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Topic: So what did we learn from all this?  (Read 7647 times)


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So what did we learn from all this?
Lemon's asked this some 150+ times, and at some point I started realizing that it's actually a legitimate question. Staring into the abyss of the internet like this, seeing the best and worst it has to offer, I think we've all come out learning something after going through the fires of certain topics. So, let's share some of the things we've learned after certain episodes, or over the course of several similar topics.

Myself, I've learned something very simple over many of the more 'creative' episodes about fiction and sites like TVTropes: I'm not that bad. I enjoy writing, and I'm actually trying to write a novel right now, and when you're doing something like that it's inevitable that you'll start doubting yourself. I have some issues that I'm aware of and struggle with constantly, and sometimes I find I'm very critical about the whole picture; whether what I'm writing will turn out any good whatsoever, if I can overcome my issues with character voice, if what I'm writing actually works as a story and character arc, and if, at the end of the day, I've produced a book that is in some way worth the time I put into writing it. It can be really hard to grapple with those sorts of things sometimes.

But then, I hear the writing of people who clearly have no idea how to write dialog. I hear people describing their stories not in terms of what's actually happening, but by stringing as many '-punk' setting adjectives and trope names together as possible. I hear self-professed writers that fail to understand flow, the writing process, or sometimes even sentence structure. I get faced with all of this, and I can't think of anything else but 'this is my competition'. I don't think I'm a great writer, and sometimes I lose heart when I churn out something I'm not proud of on reading it. But then I can think of My Alpha My Mate, I can think of that Lokiwife that thinks she can write, I can think of literally anyone on TVTropes, and I'm filled with newfound confidence. Because at least I'm better than that.


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So what did we learn from all this? #1
I don't usually say anything during these because I am a slow learner and by the time the episode ends, I'm still processing all of this shit. (Also I am terrible at speaking off the cuff.)

But I do have something to say about The Rip-Off Report episode:

Consumer advice is important for a reason - it's not wise to go into anything completely blind. Do your homework and determine what is the best option for you, whether it's getting a home mortgage or a car or finding out whether your local McDonalds makes burgers out of rat carcasses and expired mayonnaise.

But it also matters where you get your advice. For instance, don't get your advice from some asshole who willingly gives money to a psychic service. Especially one who tells that asshole that all of their money has evil Thetans in it and in order to save the money that asshole needs to sign up for three credit cards. Don't get your advice from entitled idiots who whine about the burger not looking like the one on the menu.

And especially don't get your advice from people in comment sections. And that's what Ripoffreport.com is - it's a big pile of unmoderated comment sections about complaints in businesses. Advice from non-experts is a crapshoot, and advice from the guys who post 'first post bitches' and 'is goku more gay than master chief' is like sticking your hand into a rain gutter next to a busy highway. Your hand will get stuck (if it doesn't get bitten by feral cats or something worse) and people will treat you as a roadside attraction.
« Last Edit: November 07, 2014, 09:56:31 am by Type 2 STOGabetes »


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So what did we learn from all this? #2
What I've learned? Oh so many things.

-Furries and Juggalos will never stop finding new ways to be stupid and funny.

-Crazy people believing in shit like reptilians and gangstalking are so numerous online they're not even worth talking about unless there's something unique that sets them apart.

-People really, really, REALLY want to believe in magic.

-Look at the extremists debating on any issue, and on the both sides of the argument you will find equal amounts of crazy.

-It is not wise to try to type and masturbate at the same time, yet people obviously keep doing just that.
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So what did we learn from all this? #3
One of the things I've learned is that no matter how weird your interests are, that doesn't excuse you from having absolutely no sense of personal boundaries. Lemon spelled it out really well at the end of the Butt Ghost episode, talking about how the guy who's really into BDSM, but has a life outside of that, is way better adjusted than the dude who walks around in a collar all the time. The relative anonymity the internet provides can make people think not only that the whole world can know about their dragon dildo collection, but that they should.

This notion, combined with the inevitable "who's the most hardcore" competition that happens online, seems to be part of what causes people to spiral out of control until their whole personal identity revolves around this one specific interest. I have a rather strong set of opinions about how this relates to nerd culture (NUZZLING!), but it's the most obvious - and horrifying - in the fetish episodes.

You see this occasionally in the actual BDSM scene, where somebody shows up to a meetup at a public restaurant in a collar and a corset. Guess what? Those people get a reputation really fucking quickly for not respecting the boundaries and rules of the "vanilla" (normal) world. If the first couple of attempts at re-educating them don't work, people make it clear that they're not welcome in that group. The most obvious example of this is that disgusting Baby BunnyBwead reading. There are BDSM dungeons all across the country where you can dress up like a baby girl or whatever and nobody bats a fucking eye - because there's a time and a place for that shit, and going to a public shopping mall in a sissygirl outfit and then pissing yourself in the parking lot is not fucking it.

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So what did we learn from all this? #4
Mostly that a ton of people don't put on their 'should I say this out loud?' self-censorship filter when they're typing things on the internet. It doesn't matter if it's angry rants, creepy fanfiction or crappy poetry, people will use the internet as the receptacle for any thought they possibly have.

