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Rule 2: Avoid Negative Labels

Posted by bonesiii , Mar 24 2011 · 144 views

Debate

How to Disagree Well: Rule 2: Avoid negative labels


Continuing the elaboration on my simple four-rule theory on effective disagreement, today I'll look at Rule 2.

This is one that I think a lot of people could really use a better understanding of and to seriously experiment with putting it into practice. smile.gif It's probably the most radically unusual concept in these four rules, and since I've tried using it almost universally about a year ago the results have been profoundly positive so I really hope people read this, if nothing else. happy.gif

To restate, the four rules are:

How to Disagree Well

1 Listen fairly
2 Avoid negative labels
3 Be concise
4 Speak your mind


Important points are bolded for optional skimming.


Okay, so what do I mean by "negative labels"?

Obviously, direct flaming would count under that. Flaming is essentially extremely negative labelling of someone or their actions without merit. A synonym is insulting. The problem is, different people, even experts on the concept of insulting, have different ideas about exactly where the line is drawn -- so everybody arbitrarily draws the line in different places.

This causes all kinds of trouble beyond the problems with the insults themselves; this disagreement about where the line is.

One thing most people agree on (which this rule actually challenges to some extent) is the idea that you can negatively label someone or an action without it being a clear insult.


However, in my experience, true as that might be, when I strive to always try to find more positive ways to word things (i.e. a mistake instead of an evil action, or dislike / disagree with instead of hate), the results are almost always better.

More on why I think this is in a moment, but first a caution.

Notice that I said "avoid".



Avoid does not mean "never label anything as a negative." There is a serious danger to just going around pretending everything's okay when it isn't. The stock example is, if you see a kid about to eat poison, it isn't harmful to label that action as bad (and try to stop the kid from eating it). If the kid really eats the poison, something bad really will happen even if people were to oddly try to label it positively. The loving person would of course want to stop that.

There thus has to be some line where something really is a negative.


But... that said, what if we usually misjudge where that line is? Most examples are murkier than the kid with poison case.

One negative we should all be able to agree on is that all humans are capable of making mistakes and misjudgements. And we all have, at least if we've lived long enough to be reading this. tongue.gif

So my advice is for all of us to increasingly challenge our own thinking, asking ourselves, "is this negative label I'm using here really judging the line in the best way?" Don't let pride force you into a rut where you have to continue on as you did before, or always defend whatever you've said before just because you've said it or you fear you might look bad if you admit you did something right (I've said a lot more about this in the past; it's what I call "The Confidence Trap").



Another important concept to remember is the difference between the realms of objective facts and morals -- and the subjective realms of personal taste.

Something subjective can honestly feel "very bad" to someone. But we often make an understandable slip-up by wrongly assuming that means (per se tongue.gif) that it's also morally or objectively wrong. (I.e. "LEGO should change this because I personally dislike it" which ignores that other people have their own tastes too. Honestly right now I think BZP mostly has this lesson learned well, though -- but from time to time newer members and the like can use a reminder. happy.gif)

This rule would argue strongly against using such harsh negative labels, even for things we personally dislike. This can have benefits to the self -- it causes you to dwell less on negativity and have a more open mind. You might even find that the thing you thought about "hating" but now merely "dislike" is actually growing on you!



But more to the point, you might actually 'hate' it, but people reading your posts (hearing you speak, etc.) might misunderstand and think you are hating anyone who has that personal taste. So it's best to use more sensitive words like "dislike."

I know. I know. That feels so wrong to many people for various reasons. So many times I've run into people who basically look at this as downright silly, saying (for example) "I just dislike that toy" when you feel like you hate it. And it can be hard to change from being very negative to being very positive overnight. People I consider close friends just detest having to be polite. And I respect that attitude. I get it. I've been there.

So I cannot in good conscience tell everybody you absolutely must do this "right now" or even ever per se. I don't know everything; maybe there's a time or a place (or a speaker tongue.gif) for it.

I just know that for me, when I don't follow this rule well I have concluded that I myself suffer, and I spread suffering to others... who are then much more likely to feel negatively and not friendly towards me, thus I end up suffering twice over. I am ashamed how often I have pushed people away on here who I admire, just by using so many negative labels in disagreeing with them. I sometimes almost wish I had gone around trying to agree with everyone just so I wouldn't lose them as friends (tried that too though and it usually just lets the bad ideas and emotions fester and worsen; more on that for Rule #4 with scientific backup smile.gif). It still torments me, because I see scars of my past failures still around despite my trying hard to reform my actions.

