Category: Scrappy Doos

Reading Vox Day So You Don’t Have To: The last essay on Chapter 6

Still doing this for my sins.

I think I forgot to mention that Chapter 6 also involves a weird proxy argument with Mary Robinette Kowal. The pretext is to demonstrate some of the fallacies he mentions in action but he fails to describe them adequately. The general point is that there is ambiguity in what she said (some of which was from Twitter – not a great medium for ambiguity free communication) and therefore he was really right all along. Suffice to say the section works its way back to SFWA expelling Vox etc etc.

After the Aristotlean fallacies, Chapter 6 takes us to list of “SJW Tactics”. This bit is kind of fun because it is classic Vox projection. He divides them up into individual tactics and then organizational tactics. However, I’m going to do them in a different order – organizational first and then a game for everybody with “individual”.

Organizational Tactics

These are the terrible things SJWs are supposed to do to organizations. Vox lists seven and he manages to set up a deeply insightful analysis of how an organization can be destroyed by political extremists. The only problem is that as an analysis it fit bests how the right have wrecked the Republican party. Again, I’ve changed the order to show the sequence of events better.

“The Code of Conduct: Modifying the organization’s rules and rendering them more nebulous in order to allow the prosecution or defense of any member, according to their perceived support for social justice.”

Lobbying organizations on the right like the NRA or “Americans for Tax Reform”  have systematically created an extension of the GOP’s actual rules and accountabilities for their politicians. For example the ATR has been pressurizing Republican candidates (at state and federal level) to sign the “Taxpayer Protection Pledge”:

ONE, oppose any and all efforts to increase the marginal income tax rates for individuals and/or businesses; and

TWO, oppose any net reduction or elimination of deductions and credits, unless matched dollar for dollar by further reducing tax rates.
(the exact wording varies between position)

These kinds of ideological tests backed up with threats against the candidates nomination act as a complex code of conduct for GOP representative. Note there is little here that pertains to the ethics of their behaviour but only their ideological purity

“The Pharisee Gambit: The SJWs inside the organization load an organization’s rules and operating procedures with conflicting requirements and procedural logjams. This makes it highly difficult or impossible to get anything done. They attribute the resulting inability to accomplish anything on those within the organization they want to discredit.”

OK, I don’t know enough about the Republican Party’s organizational rules to point out a in-party example but never mind that because this reads like a near perfect description on Congressional Republican behavior dating back to at least Newt Gingrich. The only upside to their habitual procedural log jamming, is that they now find themselves so out of practice that they are struggling to push their own agenda – despite controlling both houses and the Presidency.

“Unlocking the Door: Relaxing the organization’s standards enough to permit unqualified entryists to enter the organization.”

It’s not just Sarah Palin, it is a long history of temperamentally unsuitable candidates now occupying positions of power. At a higher level we’ve seen an unwillingness to adequately vet Trump’s appointees and the normalization of white supremacists and krypto-fascists within the Republican Party.

“The Conspiracy: If you put two SJWs in the same room, they will find each other and organize a secret mailing list designed to coordinate attacks on people and ultimately converge converge the institution by sundown.”

I guess arguably the conspiracies have been quite open and hence only a partial match here.

“Break the Norms: Constantly violate the social rules that dictate the avoidance of political and religious matters in order to stir up conflict inside the organization.”

Again the GOP and the Fox News approach of make EVERYTHING partisan and force everything into a narrative about somehow Christianity being persecuted.

“The Skin Carcass: Identify a respected institution. Kill it. Gut it. Wear its carcass as a skin suit, demanding respect.”

Voila, I give you the Grand Old Republican Party currently shuffling around with not a single shred left of the principles that it might have had in 1950.

“Blame History Game: Infiltrate, capture, and converge an organization, then blame all the resulting failures on the organization’s non-SJW positions prior to the changes you have made.”

Enough said really. The only remaining question is whether the same approach will continue with the United States.

For a happier note, observe how the last five also largely describes the Sad and Rabid tactics for Worldcon and the Hugos: entryism, breaking the norms, blame the past and the final objective turn the result into a mockery. Castalia still tries to use “Hugo Finalist” in this manner. Have no doubt that they would have attempted the first two if they had had more numbers, better organization and had faced less determined opposition.

Individual Tactics

OK here is where everyone can play!

