Log in

No account? Create an account
Eric 1stDiv, Triumphant

Mythological Creatures

Posted on 2010.01.27 at 07:00
Current Location: 75409
Current Music: Nightwish - Discography
Tags: ,

align boxre·tweet. v. The command Tweety-bird gives when pulling back his forces from the front lines against Sylvester. "Retweet! Retweet!"

I read two online articles which were retweeted on Twitter recently: World's Saddest Internet Argument Techniques & The 8 Most Obnoxious Internet Commenters.

I was instantly flush with anger from my own repetitive experiences with this, but my fury was misplaced - and not even because part of what vexes me is that my bane can't be pigeonholed into any single instance in those lists - he adeptly incorporates them *all* by effortlessly slithering betwixt them in a highly evolved, very subtle dance of complete and unutterable ignorance, masquerading as knowledge when he states his ridiculous opinions as fact. And while I try very hard to not fall into this trap, I was always able to justify it to myself as guidance. But even that became a frustration trigger for me. No, those articles made me realize that I was angry at me.
"An ounce of bargaining, a pinch of trickery, a soupçon of intimidation, and voilà! The perfect recipe for a towering reputation without ever having to spill one drop of blood."

I have lived my entire life with the belief that logic and knowledge will ultimately rid the world of unimaginably blinding stupidity. With the patience of understanding and correction, one man could eventually change the environment around him.

I realize now that is both foolish and naive, for not only am I far outnumbered, the weak of mind are strong in their resolve. This isn't some Hollywood underdog story, nor is it reminiscent of the Battle of Thermopylaethe - greater strength AND greater numbers working in unison will always win. Most people I come up against are proud of their ignorance. They flaunt it! With that attitude, one simply cannot ever win. They win by losing and declare victory. They toil in a prison of their own creation and claim they are free over the din of the shackles which bind them.

Ignorance is not bliss. Its not even a gilded cage. Rose-colored glasses are a temporary solution which will blind you from overuse.

Those with meek constitutions and/or the pure of heart should not read any further, for I am going to provide just a few examples of *actual* dialog that I have (embarrassingly) responded to, ignoring the overwhelming WTF-factor in an attempt to bring balance to the force. This is NOT sugar-coated nor fabricated. Thankfully I have links for some of the more outrageous ones - were I to have been only able to provide proof for the *less crazy* ones, I might've been accused of making these up. Not my finest moments. Italics me:

Why did I do it? What compelled me? That might be best answered here: I'd like to ignore your ravings, and I would were it not for the same thing which always reels me in like a fish caught on a hook: If I don't expose your strawman, those who don't know any better might think you know what you're talking about. And I feel a responsibility to my readers to not let that happen.

You see, its not so much that I don't comprehend that a strawman has been erected as a hastily constructed blockade - I do. I simply thought that by careful explanation as to *why* I recognized it for what it was, it would lose its power and simply...disappear.

But as with many mythological creatures, it feeds upon the very belief of its existence, and I was an unwilling participant in animating its lifeless husk with sustainable life. I am no longer fooled - the strawman is a real, energy-draining entity which has at its disposal untold legions of fanatically loyal foot-soldiers, and my actions were part of the problem.

Starting today, I wield an altogether different weapon - the torch of silence - which will guarantee instant and unequivocal consumption in a flash of smoke and ash if that strawman even attempts to approach me. The only worrisome thing now? 6 New Personality Disorders Caused by the Internet - and I've seen strong evidence of five of the six.

Mythological creatures do exist. I wonder what else I've been wrong about?



Melancthe the Woe, So-Called
melancthe at 2010-01-27 14:34 (UTC) (Link)
Oh man, linking to cracked.com is truly evil. You just know that hours of commenters' time is going to go down the toilet.

At least it's not as bad as tvtropes.
ehowton at 2010-01-27 17:57 (UTC) (Link)
OMG - "Serious Business" Yeah, good stuff, thanks!
Lelf Treperra
ubet_cha at 2010-01-27 16:28 (UTC) (Link)

My sympathies

A person can be bright, an individual can be brilliant. People on the other hand are idiots.
ehowton at 2010-01-27 18:04 (UTC) (Link)

Re: My sympathies

I attended a very liberal magnet school taught by unwashed tree-hugging hippies and believed every word they spoke. It permeated me and molded me as is supposed to happen in a teacher/student environment.

Imagine then my surprise, when I joined the military and explored the world for the first time on my own to discovered than the real world versus what I had been taught were two, diametrically opposite things. I'm still kinda bitter about that and likely still haven't washed away completely my errant upbringing.

The only reason I mention this now, is thats one of the things which was drilled into my head - that a person isn't stupid, but [people] are. Can you imagine my shock and surprise when I discovered there are stupid people walking this earth? The very foundations of my belief were shaken to their core.