So think about it, yeah? smile.gif

In any event, this rule is vague for a reason -- "avoid", but avoid however much you feel comfortable with, for now.




About drawing the line somewhere, I've concluded from experience that the line (of what is negative that should be avoided, not what to call flaming per se, to be clear) is basically twofold: 1) Things your taste cause you to dislike, using gentle words in describing your dislike, and 2) Things you think are harmful to someone else as a moral mistake, using wordings that make that important distinction clear; that it's a mistake, unwise, etc. rather than evil or whatnot.

Yes, there are things that are evil. That line's easy to draw in fiction, for example; there's no harm in saying "Makuta was evil; Greg confirmed it". But in real life... basically we're not telepathic and in most cases I now believe it's better to avoid calling it evil. The reason is, using a negative label like that on someone who's too far gone to come back makes sense... but it's so hard to know who can come back from evil and who cannot, yeah? You might be unwittingly making evil more likely to get worse or at least continue by appearing to imply someone can't reform from it.

(Obviously, if you're in a life or death situation, that is generally different... although caution is often important there too. But a soldier deciding whether an enemy will shoot first if the soldier doesn't is different from the vast majority of other human experiences, where there's really no reason you MUST leap to the negative judgements.)

Also, there is a very real, but little known psychological phenomenon in which by labelling something negative (usually with the intent of saying "hey, you're doing something wrong, fix it"), you can actaully MAKE it true, even if it wasn't, or at least solidify its truth.

In other words, the person you're talking to often reacts -- even if subconsciously -- "So I'm [insert negative label here], am I? Okay. I'm fine with what I am, so I'm [insert label again]. And I'll stubbornly stick to it without even considering that I MIGHT be wrong."

I like to call this "painting."

It's called that often in common parlance, but people usually miss what it implies. Just like if you took a paintbrush and slapped paint on someone -- the paint would stick -- by applying that label, you can very easily do the opposite of trying to remove the label. You don't remove paint by adding more of the same paint. smile.gif




Just two more major points left.

I have noticed soooo many times that someone who goes around using negative labels to try to at least make others see why they have their perspective -- if not convince others to agree with them -- fail miserably at convincing anyone. I've often wondered why this is -- and I've suffered it myself of course -- and I think I finally get it.

It basically has two causes. One emotional, one logical.

Point number one -- when people see you behaving so negatively (sometimes even while trying to argue for positive things!), subconsciously they think "this guy is miserable. I don't want to be like that. So I will disagree."


Now that's not logical. That's not necessarily good "truthseeking." BUT it's a real psychological phenomenon, and fighting it is like fighting nature, yanno?


But in this case, it actually has a logical grounding.

Point two: The logical fallacy of Ad Hominem. Logic actually teaches that negatively labeling something does not logically argue for the labeler's conclusion. Now, caution: this doesn't necessarily mean the conclusion is wrong, merely that the reasoning used to reach it is wrong. There could be other reasoning all the people involved are missing that would prove the same conclusion.

But when people see a logically invalid argument -- even when they aren't well educated in logic; these principles are built into the human psyche -- they're a lot less likely to agree with your conclusion even if their concern is logic rather than emotion.



So here's where I end up with this. I do NOT tell you that this is necessarily the best way or say "do this."

Instead I'd like yall to think of it like a challenge or an experiment. Try it! See if it works for you! And try it ever increasingly so, over a long time. Don't give up on it if it doesn't seem to be working right away -- it could be you're just not being quite positive enough. I betcha it can work for anybody. biggrin.gif



Comment thoughts (FTR, no mentioning of specific people involved in examples of such mistakes, okay?), questions, concerns, etc. smile.gif Next entry on being concise probably will be up next week. Already have it written.

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Nice post, just one thing I think is worth pointing out.

QUOTE
Point two: The logical fallacy of Ad Hominem. Logic actually teaches that negatively labeling something does not logically argue for the labeler's conclusion.

Also, it uses the fallacy known as "strawmanning," which is similar in its emotional/mental effects on the person being labeled. People basically think, "This guy doesn't get what I'm saying, so how can I explain anything to him?"

~ BioGaia
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Shadow Kurahk
Mar 24 2011 10:19 PM
Woah there, Ad Hominem isn't always a fallacy.

The attack could have to do specifically with the argument--for example, in a presidential debate, one side could say, "As president, I will pledge a budget of [x amount of money], which will go towards arranging that all governmental institutions in the state capitol will begin utilizing 'greener' options for energy usage."

The opponent could reply, "I believe that a man who invested in companies with some of the largest carbon emission statistics won't hold true to a promise like that."