Vox lists thirty odd terrible crimes of so called “SJWs”. Now I think I can safely say I recognize each of these from encounters from Sad Puppies, Rabid Puppies, Gamergaters, or the wider world of Scrappy Doos. I started listing the examples but they became too numerous and overlapping. I’ve numbered and abbreviated each one and replaced “SJW” with […] so you can imagine the appropriate context. All you have to do is think of a Sad or Rabid Puppy example of them doing exactly that (or Gamergater example but that’s even easier as this is like a laundry list of Gamergate’s behaviors). Some overlap, like that time the Mad Genius crew decided Spacefaring Kitten was really Brianna Wu, others some up the whole movement (e.g. ‘The Predicted Demise’).

Extra points if the example is Vox himself 🙂 Answers either in your own head or if you want to share put them in the comments 🙂

  1. The Tag Team: If you take down an […]s argument with dialectic and successfully explain why his position makes absolutely no sense under any circumstances, he’ll disappear, but another […] will promptly show up to attack your position from a different direction.
  2. The Brave Sir Robin: When overmatched, the […] will run away and declare victory.
  3. The Dog Pile: If triggered by a rhetorical response to his own attack, the […] will broadcast it as far and wide as he can in order to summon reinforcements. This tactic is also known as the Swarm, and is the desired result of the Point-and-Shriek.
  4. The Bait and Ban: The […] attempts to draw you into a discussion, often by asking seemingly innocent questions or pretending to be seeking information about something that he’s just heard about. His questions will increasingly turn prosecutorial, then devolve into outright attacks. [To force a ban of some kind or as a pretext of a ban]
  5. DARVO: This stands for Deny, Attack, and Reverse Victim and Offender.
  6. Crying Wolf: When an […] is feeling overmatched, or is responded to rhetorically in kind, he will often make false claims of abuse, harassment, and stalking.
  7. The Move On: When the […] helpfully tries to get you to just admit you made a mistake so everyone can move on.
  8. The Custom Dictionary: This is the same as Aristotle’s Ambiguity, or the Humpty Dumpty Dictionary, in which the […] selects, or utilizes, whatever definition he finds most useful to his cause at the moment, regardless of what you actually meant.
  9. The Gatling Gun: The […] spams you with insults until they find one they believe triggers you or makes you look sufficiently bad to others. This doesn’t necessarily mean one that actually serves either purpose, which can be confusing.
  10. The Woodstock 1969: The […] claims you were at a place, did something, or had a conversation that could have never taken place. The more outlandish the claim, the more effective this tactic is, because it tends to confuse the target and it can be difficult to convincingly disprove a negative, especially when the accusation is coming from a stranger on the Internet.
  11. The Planted Seed: This is when the […] intentionally plants a false claim with the aim of getting enough of their allies in the media or high visibility sites to repeat it. [This one is mainly Vox complaining that people call him a white supremacist because of all the white supremacist shit he says.]
  12. The Worst Person in the World: The […] claims you are “worse than Hitler” due to your violation of the Narrative.
  13. The False Ally: One […] pretends to take your side while the other […] presents the […] case. The first […] then pretends to be convinced and demands to know how you could fail to be similarly convinced. He acts betrayed when you fail to go along with his sudden conversion.
  14. Attack the Family: […]s will always go after your wife and children. [or spouse of any gender presumably]
  15. The Promotion: […]s always attempt to elevate a leader of the opposition in order to freeze, isolate, and marginalize him, thereby weakening the opposition. .
  16. The Fight Promoter: There is nothing […]s like better than “let’s you and him fight”.
  17. The Challenging Assertion:This is when the […] makes a statement of opinion presented as fact, daring you to contradict it and thereby reveal yourself as a Narrative-denier and legitimate target for the […].
  18. It’s Just This One Brick: […]s always defend the next tactical step towards their long-term objective as being totally unrelated to all their past and future efforts.
  19. The False Fallacy: When confronted, they will often claim the opponent has made a logical fallacy, although when asked which specific fallacy was made, they are not only unable to identify it, but even point out where in the argument it happened. [Vox then gives an example in which he had an argument but the guy does actually point out one of Vox’s common fallacies – false equivalence]
  20. The Straw Man’s Advocate: The […] assumes a position for his opponent, then pontificates on how this assumed position is contrary to something that the opponent has said, creating a hitherto nonexistent dichotomy between the opponent’s two positions. Any failure to rectify the real position with the imaginary one is proof that the opponent is wrong and a hypocrite.
  21. The Straw Man’s Mask: This is when the […] incorrectly summarizes the opponent’s position in order to better attack it.
  22. The Failed Flounce: When feeling pressed, […]s frequently declare that they are too busy to continue the discussion or have to leave for one reason or another. More often than not, this does not prevent them from continuing the argument for another hour or two.
  23. The Forgetful Fade: Upon being confronted with an opponent who outmatches them, an […] will often vanish, only to return again later with precisely the same arguments, facts, and figures that were previously refuted.
  24. Attack the Source: […]s frequently request a source for even the most obviously true statement in order to attack it rather than argue the point directly or admit they are wrong.
  25. The Sock Puppet: This is when an […] creates multiple accounts in order to pretend to be different individuals and create the false impression that more people support his position than actually do.
  26. The Amused Spectator: […]s love to claim that everyone is laughing at their opponent… They like to pose as being amused, world-weary sophisticates, but they can never maintain the pose for long once people start mocking them and it often collapses in an entertaining, rage-filled meltdown.
  27. The Brushfire: If an […] feels he is losing the upper hand, he will not infrequently attempt to burn down the discussion with distractions, inanities, vulgarities and obscenities in order to avoid taking a kill shot, or at least to prevent third parties from noticing his defeat.
  28. The Crowd Inflation: […]s always, always, always exaggerate their numbers and posture as if their position is the standard, accepted, mainstream one, no matter how obviously untrue that is.
  29. The Predicted Demise: An […] will frequently affect sadness over the inevitable downfall of his opponent, who is fated for certain failure due to his crimethink and ineptitude. Example: “It’s a little sad, actually. You’re really overestimating how much people care.”
  30. The Worst Possible Assumption: An […] will consistently assign the worst possible meaning to every statement and preemptively take offense at it without making any attempt to determine whether any offense was intended or not.
  31. The Concerned Supporter: This shows up every election cycle, when obvious Democrats claim to have voted for every Republican candidate for President except the current one, because he has gone too far.
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Season Final! The Book Club Roundtable Discussion Club Non-Audio Podcast Club

