Re: There is no “Faeldray” in “Community”

| Friday, March 25, 2011
During a recent wandering I stumbled across this post. It felt a bit like something I'd have written, if I was capable of maintaining a point and not randomly and uncontrollably bouncing between sincerity and sarcasm. I don't feel like I even have much to add to it, but a few bits really stood out, feeling like they were somehow ripped off, telepathically.

I will admit to not being the most social person in the world. In fact, I will readily agree that I am rather shy and anti-social. Large crowds and new people make me slightly nervous and uncomfortable, so it should be unsurprising that I have few friends, but they are close ones. I’m picky with my friends and frankly, I like it that way.

I'm not really a people person. I'm friendly and polite if I remember to be, not that I'm intentionally rude, but all this people stuff, it's quite difficult.

In high school, I was one of those who stood outside most of the drama and cliques and simply watched this real-life soap opera unfold around me. I wasn’t popular but neither was I despised. I have come to realize that this is also my position within the WoW blogging “community”. I’m never someone who’s named when popular or long-timed bloggers are praised, but hey, at least I’m never caught in the crossfire of all the mud slinging.

Not quite true in my case, since I have wandered, and by wandered I mean intentionally run into, a few fights, but often I feel like I'm in my own little corner here where sometimes people wander over to see what I'm muttering about, usually Tesh, saying something to the effect of "how interesting", followed by what is obviously a strained smile and a nervous quick backtrack. I swear that was all meant to sound ironic rather than emo.

I’m certain that Eff the Ineffable is a great guild. Just as I am certain that not all bloggers belong to their own created factions that war with each other and look down their noses at “lesser” bloggers. There are bloggers who are kind and friendly, who always make you feel welcome and a part of something bigger than you are. Maybe one day I’ll even get to know some of them better and be able to call them my friends.

This did strike me as a bit ironic, since to me this describes Larisa, except the post overall is essentially saying "Larisa, you're wrong about the blogging community."

Maybe the problem is a failure to agree on the meaning of community.


Tesh said...

How interesting.


You mean that "community" might just be comprised of different groups with different agendas and interests, and that the definitions thereof might be blurry and fluid? Or... people are still people (individual agents with varied definitions of "friendship" and different social tendencies), even though they are online? Weird.

Y'know, this line between sincerity and sarcasm is kinda wobbly for the rest of us, too.

I actually did like that article of Faeldray's; I read it yesterday but didn't feel like responding to it for fear of being an echo. I'm in a similar boat, in some ways. I've always been an outsider and outlier, but I'm happy with that. The occasional conversation that pops up about "community" usually misses a lot of points about people (for one, there is no hivemind, no discrete "community"), so it's not something that I've really bothered to post or comment about. I've dealt with people enough to know that arguing almost never changes anyone's mind, and anyone speaking for a "community" or some other group simply doesn't have the whole picture. I'd rather write about game design. ;)

Faeldray said...

Ha, I have deceived you! It was indeed a very long rambling rant disguised as a thought-provoking post. I have fooled you all!

At least I thought it was long and rambling and ranty. My reasoning behind it was mainly to get the whole thing off my chest. That's why a lot of it focuses on the negative aspects of the whole blogging "community", to point out that we can't skip around merrily and proclaim that everything is perfect. But at the same time, not everything is completely and utterly awful either, hence the little ironic part at the end. ;) I like to think of it as the counter to the bloggers who say "We're all friends here!" Someone needs to be the devil's advocate after all.

Klepsacovic said...

@Tesh: If you think arguing is useless, then that means you also think that any dissenting speech is worthless, therefore, you are a Nazi.

You can't argue with logic and even if you did, I wouldn't care.

@Faeldray: I can understand the need. I try to avoid it, since as we saw in my own post, whenever I try to get anything off my chest I just end up whining and next thing I'm sobbing hysterically in the corner while screaming incoherently at life, the universe, and everything. Sometimes I record it and type it out for my next post.

Anonymous said...

@Tesh: The existence of lawyers puts the lie to the idea that arguing changes no minds. Keep in mind also that not all arguments are couched in hostility. Finally, remember that the internet is a get out of jail free card for a lot of behaviors that aren't viable in real space. You could drive someone into a homicidal rage with one of your posts and never know it, what makes you think you can't change the mind of someone who just doesn't care to concede that they're wrong?


Tesh said...

Simply, I can't change anyone's mind. They have to change it themselves. As such, I don't present data in order to try to change minds, I just present facts or opinions and let people do with them what they may.

Call it semantics, perhaps, but it changes the way articles are written and presented. It's not my job to correct everyone on the internet, and it's a fool's errand to try.

...or maybe I'm actually a Nazi. Brainwashing is so much easier in person. With chemicals. And tools.

Klepsacovic said...

@Anonymous: In theory a lawyer is acting on an impartial jury, which is why there is so much time spent avoiding members with conflicts of interest or other biases. That would mean that the lawyer isn't changing a mind as much as shaping the blank slate, among other mixed metaphores.

@Tesh: As I've experienced it, minds are almost always changed very very slowly, by immersion in facts or arguments. For example, no one ever convinced me that gays are not disgusting monsters, but gradually as I heard this or that fact and this or that opinion, I convinced myself. However just because I had to convince myself does not mean that outside influences were irrelevant. Left in a bubble I might have retained my negative opinion.

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