The opponent's statement is an example of Ad Hominem, but it's totally valid since it is a specific example of why the first person isn't expected to fulfill what he promised he would in his argument.

-SK
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Jonestown Bartender
Mar 25 2011 07:01 AM
An Ad Hominem is also okay when the persons character IS whats being argued about.

"John is not a good person"
"yes he is he mowed my lawn for free"
"He may have but he also kicks puppies and drowns cats when he thinks no ones looking"
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I can definitely agree with this. I think I've said it before, but as a Deaf and gay person, I encounter a lot of negative labelling. Such as "Deaf means you don't know English as well," or "Gay means [fill in the rest]."

With Deafness, though, it's not so much negative as it is meant to be sympathetic. But that's another type of negative labelling: when a person thinks that they need to be sympathetic to another person, they may only end up offending that person because that person does not think they need any sympathy.

This usually stems from the misconception that Deafness automatically equals disability when it's so much more than that, and the disability aspect becomes so insignificant. To us Deaf, it's all about our language and the culture we've developed, and our unique worldviews as Deaf people in hearing society. We don't need sympathy for being a language minority! smile.gif

Projecting sympathy even when it seems appropriate can come off quite badly because it can seem like the receiver is being pushed into a category of pity. That kind of labelling becomes very negative and often creates a sort of "I don't need your pity, why are you assuming I'm a lesser person than you?" reaction.

I honestly haven't met anyone who actually "hates" Deaf people or feels a strong visceral emotional reaction to it. But that doesn't mean I can't be labelled negatively. Sympathy, however well-meaning it is, can be deeply damaging. Just consider how it feels when I have to apply for scholarships that treat me as a disabled person because there are no scholarships specifically for Deaf people who naturally have a harder time making money since they can't help but speak a different language. That kind of mistaken labelling has become a source of great anguish and frustration in the Deaf community. It certainly can be used as part of the explanation why Deaf people often come off as isolated and unfriendly - because they assume that they're going to be labelled wrongly by you.

That ties into your observation of how negative labelling can cause suffering in others and then come around as more suffering for you. Society in general suffers a little more than necessary because it doesn't realize that it's trying to solve a problem - underdeveloped and financially impoverished Deaf communities - the wrong way. Money from taxes are put in the wrong places for the wrong purposes. And it's all because of misplaced sympathy.

Yep... just something to add to what you were saying. smile.gif
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QUOTE
Also, it uses the fallacy known as "strawmanning," which is similar in its emotional/mental effects on the person being labeled. People basically think, "This guy doesn't get what I'm saying, so how can I explain anything to him?"

Yeah, good point. :) Although, there are cases when negative labels can be true, and thus aren't Straw Men. But we shouldn't just go assuming it; we often accidently use the Straw Man fallacy because honestly misunderstand what people are trying to say or misread what intent they have in saying it.


QUOTE
Woah there, Ad Hominem isn't always a fallacy.

I'm glad you brought this up, because I was hoping for an opportunity to elaborate on what I meant there without drawing out the actual entry. ^_^ I mean that purely from the perspective of established logicspeak. Within the study of logic, Ad Hominem is always a logical fallacy. :) But you're right to point out that it isn't that simple. Just in case anyone used the bold-skimming method and missed part of the following, lemme quote what I said about that FTR:

QUOTE
Now, caution: this doesn't necessarily mean the conclusion is wrong, merely that the reasoning used to reach it is wrong. There could be other reasoning all the people involved are missing that would prove the same conclusion.

But when people see a logically invalid argument -- even when they aren't well educated in logic; these principles are built into the human psyche -- they're a lot less likely to agree with your conclusion even if their concern is logic rather than emotion.

What I'm alluding to in the first part of that is another fallacy called basically "The Fallacy of Fallacies." Which basically states that it's a fallacy to reject conclusions just because they're supported by fallacies. :)

In the second part, notice that I made no mention of what happens if someone's concern ISN'T logic; it's true that some people who are swayed by emotion, as with your politics example, Ad Hominems can be "effective at reaching the politician's goals." (But immoral IMO but yeah.) I was talking only from a logical perspective in that specific part. :)

Ultimately, I think that all use of clear insults is ineffective at what every person truly wants deep down. We all want positive emotional experiences, more or less, and throwing insults around to gain emotional loyalty has other bad side effects (which people who use them tend to ignore or be unaware of), which always come around to hurt the user of that tactic in the end. In my experience. :)



QUOTE
The attack could have to do specifically with the argument--for example, in a presidential debate, one side could say, "As president, I will pledge a budget of [x amount of money], which will go towards arranging that all governmental institutions in the state capitol will begin utilizing 'greener' options for energy usage."