atomicavatar[FIRST WITCH] When shall we three meet again? In thunder, lightning, or in rain?

strawpupavatar[SECOND WITCH] When the hurly-burly’s done, When the podcast’s lost and won.

timavatar[THIRD WITCH] That will be ere the set of sun.

atomicavatar[FIRST WITCH] Where the place?

strawpupavatar[SECOND WITCH] Upon this blog.

timavatar[THIRD WITCH] There to meet with Camestros.

atomicavatar[FIRST WITCH] I come, Graymalkin.

atomicavatarstrawpupavatartimavatar[ALL] Fair is foul, and foul is fair, Hover through the fog and filthy air.


camavatar[Camestros] OK people! Today we FINISH this. Susan – ready?

susanavatar[Susan] Ready!

camavatar[Camestros] Timothy – ready?

timavatar[Timothy] Locked and loaded.

camavatar[Camestros] OK viewers,

susanavatar[Susan] listeners

camavatar[Timothy] readers

strawpupavatar[Straw Puppy] Woof

atomicavatar[Mr Atomic] …cleaning…

camavatar[Camestros] welcome to the final episode of this season of the Book Club Roundtable Review Club Non-Audio Podcast Club!

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What if they had a culture war and nobody turned up?

File770 has a round-up of the Dragon Award antics from the Puppy and Scrappy quarters today: http://file770.com/?p=36848

The short version. Two authors have asked to withdraw:

  • Alison Littlewood – who was an unwilling nominee on the Rabid Puppy slate and doesn’t want her book or her name associated with it.
  • John Scalzi – who took one look at Brian Niemeier’s vote-against-SJWScalzi-by-voting-for-me tactic and gave a big ‘nope’ and walked away.

Alison Littlewood has published the response she received from Pat Henry –  the president of Dragon Con. There are three things of note.

