Re: notifying particular thread to wake up.

 Owen Jacobson <>
Fri, 26 Oct 2007 18:48:37 -0700
On Oct 26, 6:07 pm, wrote:

On Oct 26, 8:19 pm, Owen Jacobson <> wrote:


You don't have to.

I'm glad you realize that.

I'm sorry, I should've been more complete. "You don't have to" submit
to a claim of authority to be controlled by others. Demonstrably, you
*are* being controlled by others; at the very least, I am 95% certain
you will reply to this post because I have intentionally created
conditions that, under your stated rules, will cause you to reply.
I'm hopeful, but not certain, you will deign to reply to the
worthwhile part rather than snipping it; on the other hand, I won't
really be surprised if you do, and it'll amuse me, so my goals are
achieved whether you mangl^Wselectively quote my post or not.

On to the real meat.

Come to it, isn't your whole system of rules for social interaction an
implicit acknowledgement that you, like everyone else[-1], are
controlled in part by others?

You've chosen a set of rules that's particularly easy to exploit such
that others can cause you to perform an action that appears to be
contrary to what you want to be doing. If I understand your
explanations properly, your rules go like this:

 "If someone attacks my reputation, I lose X amount of face. If I can
counter the attack, I can regain somewhere between no and -X face."

The implicit assumption is that your reputation -- which is nothing
more than other peoples' collective perception of you -- is valuable
enough that you feel you must defend it. You've stated that your
concern is that other people might deny you jobs or social
opportunities based on your reputation[0]. I'm aware that you believe
people do not control how they see people; I disagree, but let's leave
that out entirely. The *other* implicit assumption is that the best
you can possibly do from any given interaction where you've been
insulted is come out at zero total reputation change, which is a
rather pessimistic state of affairs since each "non-best" outcome
causes you some small loss that you can never recover. This being a
non-ideal universe, we can expect many, if not most, of the outcomes
not to be best.

I have an alternate set of rules that I'd like your input on. The use
of the first-person pronoun here is not intended to mean that they are
my rules, or that I believe one way or another about the value of my
own posts in other threads.

  If someone attacks my reputation, then the total change in my
reputation as a result of that insult can be quantified the same way
as above. We'll call that loss of face X.

  If I help someone, or post a piece of information that solves
someone's problem, the total change in my reputation can be similarly
quantified. We'll call that gain of face Y.

  Assume X and Y are essentially independant: someone slagging me in
one thread has no impact on how valuable my information is in another
thread[1]. Likewise, if I post helpful information, and then someone
slags me later, the effect of their invective is unrelated to how
helpful I was.

  I assert that if the sum of the positive changes from contributions
(Ys) is greater than the sum of negative changes from being insulted
or from being badmouthed behind my back (Xs), then my reputation
overall will have improved. This matches my own experience; if it
doesn't match yours, I'd appreciate an elaboration on what you'd
propse here instead.

  I also assert that the effect of my positive actions (Ys) is much
larger on average than the effect of other peoples' negative actions
(Xs). Once again, this assertion is borne of my own observations.

What I draw from these assumptions and assertions is that the effort
invested in countering each event where I lose face would be
disproportionate to the amount of face I gain by doing so, and my time
would be better spent being helpful and informative in other threads.

Given those assumptions and those assertions, do you think it is more
valuable to try to undo each negative X action from someone else, or
to add more positive Y actions? Why? And where do you feel my
assertions or assumptions deviate from your reality, if anywhere?

Once again, the first person pronoun here is more for ease of writing
than to imply that these are my rules. However, I think these rules,
if I were to operate by rules at all, would lead to both an overall
improvement in my reputation and to a more enjoyable experience for
everyone. People who wanted to insult me would find that I offer no
resistance, which would make me an unentertaining target, and people
who I helped come away feeling better about me overall.

And they are not "my" rules. They are "the" rules. The nature of the
universe; the laws of physics.

Physics does not govern social interactions. People are irrational
and complicated; you keep trying to apply rules (like the above "I
must post every time someone posts something negative about me" one
you claim to follow) that are both based on your rationality and
rather simple. It does not surprise me that you keep being drawn into
arguments as a result.

 Evasion is

not wise in this instance, because of your demonstrated attempts to
pry into matters that are none of your fucking beeswax and determine
my real name.

Really, what would I *do* with your real name? For that matter, I
believe I know it -- what do you think I *am* doing with it? I can
tell you, of course: I'm doing nothing at all. My knowing or not
knowing your name has no impact on you whatsoever.

Well, there is a fourth option. Counterattack. I could go on
the offensive. But I don't think you want to see me do that.

On the contrary. I'd love to see what you think you mean by
"counterattack", because you have yet to demonstrate you even know
what the verb means.

Enjoy your evening,

[-1] Yes, even me. Or Lew (sorry, Lew). Or, really, anyone you can
think of.
[0] I find this a little dubious at best, as is probably obvious from
the rest of my post.
[1] There's a better than even chance that someone who's never heard
of me is going to post a new thread, not participate in an existing
one; therefore, if they interpret my reply as helpful, there's a
better than even chance I get the "first mover" advantage your rules
also imply. I feel that balances out the cases where someone reads
insults against me before interacting with me directly.

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