The opponent could reply, "I believe that a man who invested in companies with some of the largest carbon emission statistics won't hold true to a promise like that."

The opponent's statement is an example of Ad Hominem

Technically that is not considered Ad Hominem, because the opponent both has reasons to believe in that "negative label" or judgement, and most importantly, is using a debating technique of intentionally appealing to those in the audience who also believe they have reasons to believe that legitimately. The alternative, to list things you already know your audience knows, can turn audiences off (though not always; it's complicated :P). Basically a good speechsmith has to judge how much of the audience will be turned off by hearing the backup and how much will honestly not have known it or realized how it's relevant (and how many who do know it believe that others need to hear it, so will tolerate or cheer its repition.


QUOTE
but it's totally valid since it is a specific example of why the first person isn't expected to fulfill what he promised he would in his argument.

Logically speaking, though, it is still invalid if there is no valid outside chain of logic to support it. When such a valid chain is missing, that's what is labeled as the Ad Hominem Fallacy by logicians. :) In non-logic studies the latin term may be used to refer to "negative labels" in general, yes, though. :)

Also, I personally think people shouldn't use Ad Hominem to label anything other than the fallacy, personally. Basically for the same reason as this, reflexively XD. Poeple shouldn't negatively label the concept of fairly labelling things negatively lol lol. But maybe that's just me. :P


QUOTE
An Ad Hominem is also okay when the persons character IS whats being argued about.

"John is not a good person"
"yes he is he mowed my lawn for free"
"He may have but he also kicks puppies and drowns cats when he thinks no ones looking"

It's debatable whether it's always okay, which is a big part of what I wanted to point out here. But again, I would not use the term Ad Hominem to describe that. :) I would call that "a negative label" in general. Ad Hominem, at least when I use it (being a logician :P) refers specifically to the logical fallacy. ^_^

The reason I wouldn't call that "okay" is basically the painting thing. Maybe it's true, but to speak it that way in many situations can actually only strengthen it or make it worse, rather than helping John to improve. :) Yeah?




QUOTE
With Deafness, though, it's not so much negative as it is meant to be sympathetic. But that's another type of negative labelling: when a person thinks that they need to be sympathetic to another person, they may only end up offending that person because that person does not think they need any sympathy.

This usually stems from the misconception that Deafness automatically equals disability

Yeah, this is basically a misconception about the human brain, IMO. The more I look into this stuff the more I conclude that short of death (even that's debatable but not on BZP :P) there are equal pros and cons to virtually any mental "disorder." In the case of loss of a sense (as in sight, hearing, smell, etc.), it's basically only bad in the category of things benefitted by the sense, but overall, it simply allows the brain to adjust to be better at other things. :)

Or to use myself as an example -- I don't know of any psychobabble term for this except the plain English, though I'll use Treespeak here for the heck of it -- I'm slowthinking. To people who are fastthinkers (and don't know better), in situations where fast thinking is important (which is what our modern society is more and more based on), I look 'handicapped.' But given time to think, I naturally think much deeper, and I can spot better ways of doing things that 'fastthinkers' have more trouble finding, so in other ways, to me, they look like the ones with a handicap.

Basically it's both. Weaknesses and talents are merely two sides of the same equal coin. ^_^




Actually, I think it's fair for me to say that I have a "sense" that virtually nobody else has (seemingly, and I mean, not as much so; everybody has it but most not this extent it seems). I don't even know how to label it yet or describe what it is except as something close to (but not ideally labeled as) intuition, but I feel like I've had exceptional talent in it all my life, and I've always been amazed that other people didn't have it anywhere near as much.

But only recently have I finally come to grips with the fact that the others can be just as content not having it as much, and with that comes the ability for me not to get upset when I see others not seeing what I see -- so be content myself.


I think there might be a comparison there to people who have all the normal senses but behave poorly towards those who are deaf, blind, etc. (And as such I've tried to apply this lesson to myself in that category too, heh.) Basically they are content yet in who they are, in that category, it would seem.

I think a big part of that is false notions of "I am better than others", and a misunderstanding of allocation. Basically, we're all equal, no matter what. We're all simply better at some things than others, and worse at other things than others. Equals equal. :D

Even if there was a hypothetical human who had a sense that literally nobody had, at all, they would still be equal.

(Like in my Paracosmos fanfics, Hujo has the ability to sense Soulsongs, which is basically like a psychic version of what fish can do by sensing slight vibrations, except sensing the vibrations of the "strings" that souls make as they move through time. I've started to play with the theme of his struggling about this already, especially when he went blind for a while in TI, and probably at some point I'll do something directly about it.)



