opportunity to pass and was unable to throw it that way. As though every action we take, all day long, is a decision we are unable to make - due to our inability, not our choice.

Take these the same trolls who say, 'IMO' or 'IMHO' ... "Yes, jackwit, we know it's your opinion." In pulling another shyster trick, dodging the consequence for speaking their minds, they've dropped the IMO bomb to say, "I know I've completely ignored everything you've said, but we're all egalitarian here, so don't judge me." There's that dissonance again. "I want to say what I believe, but I don't want to be judged for it."

Tough shit. You are judged for it. I'll be honest here and say that I'm judging you. I think you're a fucking idiot. I think you lack the faith you ought to have in your convictions. I think you're weak. I think you're incapable of producing a meaningful argument. I think you're living in a bubble of self-love that deludes you. I don't think you matter.

Let me let you into a little secret. No one else does, either. And that hurts, doesn't it? It hurts to know that people think all the things I'm thinking, they just won't say it out loud. They don't take you seriously, either. And because they don't take you seriously, they won't hire you. Or give you a promotion. Or care if you can pay your rent. They won't care if they hurt you. They won't care, because you don't matter.

That's mean. But shit, brother, I got all kinds of people who are going way out of their way to hurt me. They're trying really, really hard. They're spending far more energy on trying to hurt me than they're spending on making their blogs worth reading or improving their lives.

If you want this game to be respected, the game has to be serious. If the game is ever going to be good, it has to be serious. Does the game need to be serious? Well, no. Of course not. But that doesn't matter. No game needs to be serious. They evolve that way because the people playing those games WANT the games to be serious. Over time, those wanting it to be serious, who are themselves serious, play the game longer, harder and more meaningfully that those who consider it a joke or a lark. Eventually, the people who take it seriously become the center of the community, and those who think it a lark are pushed more and more to the outside of the circle. Because those people, the frivolous people, DON'T MATTER. They have no effect on anything. They're there, but they're just bodies sucking air. Evolution simply erases them from the equation. Time passes, and those people get bored with all the seriousness, and they go away.

Whereas the serious people keep playing. And playing. And playing.

There is no variance in the mileage here. We're driving, and we're getting plenty of distance for the fuel we're using. Whereas the trolls, tourists and losers are in the passenger seat, whining about when we're going to get there. Like children. Who don't know what the hell is going on, because they're children.

Just shut the fuck up. We'll get there when we get there.