Why am I an Asshole?

How come sometimes your interactions display some serious abrasiveness, bordering on straight-up antagonism, but other times you make me want to puke with your humbleness, modesty, and general submissiveness?

Because I’m an asshole that tries to play honest to the best of my ability?

I want to shake things up, I want to be aggressive and push the border a bit, but I also know that these are just arguments on the net. I’m trying to prove a point honestly. I know where I’m fallible. I know where other possibilities might be true. I have a habit of using weasel words, as defined by wikipedia, in real life all the time whenever someone asks me about something when I can imagine one small exception case where my answer might not be true. “You should do this” “Maybe.” I’ve seen other internet assholes who are completely dogmatic, and I want to know the truth. Dogma and absolute conviction prevents one from growing. I know the limits of my knowledge, I want to own up to my mistakes. I try to take in new evidence and change my beliefs based upon them when it is reasonable, but I also try to defend believing in what I believe. These factors are somewhat contradictory, but I don’t think I’d be where I am if I didn’t have both of these things in my personality. I want to crush people, I want to prove I’m the best, but I also want to learn and grow stronger. Both of these drives are connected for me, and it applies to a lot of stuff I do. One takes aggression, the other requires humility. Sometimes I push it too far on the aggressive side, and I gotta work on it.

When I first started at street fighter, my training partner remarked that the way I played was super split, I’d switch between offense and defense like crazy, going for insane pressure one moment, then backing off and refusing to do anything but capitalize on each little mistake the next, and I’d switch the instant either one of those failed. Dunno how related that is, but it’s a funny story.

re: attitude. Well, what I was referring to was how you get all belligerent when it comes to arguing about games for which you’ve got very passionate opinions, but then you do things like apologizing to a fucking ANON on your blog, an anon who couldn’t muster more than a generic insult (though maybe that is why that person is an anon, because he isn’t capable of amounting to anything greater than subhuman chatter). In the past you’ve chided your readers about using insults and ad hominems, but the problem is that proving you’ve got a point is futile. No one will listen because no one WANTS to listen. Come on man, everyone knows the ultimate use of the internet is to confirm what you already believe! Really, though, there’s no use trying to convince people because the overwhelming majority don’t want to reason, they just want to confirm. Even in history, all ideologies and paradigm shifts even science) were communicated to the masses by demagogues (see: NdT or Dawkins for modern-day examples). But people don’t just want to confirm, they also want to follow. They want to feel like a part of something. I mean, look at how a worthless chump like clam has garnered a following. I mean, yeah, his following baically amounts to a few dozen losers from 4chan, but still. Look at the more popular game pundits. Why is DocSeuss popular in spite of being so wrong about so much? What about the various journalists or dudes like Blow/Fish or CliffyB? Insults are only ad hominem when that’s ALL you’ve got. Using them to compliment your arguments is fine, maybe even essential if you’re going to convince anyone of anything (or at least persuade them to follow a cause, if not convince them of reason). I mean, people are so quick to call you an autist for whatever, but you absolutely refuse to fire away at the concept of immersion. What does that prove? Nothing and your relative popularity reflects this. People appreciate a person whose willing to not just stand for his cause, but all fight and attack for it. Apologizing to anons is not part of that.

lol, you serious? Why are you asking me this anonymously, dude?

I think you’re just trolling at this point. They’re more popular than me because they’ve actively worked to expand their traffic by being on more popular platforms and linking their work elsewhere. I’m not trying at that and, as is typical of me, I’m not going to until I can put my best foot forward.

Think from the perspective of that anon: If I just attack him or dismiss him, what’ll he think? He’s going to dismiss me and that’s one less reader, one less chance for input, one less person. I want to know what his issue is, and attacking him won’t get to that. I want to play to win, not to validate my point. Winning means genuinely convincing people, which is a lot harder and more roundabout than merely proving my point. Winning means saying you’re sorry sometimes. It doesn’t look like winning, it doesn’t look like dominance, but it accomplishes things. It’s seeking power instead of the appearance of power.

Ok, my asks sounded kind of rant-y and demagogue-y, but you should get the point. Apologizing to idiots and being unwilling to add a bit of flair to your writing won’t help you in asserting your dominance and taking down frauds.

I’ll apologize all I want. If someone has a problem with my writing, if they think I’m coming off as an asshole, that’s at least partially my fault. Maybe they have a point, maybe I am being an asshole, but they can’t always vocalize that. It’s up to me to figure out how to make my writing work for people, and part of that is working with them even if they’re being a dick to me. I have a very small audience of people who actually like my stuff, then a small audience outside that of people who know of my stuff and reject it. And if their reason for rejecting it is my tone, is my presentation format, that can be fixed.

I’m not here to assert dominance, I’m not here to directly take down frauds (though frauds may be taken down indirectly). That’s not playing to win. That’s not how you actually convince people. I’ll take the submissive angle, I’ll learn from my mistakes, because I want to know the truth and I want to convince people. I know there’s a lot of opposition, I know my ideas and my personality aren’t popular.

The problem with demagogues is they lack the ability to convince people who are opposed to them, and to grow stronger from incorporating feedback. It’s shutting out a large portion of your potential audience if you simply reject people who reject you, as well as shutting out what may be legitimate ideas.

Becoming a stronger person in part means owning up to your faults and not being so willing to push forward that you’re blind to your mistakes. It means considering the other side’s opinions and second guessing your own positions.

That’s been a stumbling block for me as a person. It’s still something I’m not always consistent at, but it’s how I got to where I am. I’m not going to back down from that.

So stick with me, because I’m not going to budge on this issue.

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