Also, I personally learned that while basically nothing on the net ever fazes me, I still get super bothered if any bad shit comes across my way in real life, and I like it this way.


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So what did we learn from all this? #5
I feel like I've learned a lot about broken minds, like the difference between someone who's batshit (Patrick82, Dozerfleet) and someone who's really bored (Spectrum-X).  A real crazy person is going to be making connections and assigning meanings to things that they think everyone will pick up on.  Of course you can fertilize chicken eggs you buy in a store, so why won't they hatch?  Anyone could see that sending weekly newsletters about my dogs is the highest expression of love.  It makes sense to them, even if it's disconnected from reality, and if you read enough of it, you end up getting a view into an alternate world where the rules are different.  The people who try to be different don't have that weird inside world.

It kind of applies to fetishists too.  Like, they've got the version of the world in their head where Dragonball Z pissbattles between schoolboys makes total sense, or where people just talk about their glasses prescription when they meet, or where a girl falls into mud and suddenly she gets horny.  It makes no sense in the real world, but it fits into their interior fantasy world and all the stuff they make about it reflects the weird rules of their world.  The non-broken equivalent to that stuff is like, asexual Sherlock fiction or Kindleporn--which can be baffling and gross in its own way, but it doesn't have the same logical leap that removes it from reality.  And when the non-broken stuff does depart from reality, it's more of a validation thing, like "I want a story where Sherlock goes to an ace bar and he learns about the asexual community and really likes us and thinks we're smart and then he calls my dad" and so on.  The rest of it is just dumb ideas that people thought up while horny.  (Side note: Adam's "that's something a penis comes up with" is super apt for so much of F Plus.)

Or in fanfic terms, it's the difference between poorly-written Resident Evil fanfiction and BabyMimi's unctuous waterfalls.  Both dumb, but one's dumb and also mental.

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So what did we learn from all this? #6
I've learned that there is a double-edged sword to the Internet's use as a historic archive for pop culture.

On one hand, somebody can learn far more easily - almost firsthand - about the media and culture of previous years and generations.  On the other hand, this makes it so much easier for people to inundate themselves with pop culture to the point where it becomes their entire identity, and they turn into somebody from the NaNoWriMo episode who just regurgitates the media they've previously consumed into meaningless vomit that they think everyone will immediately enjoy because it looks like another thing they enjoyed if you squint.


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So what did we learn from all this? #7
I've learned how to remove the glass ball I shoved up my ass!
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« Last Edit: November 07, 2014, 05:43:37 pm by Runic »

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So what did we learn from all this? #8
I learned that there are A LOT of schizophrenics on the internet.


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So what did we learn from all this? #9
I feel like I've learned a lot about broken minds, like the difference between someone who's batshit (Patrick82, Dozerfleet) and someone who's really bored (Spectrum-X).  A real crazy person is going to be making connections and assigning meanings to things that they think everyone will pick up on.EYE OF ZA, November 07, 2014, 12:42:44 pm

A variation of this sentiment is pretty much the biggest thing I've learned from five years of doing this. I've learned the difference between actual, legit crazy and people faking their crazy or thinking wearing two different color socks for THE WHOLE DAY is enough to be classified as crazy in a fun, entertaining way. You can't fake crazy. And, honestly, you can't fake too much else either. Phoniness shows through so easily—people tend to pick up on it. Case in point, TroperTales.

I think that the "that kid... is inhuman!" story is fake, and so do you. However, I think the "I'm the manager of a GameStop" story is totally real. Why? Because it's completely mundane. People actually manage GameStops and I'm sure a few even manage to power-trip over it. Nobody, however, talks like the dialogue in the manga the first person obviously reads, but the troper lacks enough real-world perspective to think that it will sound genuine to everybody's ears.

The passion some people have for their fetish shows through. Again, phony vs. genuine. I believe that the British foot fetish guy has a foot fetish. I do not, however, believe his wife was unable to notice that she had a flat tire (tyre) immediately after leaving the driveway and then the two of them drove off in the flat-tire car because it was hot. That's an extension of his fantasies, because the setup is too perfect for all of his fetishes. It reads like a very specific porno script meant to hit all his boner-buttons.

In summary, I think a lot of Internet communities are based on an emperor's-clothes shared delusion that they choose to participate in. As Navigator mentioned, there's also usually an unspoken who's-the-most-into-this-thing competitive subtext that just encourages constant escalation of rhetoric. "Oh, you were joking about worshipping a My Little Pony? Well I fucking wasn't."


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So what did we learn from all this? #10
I learned that I'm not as crazy as I thought I was.  Sometimes I think, "man, I'm pretty crazy since I have to take brain meds," but then I go, "well, at least I'm not wearing a pyramid hat."
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So what did we learn from all this? #11
As someone's who has not only read and mined content, but has talked to people about said content, I've got to say I've learned something very important.

Personal growth absolutely must come from within. Your friends and family can provide a good support network, your hobbies might help develop your mind, and your entertainment might help you through the rough times. But in the end when it's all laid bare, you have to want it. Nobody can make you want it. And if you don't truly want to change, you'll do everything on God's green earth just to avoid even considering it.

