Things on my mind and a very useful vocabulary word/concept.

Very random post.


Current mood: Hurt – Johnny Cash

Target mood: Get up – Korn and Skrillex


This post is mostly a bunch of things I’m trying to think about right now that are holding up my writing. Sort of a “writer’s block objectified”. Sometimes what it takes to get me motivated is to socially verbalize what I’m feeling strongly about. It does not matter if anyone actually reads or responds to it in the abstract (but that would be nice), what matters is that I put it out there in social space. “Raised social profile” is an emotional experience. It’s the feeling that eyes might be on you so you have to take that into account while you do something. It’s a way of socially manipulating myself to deal with areas where I am working on a personal flaw and could use the motivation (that’s what it feels like anyway). Once it’s out there you feel the need to take it more seriously.

So I’m not saying I’m famous or anything, but it’s amazing what you realize you need to do when you actually “say it out loud” in public spaces. It’s like a bunch of motivational “search lights” come on when it works.



Thing 1) I’m turning my social dissections of trolls into my lessons on social conflict. I’ve decided that I need to standardize a format so that a reader has some predictability, and so that I can better control how I present things to readers. I’m trying to get more disciplined in what I am writing. Trying to make some predictable structure out of what I did here could be useful.

My next case study (and probably next post) will be about the troll “Yor” at We Hunted the Mammoth. They were quite the name-caller with little to no willingness or ability to back up the things they were typing.  A primary strategy was to switch the nature of the group or person they were arguing about in order to avoid providing substance for their claims (example: criticizing the commentators and blog, and then switching to criticizing feminism/feminists/radical feminists more broadly). They were little more than a dog pissing on a tree.

So far the structure of a dissection will be Intro, a general description of the person acting as a troll (as best as can be determined by the segment of reputation given in the comment), and the conflict involving the troll dissected apart into “rational sub-sections”. A rational section is going to be defined by it’s role in the following conflict.

For examples of “rational sub-sections” the troll’s first comment (1) and the first set of responses (2) have a defining effect on what is to come, a definition that has a lot to do with what I would call tit-for-tat psychology.

The term itself has a negative connotation defined by things like seemingly intractable conflicts among families (the Hatfield and McCoy conflict that spawned references in cartoons), to the social interactions between modern Israel and Palestine. Yet the same process for mirroring situational moral and ethical conduct at a level that includes conscious and unconscious elements, also includes the famous golden rule. The first comments (s) by a troll and the first set of responses are critical when it comes to the social posture that the combatants choose as they form impressions of themselves, one another, and the content of “their comments” from multiple frames of reference.

Things that I consider ethical and moral concerns (3) will also be introduced along with the specific comments in which they apply as well.


Thing 2) I should to do vocabulary/concepts posts, and you can consider this one the first (I’m also now asking myself why I’m not already doing them). I appeal to journal articles a lot in justifying the existence of phenomena and there are things I can do to help readers out. One of those things is to have a list of concepts that can unify a lot of things at the same time and to trickle them out in posts.

My first one is the term [social affordances].

The simple definition of [Affordance] offered at Wikipedia link that is “the possibility of an action on an object or environment”. In an analogy interacting with a video game that would be all the little things that you can do with the game as you interface with it, and the game console/computer running it. Everything from buttons, to movement, to menus, to game in-the moment interaction mechanics from milliseconds to hours and more. The ability to sense and use a system of damaging enemies based on “elemental effects” (fire, water, light, etc…) is an example of an affordance in video games with perceptual and cognitive elements.

Now think about how that concept merges with common experience. I think in terms of Social Affordances a lot. There are variables in how brains make minds associated with the concept. The ability to become aware of a previously unknown social pattern that can be sensed and interacted with is useful. Everyone can claim to have a basic interest in those two words presented as a term. Using this concept forces us to try to be as objective as we can about it.


Thing 3) ^[That]^ gets us to symbology (which I started above). I need to simplify the presentation of complex information in a form that is approachable and challengeable. I’m good at an authoritative voice and I dislike arguments from authority. That requires some creativity on my part in terms of making shit up with what the culture has made available to me. If you think that is farfetched you can #fuckoff (or is that “#youcanfuckoff”?). The following will be a set of equivalences that will be rules for the rest of this blog post.

[]=object=social affordance

Whatever I put in brackets is to be considered an object and a social affordance in the remainder of this blog post.

[social affordance] is also useful because I can yank lots of simple concepts from stuff like basic algebra or file structure to represent relationships (three kinds of brackets, lots of possibilities). So what about some [objective examples of social affordances]?

*The ability to detect and use [fallacious reasoning]/[list of logical fallacies]/[fallacy “X”]. For example [Ad Hominem]. The “/” creates a hierarchy structure similar to hard drive file locations here, but it indicates a way of conceptualizing relationships among categories and specifics within a category.

There is a distance between looking up a logical fallacy, and internalizing what it means to see it in a fluid enough manner to deal with one in seconds. On top of that recognizing it in yourself has its own set of challenges that amount to something I think of as “ultimate in-group interference, self” (no square brackets yet because I’m still trying to comfortably define such, but I bet you get what I’m talking about).

The ability to see a pattern in social communication, which is a behavior that you were previously blind to, is the creation of an objective [social affordance]:[fallacy “X”] (you can after all interact with objects). With time you can get more skilled at fallacious reasoning in general. My writing is very much about creating social affordances related to social conflict.

So what are some other things that I would call social affordances?

*[Political dog whistles]

These are words and terms, often ones that already exist, that are used differently by two or more groups of people. These words and terms are used differently for the purposes of organizing behavior  differently between the two groups. It’s a unique set of social meanings/responses/uses for the in-group of a user.