Firstly, they aren’t going to withdraw either author from the ballot – this isn’t a surprise because logistically they really have no easy way of doing so. They have already sent out Survey Monkey ballots (prior to publically stating the nominees) and so to withdraw authors they would have to restart the process. Given the assumption that the whole award is being run by a couple of people with little support (hence the odd behaviour around the website) they probably don’t have the time or resources to do so. Note Dragon Con itself has the money and resources to do so – they just aren’t going to spend it on the Dragon Awards.

The second thing of note is this bizarre statement of false equivalence: “We are aware of the rabid puppies and justice warriors efforts to effect the voting and we go through a number of steps to avoid ballot stuffing or other vote rigging behaviors. ”  As others have pointed out not only is there no evidence of “justice warriors” trying to effect the vote with ‘ballot stuffing’ or ‘vote rigging’ there is ZERO evidence of any left-wing campaign to get any votes in the Dragon Awards. The SF-left, such that it is, has been dismissive of the awards. Meanwhile, the Rabid Puppy slate was there for all to see – just some basic commitment to facts would be nice.

The third thing has been less commented on: “The original purpose of the Dragon Awards was not so much as awards but as a quality reading list.” This original purpose has not been well stated before but there are aspects of the awards that point to it. For example, in the “Process” tab of the site, we have this: http://web.archive.org/web/20170809184831/http://awards.dragoncon.org/the-process/

“During the award nomination period, we will regularly send lists and information about your most popular choices.”

Of course, nothing remotely like this has happened. Also, the 2016 nominee list has been disappeared from the Dragon Award website entirely.

Update: The Verge has some good coverage and more Dragon Con response https://www.theverge.com/2017/8/9/16118054/john-scalzi-alison-littlewood-dragon-awards-controversy-sci-fi-horror

Pod the Third of The Book Club Roundtable Discussion Club Non-Audio Podcast Club

Der Untergang der Titanic

Live Podcast Coverage

camavatar[Camestros] Welcome back, loyal viewers!

timavatar[Timothy] (listeners)

strawpupavatar[Straw Puppy] (woof)

camavatar[Camestros] This is the exciting third episode of the Book Club Roundtable Review Club Non-Audio Podcast Club. A bit of a change in the roster this week. Susan can’t make it and Timothy’s long term collaborator and all-round trickster Straw Puppy is here to take her place. Welcome on board Straw Puppy.

strawpupavatar[Straw Puppy] woof

timavatar[Timothy] Ha, ha, great joke there Pups.

camavatar[Camestros] Sooooo, we still seem to be stuck reading Run Star: Realms Rescue…

timavatar[Timothy] Correction, Dragon Award Nominated Star Realms: Rescue Run.

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Some More Sad Popcorn

Dragon Award winner and guy worried about demons, Brian Niemeier also has things to say about Sad Puppies V. It starts diplomatically enough: http://www.brianniemeier.com/2017/06/dragon-big-you-small.html

“When Sad Puppies V leader Sarah Hoyt explained why SP didn’t release a list of recommendations in time for this year’s awards season, several folks in the Puppy scene voiced dissatisfaction with her rationale.

Me? I read both sides’ arguments, tried to see the issue from the major players’ perspectives, and was satisfied that I’d gotten a decent handle on the group dynamics at work. Even if I disagreed with a particular call, it was easy to understand where the party who made it was coming from.”

However, astute readers will have noted that in Hoyt’s earlier piece she made some comments about the Dragon Awards – essentially saying that they are an award for big writers and that some maybe less deserving people won in 2016 because the award was just starting. Of course Brian Niemmeier fits that discription (or at least a lot more so than Larry Correia whose success is undeniable). So Brian N has somethings to say about that:

“Full disclosure: I firmly believe that for any author, comparing yourself to another author is a sure path to insanity. I’m a live and let live kind of guy. You can take shots at me all day, and I’ll take it in stride.

But if this blog has established nothing else, it’s that no one gets to mess with my readers.

Remember: Sarah tried to DISQUALIFY! my readers who made Souldancer the first ever Dragon Award winner for Best Horror Novel. She implied that their choice was just a fluke–an early bug in the system that will surely be worked out in time.

Sarah thinks that you, dear reader, made a mistake. You gave a Dragon Award to an unworthy “small name” author. And don’t forget, she based her assessment on Amazon sales rankings.”

Of course Sarah Hoyt has thought this through a bit further than Brian. Mind you Brian isn’t neccesarily attached to the multiple layers of claims and ad-hoc rationales of the Sad Puppy movement.