Drakee Drake Dragonbreath swears she's a mythical dragon princess with magic powers? She's not going to listen to anyone who explains how dragons make very little evolutionary sense or how "magic" is literally something that defies the realities of nature. In her mind, all those science-y words are just TV static that can easily be turned off with phrases like "OTHER DIMENSIONS!" and "ALL THINGS ARE POSSIBLE!"

Big Bob Bloatee refuses to get a job because he figures he could just play video games as a career since that there Japanese feller's been doin' it for years? He's not going to consider your explanation of how jobs like that are exceedingly rare and they're only really specialized novelty acts, usually put on by skilled entertainers who actually put in way more hours behind the scenes than one would think. To him, you're just a naysayer, and kid cartoons taught him that naysayers are doomed to become humorous footnotes when the Super Special World-Famous Awesome People write their best-selling autobiographies.

Kinkster von Spankenstein III will never shut the fuck up about all the different fanfics he's written about women being turned into fruit and eaten by Phil Donahue in a Luffy costume? He's sure as hell not interested in anyone else's personal space or feelings of discomfort. In his universe, he's taking a bold stance by relating everything to his boner, and it's on you to find creative workarounds to avoid hearing about it. Not that you should, of course, because that'd be mean to him and his community.

Yes, you could explain to them what's wrong with their behavior. You could go on for hours about how society works, how natural laws work, how medicine works, how emotions work, how the economy works, how education works... but it's not going to mean jack shit unless that person's willing to listen. Sometimes they do. Sometimes a person considers the opposing point of view, learns a few things about themself and about the world, and they work on their faults and become better people for it. But sometimes... a lot of the fucking time, actually... they not only won't listen, but they'll be fucking infuriated at anyone who disagrees with them. They'll yell about how mean you are. They'll accuse you of trying to do something bad to them. They'll say you're sticking your head in the sand. They'll wail about how they're being totally harmless, or how they're trying so hard when they've never even tried at all, or how it's too hard and thus not worth trying anyway. Obviously miserable people will claim they're fine where they are,  and obviously lonely people will say they don't actually need anyone else anyway. They'll repeat the same mistakes over and over because that's what they're used to, and the concept of changing is infinitely more terrifying than the inevitable failures that come from making poor choices. They'll plead for someone to tell them how to fix things, but won't actually consider any difficult solutions presented to them. They'll swear they always made all the right moves and that anything bad that happens is the direct result of everyone else being an idiot. It's your fault they're not where they want to be. It's their crush's fault that they're not dating anybody. It's their parents' fault for not sending them to Well-Known Manga Artist School. It's their friends' fault for not acknowledging the existence of werewolves. It's the government's fault for not making it illegal to personally offend them. It's society's fault that they come off as creepy. It's the world's fault for not tailoring itself for them and only them the moment they were born. "You can't tell me what to do because I'm perfect just the way I am."

I have gone through a lot of stupid posts on the internet. A fucking ton of them. This story repeats itself over and over and it'll repeat itself until the end of time. If you see someone drowning, you can throw them a life preserver. Just don't be too surprised if they instead use their dying breath to tell you how it's your fault the lake's even there in the first place.
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« Last Edit: November 08, 2014, 07:51:31 pm by portaxx »

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So what did we learn from all this? #12
Yeah, pretty much what the monster with the dot eyes and bitey mouth said.

It reminds me a lot of Mike Tyson on the poe forums as a specific concrete example.

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So what did we learn from all this? #13
I learned that I'm not as crazy as I thought I was.  Sometimes I think, "man, I'm pretty crazy since I have to take brain meds," but then I go, "well, at least I'm not wearing a pyramid hat."
Smoking Crow, November 07, 2014, 05:49:28 pm

as someone who grew up with new-age ideas being a common thing I can confirm that there's a depressing number of people with those pyramid hats who have no mental issues whatsoever but just REALLY deeply believe in those pyramid hats because not believing in them is unthinkable.

("those pyramid hats" is more of a metaphor for whatever they practiced/shilled as amazing ways to make your life better and become one with the universal life force or whatever, but I did indeed see some pyramid things. I distinctly remember seeing a glass pyramid you were supposed to put fruit inside of to get rid of "negative energy" or something, and a lot of colorful glass pyramids you were supposed to put your crystals or whatever inside of, maybe because there was some supposed spiritual reason, but I'm pretty sure it was mostly because it looked neat. I will admit I owned one because I thought it was pretty.)

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So what did we learn from all this? #14
I've learned that people will gladly put themselves into smaller and smaller boxes to seem more sexually interesting. The word "fetish" has no meaning anymore, and people believe they have to invest their entire sexual identity on the one strange sensation or another. But, I am all for people making themselves more unfuckable.

It is definitely a self-selected sample, but there is just so much competition on the Internet. If people aren't competing with each other to hate women the most or troll as many people on video at once, they are putting internal pressure on themselves to keep up with the e-Joneses. You see in episodes every once in a while the small voice that dares ask if the Emporer has any clothes on. But then that voice asks for links to help see the new clothes the most clearly.

Also, a lot of garbage on the Internet is written on public terminals.