“death panels”, “identity politics”, “communist”, “family values” and more are examples of political dog-whistles.



I’ll end this with a couple of screen grabs from Powerpoint that involve some other ways of symbolically representing things that I’m trying to learn more about and use more fluidly in terms of concepts as they apply to common experience. I like playing with symbols and symbolism as a compulsive habit.


“Memory” is anything that changes you as you move forward in time. But this also allows for things that you inherit genetically and non-genetically that are likely to have significantly biased who you are now. If inherited epigenetic marks are involved in my Tourette’s Syndrome I would consider that a part of Memory, it’s just not my memory alone.


Circles inside of circles. That’s going to be interesting to get right. The proportion of Trump voters that agree with bigoted statements or provide answers to questions that suggest such is a tempting thing to play with. But on the other end I can imagine the mess that the same Trump voters would do with this (the one above too). Fortunately morals and ethics associated with a discussion of group dynamics and structure is also a thing that can be bound to that.



Let’s talk racism and racists.

My experience of the problem.

There are some arguments that I have seen involving racism that I think need addressing. I’ve specifically seen people, usually white people like myself, try to control how racism is used at a social level. While there are several stereotyped examples they seem to center on fear based reactions.

It’s reasonable to be afraid of how racism gets used, it’s supposed to feel bad. But it just has to be accepted that if racism is to be overtly and publically dealt with there are some words that have to be used as openly and commonly as needed: racism, racist, overt/covert, implicit/explicit, conscious/unconscious.

Since I have a personality that tends to the aggressive (a neutral) I commonly also use things like direct/indirect, object/context, dominant/subordinate, aggressive/defensive as well. What racism does makes it a legitimate thing to objectify for social purposes and to do that you have to look for racists.


The subject/object.

This is the internet. Our experience of other people is objectified by its very nature. Like it or not we have to accept that we treat people as objects as a result of how the internet is used. I try to be moral and ethical about it because I accept that there is an inherent amount of dehumanization to our experience of other human beings on the internet and actively adapt accordingly. I actively shape my empathy.

I also actively strategize against racists. Empathy actually attaches to that, and you have to accept that parts of empathy are supposed to feel bad.

Racism is a characteristic. Anyone who considers going to a dictionary has to keep in mind that it’s a thing that has to be detected over a period of time. Anyone thinking about pointing at a dictionary better be able to use it in contexts involving current real-world use. Words only represent things and they are not the things. If you want to limit the usage of the words you have to know about the things they actually attach to.

That gets us to reputation. This is the experience of racism over time. I’ve seen rumblings about avoiding the word racist. Fuck that, a racist is a person with a demonstrated pattern of behavior over time. How can it be anything else? That is our target on the internet.


Racists as a collection of symbols attached to an object-person and progressing through time.

This gets us to bias. Racism is a form of bias based on race. Don’t worry my fellow melanin-challenged apes, racism comes in many forms when attached to racists. You get to defend yourself. But if you don’t take the opportunity to understand the shapes you will have no idea what racism looks like. Then you become one of the people I see on the internet that act like they were insulted but have no idea what the insult is shaped like.




This is important shit and I can even describe how my overt anti-racist aggression searches for implicit/explicit objects when it comes to objects that constitute racism on the internet. I define my targets like any socially responsible person with socially aggressive instincts should, so I take the conscious/unconscious range into account as much as I can (I still want to change society).

This is how your personality is shaped and operates over time. Those are neutral things and to know them is to learn how to control yourself on a level that gives you skills. If you stay ignorant it will always be painful for you because of all of the parts of the biases that generate racism. That fucks with your ability to detect real social threats. I see you, you fellow white people who had actual characteristics applied to you. Not just insult. What racism is suggests much deeper ways that your reasoning and logic processes are legitimately damaged. You want this.


Bias is a neutral.

Bias mucks with a bunch of things that are observable in culture, that means objective in a functional sense. Like bias that takes place in comment boxes on the internet. Bias on the issue of race as a part of reputation is a contextual element indispensable to any discussion. And indispensable to actually change society. And bias is representative of how our moral and ethical minds work. Good and proper reasoning and logic is biased by nature. You want to be in control of yourself.

So how you do you apply bias to yourself when ruminating about your life? You accept that bias comes in good and bad forms and that it represents how our reasoning processes work. You actually spend time thinking about why you make the decisions that you do and you make sure that they have connections to the people you interact with.

That is legitimately scary shit. But it does get easier over time. You see the value in accepting the experiences of others on a provisional basis and in many forms, that only includes criticism. “Provisional basis” is not wiggling or waffling. You get to choose how you feel and believe about what other people tell you. I’m saying that there is value in being able to recognize other people saying that you understood what they said, and to actively work to carry that knowledge into the future. It’s how you look for flaws, mental preening.

It’s honestly why I enjoy questioning rude people so much. I like understanding the experiences of others. I enjoy watching everyone discuss how they experience the world in feeling as well as content, my experience of the world includes an excess of feeling. I like thinking about social morals in both general and situational forms. But I also accept that if I want to change society I have to make decisions about how I interact with others, including how I shape my social criticism. Or how I react to and use criticism when among people I want to help. Bias is not always bad and you should be ready to think about how yours work. For your own skills and ability if other human beings are not good enough.

But either way you better accept that fixing racism and it’s cousins sexsim, mysogyny, the phobias associated with LGBT+ people, ablism and more will require public criticism of racists in general and specific language. I want that gone, in myself and in others.