The best I can do now is keep moving forward.
Tomas Gallucci
schpydurx at 2010-01-27 17:04 (UTC) (Link)
You remind me of those people who live in their own filth, won't lift a finger to help themselves and then claim that everyone else ought to be guilty of not having helped enough. It's pathetic. Still, you've got to fight those windmills. Ride, Howton! Ride!
ehowton at 2010-05-21 21:30 (UTC) (Link)
CeltManX, Devlin O' Coileáin
celtmanx at 2010-01-27 18:55 (UTC) (Link)
I don't like a lot of Green Day's works but I love this line from Paranoia and I find it to be a true and valid statement and I think you will too.

"Been around the world and found that only stupid people are breeding"
ehowton at 2010-01-28 00:39 (UTC) (Link)
You know what I especially like about my own children? They're polite, and well behaved. They're learning that much success in life will come from those two things alone.
kat_rowe at 2010-01-28 00:33 (UTC) (Link)
I get hours of 'entertainment' reading the comments to news stories online. it's confusing but strangely enjoyable...
ehowton at 2010-01-28 01:01 (UTC) (Link)
All three of those article I linked to left out the worst of the lot - those who are just fucking stupid AND don't care. I hates them I do.
dentin at 2010-01-28 18:46 (UTC) (Link)
Regarding strawman destruction, the best rule of thumb is that of the pickup artist:

"For every word she says, return half as many."

I've found that strawmen such as your examples are best handled with responses such as "snicker", "heh", "rofl", and "heh, you're funny", with no further explanation. Silence also works, but only if you feel the strawman doesn't require deconstruction.

Remember, short short short. Don't try to deconstruct the strawman, just laugh at it publicly and walk away.
ehowton at 2010-01-28 21:57 (UTC) (Link)
I wish I could take more cues from you. Some of the things you talk about I'm either only peripherally aware of, or entirely unfamiliar with, but fascinated nonetheless.
dentin at 2010-01-28 19:02 (UTC) (Link)
Regarding changing the world: perhaps you're looking at it the wrong way.


I have and will change the world; but you're not likely to see much of it. I am subversion, the underlying machinery that lies trivially in the open yet changes everything. I am information, the unimportant things that insinuate themselves into people's thought processes everywhere they go, and everywhere they see me.

I am slow and patient. I take centuries if necessary; I slither silently like a snake in the grass, always working in the background to change the world. When it suits my aims, I rise up and become public. When it better suits my aims, I hide my goals and employ misdirection.

I can make tradeoffs unacceptable to others, but rarely have to. I can make and implement decisions that no democratic committee could stomach. I can use my resources in the most efficient way possible to further my aims. My resources include other people.

I am not evil, and I am not good. I am simply amoral; it just so happens that it is strongly in my best interest to improve the world for everyone. So that is what I do.


Changing the world via public means is possible, but you basically have to be incredibly lucky to pull it off. Changing the world via subversion is a much more reliable mechanism, and there's an entire ecosystem down there with many niches available for one to roost in.

It's kinda like the difference between being a rock star, versus a rock star roadie. Both get laid a lot, but being a roadie is a lot more likely for your average guy.
ehowton at 2010-01-28 21:55 (UTC) (Link)
Chaotic neutral.
dentin at 2010-01-28 19:29 (UTC) (Link)
Holy crap do I love the ninja class, now that I see explicitly how it works. I have got to try that out on some of the boards on AA.
ehowton at 2010-01-28 21:54 (UTC) (Link)
You're a fag.
ehowton at 2010-01-29 01:30 (UTC) (Link)
Sometimes you lose your way. Its always nice when you re-find the path ;)
photogoot at 2010-01-29 04:51 (UTC) (Link)

You Had Me At Hello...

I love you! I love you for the man you want to be. And I love you for the man you almost are.
ehowton at 2010-01-29 07:27 (UTC) (Link)

Re: You Had Me At Hello...

I'd fuck me. I'd fuck me hard.
photogoot at 2010-02-01 01:10 (UTC) (Link)
"It reminds me of the heady days of Sputnik and Yuri Gagarin when the world trembled at the sound of our rockets. Now they will tremble again - at the sound of our silence. The order is: engage the silent drive."
ehowton at 2010-02-01 18:23 (UTC) (Link)
You're such a funny guy - always at the ready with the right comment at the right time - and meaningful too, in ways only those who have spent untold hours at each other's throats out of sheer boredom and the stresses of living under the oppressive thumb of the Uniform Code of Military Justice can.

This. This is why I love you.
livejournal at 2013-01-23 18:33 (UTC) (Link)

On Windows 7

User schpydurx referenced to your post from On Windows 7 saying: [...] it other than install software and download updates. I'm not yet willing to say that it's amazing [...]
Previous Entry  Next Entry