I have admitted it before, and I will state it again. I am a social. Yup, that's right. I'm one of those people who values courtesy and kindness and community to a somewhat irrational extent. I'm okay with that.
But I am also a very logical person. Most of the time, I find that logically speaking, courtesy and kindness provide more personal and group benefit than the alternative.
Now I do have some friends that can’t stand reading Gevlon’s blog. I, however, enjoy it immensely – even though Gevlon would probably consider me an M&S. But I don’t get offended. I know folks who hate reading his material because they feel it is nothing more than incendiary nonsense, just written to piss people off and get a reaction.
I disagree entirely.
Of course, the value of Gevlon’s blog may inherently lie in the fact that his somewhat Aspergian theories and perspectives are far against the typical Wow blogger norm. For me, however, that’s not why I subscribe, and it’s not why I read it.
I enjoy reading Gevlon’s material because he can piss people off just by using basic logic. He is not a troll. He is a goblin.
In my very first Geography class in college, my professor gave us all a handout that listed 42 different logical fallacies. No, I don’t have them all memorized, but I haz a bookmark. I don’t mind if you disagree with me. In fact, if you agree with me all the time, why are we even discussing the topic? How boring. I might even argue that the attraction between my fiancé and I is based on the fact that we disagree on just about everything.
But one thing I don’t tolerate is a logical fallacy-based attack.
And that is the difference between a troll and a goblin. Gevlon will disagree with you; Gevlon will piss you off. But the vast majority of the time, he has very good evidence and rationale for the things he says that piss you off. If you want to argue with Gevlon, you better be prepared with some solid logic, because he is not even going to waste his time responding to you if you are using an argument based solely on a logical fallacy. Telling him that he is just a big ol’ meanie mcmeanikins isn’t going to have any effect on him, and won’t get you any real satisfaction.
I doubt that Gevlon would agree with my brand of logic. In America, the most powerful vote you can give is arguably with your dollar. So, if I disagree with a company’s policies, or I think they pursue completely unethical objectives, I won’t buy things from them. I will even go so far as to make sure my investments (such as mutual funds) do not put any money into their coffers. It means I make less money, but it also means I’m not contributing to what I perceive as a problem in my country, and therefore in my life. I don’t stand on the corner holding a sign that says the company is evil. I just don’t financially support them.
That’s not rational from an economic perspective. But if I complained about a company, and then continued to provide investment funds for them, wouldn’t that make me something of a hypocrite? That’s my kind of logic. I would argue that the inherent difference between my rationale and Gevlon’s rationale is a different definition of value. He considers economic benefit to be the most important value, whereas I do not. Look at that, I just used rational logic to explain why I would disagree with Gevlon on things, as opposed to an ad hominem attack.
Tobold and Gevlon are both bloggers that provide a forum for especially intriguing thought and insight into the MMO universe. They also make a solid attempt to weed out the trolls, while keeping the goblins around.
If you comment on a forum or blog, and provide nothing more than attacks based on logical fallacies just to get a rise out of people and piss them off, you, sir (or madam!), are a TROLL.
If you comment on a forum or blog, and provide meaningful evidence, logic, or rationale in an effort to disagree with the writer, you might just be a GOBLIN.
Goblins are welcome. I can respect a Goblin, because I can actually learn something from a Goblin. Trolls? Well, you do amuse me.