Back with the Sad Pups, we had claims from wayyyy back that award votes were just subjective opinion (i.e. there is no broad sense of quality beyond an individual except maybe sales).

More recently, and from many quarters of puppydom, claims that the numbers who voted in the Dragon Awards must be huge because Dragon*Con is huge. Yes, that argument is innumerate as eligibility to vote in the Dragons isn’t connected to Dragon membership (in theory the number of voters could be much bigger than Dragon*Con membership) nor was the award well publicised to Dragon*Con attendees last time (i.e. theire is no reason to think many of them voted). However, *IF* the Dragons are meant to be a huge award with many people voting then regardless of how wonderful Brian’s readers are, or even how good his book might be, Hoyt’s right that it winning the award is a fluke. The answer is obviously that not many people voted in the awards which is why a relatively obscure (sorry Brian) science fiction story could win “Best Horror Novel”.

Hoyt’s comment is aspirational for the Dragon Awards: i.e. the hope and expectation (possibly misguided) that they will become big. Unfortunately wins like Brian Neimmeier’sare good for him but not particulalry good for the awards.

Some other anti-Hoyt comment are here:

from https://nightlandsredoubt.blogspot.com.au/2017/06/on-bullying-and-puppies.html

and this one that Doris spotted earlier http://jimfear138.blogspot.com.au/2017/06/done-with-dead-puppies.html

Why yes, now that you mention it, all these anti-Hoyt pieces are coming from people of the mannish less-than-50% of humanity.

Ok I take that comment back: http://dawnwitzke.com/index.php/2017/06/25/omsg-i-need-a-nap/ although this is less directed at Hoyt personally.

 

Rise of the Scrappy Doos

 

*I prefer to name groups by how they name themselves but the latest version of Puppyness arising out of the fading away of the Sad Puppy brand doesn’t have a name of their own. Based on my earlier post on recent events, I think “The Scrappy Doos” is a decent moniker to cover a more disperate phenomanon.

scrappydooFirstly it carries on the puppy theme, secondly it encapsulates the relative threat level compared to other incarnations and thirdly it is a handy metaphor for the disconnect between how cool Scrappy thinks he is compared to how annoying he actually is.

Anyway, some people like Scrappy, so I hope it isn’t too demeaning a name and currently I don’t have a better label.

Compared with the Sads and Rabids, the Scrappy Doos are not a coordinated group, they may or may not have been involved with either Sad or Rabids campaigns in the past but if they were they would have been on the periphery. They tend not to make strong distinctions between the Sad and Rabid campaigns and can be seen as ‘monopuppists’ (i.e. the idea that really the two campaigns were one campaign in different forms). They tend to be more overt in their self-promotion. Just as the Sad Puppies were incorrectly described as being a group of Mormon men, the Scrappy Doos may be incorrectly decsribed as Catholic men.

In terms of existing movements they are closest to the Superversive movement and the Pulp Revolutions movement. Those two movements* can be seen as offshoots of the Rabid Puppies but this can be misleading. The Rabids had a core of straight Alt-Right griefers willing to do exactly what Vox Day told them to do for the lulz. Superversive began independently of the Rabids but has attached itself to Castalia for promotion and is focused on literary works (although of a right leaning nature). Pulp Revolution arose from the Castalia House blog and hence is more closely connected to Rabid Puppies but again is not the same as the griefing group.

[eta – paragraph went astray] Whereas the Rabids collectively were not particularly interested in the field of SFF, the Scrappy-Doos have more in common with the Sad Puppies in so far as they tend to be actively involved in writing, publishing and books. In this sense they are more like other groupings in fandom. However, where significant voices in Sad Puppies (Correia, Torgersen, Hoyt, Freer) had had some success in trad-publishing (mainly centred around Baen Books), the Scrappy Doos are involved with small publishing groups or self-published.

Time for an info-graphic.

puppyschematic

Names at the top indicate people who helped establish entities below. Dotted lines imply some degree of association. Arrowed lines imply on-going activity. Pink boxes are websites around which quasi-groups have formed organically to some degree. [eta: graphic tweaked a bit]

*[I’m using the word ‘movement’ generously here – we aren’t talking about huge numbers of people. ‘Tens’ rather than ‘hundreds’ I think]