QUOTE
That ties into your observation of how negative labelling can cause suffering in others and then come around as more suffering for you. Society in general suffers a little more than necessary because it doesn't realize that it's trying to solve a problem - underdeveloped and financially impoverished Deaf communities - the wrong way. Money from taxes are put in the wrong places for the wrong purposes. And it's all because of misplaced sympathy.

Super glad you brought that up. I'm planning a big series of entries soon expanding on my basic society theory (which I've mentioned many times before but only in summary). Actually, that helps me pin down another idea I need to tie some major parts of the whole thing together, thanks ever so much! :D
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"Muahahahahahahahaha*cough* *hack* *gurgle* ..... *ahem* Must remember to watch the evil laugh when the floodwaters get that high..."

--Evil Lord Survurlode


"Oh, that's an easy question. See, Sauron's One Telephone Ring looked like a metal ring, right? Well, the One Refresh looks like a ring made out of those green arrows... like on that refresh button up there. Wait... why am I telling you this?!"

--Evil Lord Survurlode,
in a BZP interview


"No, I do not get rusty! This is Stainless Steel! What? Yes, yes! They had stainless steel thousands of years ago. Yeesh."

--Evil Lord Survurlode

Gallery Of Explosions

Because explosions are the answer.





























Profundities

"While it's all well and good for someone to turn the other cheek in daily life, in times of great hardship another thought comes to mind instead; namely that one cannot turn a blind eye to the actions of evil and still call himself good."
---Nako



"This is a discussion forum for a reason; it's a place where opinions can be discussed and debated civilly, not where one person can claim their opinion as fact and all others as "just opinions." Every person should, however, support their opinions with facts and evidence of all kinds."




"'The challenge of being a Biological chronicler is understanding why Lego are using another method to sell better. It gets boring using the same ones all the time. Variety is the spice of selling, after all.'
— A Biological chronicler"



"I could convince a thousand people that the moon is made of cheese... and yet it would remain as rocky as ever."



"This is simple, people! If it hurts to hit yourself with a hammer, then don't do it!"



"A famous drummer sits down to do a drum solo, but he has to keep his solo up for five minutes. Does he do all his amazing stuff first? no! If he did that, he would loose all attention because the end would be so boring. If he were smart, he would start out with something simple, and then add to its complexity as he goes along, so that more people would be into it.

The point is, writing either a drum solo, or is like a mountain, the bigger the base, the higher it can get, and the more amazing it is. Think about it, when building a mountain of dirt or sand, you need to slowly create your huge base, then as you build towards the peak things get faster and easier to pile on. The High points are where the story is fast paced and we are reaching the climax--what we just left on the last mountain of story we had (the MU story arch), and now Greg is building a new story mountain for us."

Gallery Of Galaxies

~through the macroscope~































Sigisms

QUOTE
92% of people have moved on from Gregorian chants. If you are part of the 8% that still listens to real music, copy and paste this into your sig.


QUOTE
Least Favorite Edit Of Your Least Favorite Post On Your Most Favorite Day Of The Month?


QUOTE
Secret Info: The Red Star is Tahu's mobile space mansion, complete with servants.


QUOTE
Join the petiton for ban bad grammer toady!


QUOTE
9009 Ways To Say "I Heart Spam"


QUOTE
92% of all teenagers claim they're in the 8% that hasn't moved on to rap.
If you are part of the 0% that still uses real math, copy and paste this into your sig.


QUOTE
What Is Your Alter-Ego's Imaginary Friend's Least Favorite Pet Collar?

Certificates Of Approval

Various award imagery and suchnot:






(Above from Makaru; resized to fit.)










(Resized to fit.)


















The above earned twice.




















Certificates Of Approval

Part 2









Needs sized down



Needs sized down













/---------------!.!----------------\
/This blog has been approved by \
/--------------Saiph--------------\
/----------------------------------\
/-For demonstrating outstanding-\
/~~~~RHYME and REASON~~~~\
\----------------!.!-----------------/











_bonesquotes_i

QUOTE
Logic is the key.


QUOTE
I am insane. I know that I am insane. In fact, I know that I am so insane, that I am incapable of realizing that I am insane. Therefore, I know that I am not insane.


QUOTE
Forgetting things since.... umm....


QUOTE
Creativity should not be confused with nuclear weapons.


QUOTE
I heart logic.


QUOTE
Only dead things do not change. Much.


QUOTE
Pay attention now. Repeat after me. "Bones. Can. Be. Wrong."


QUOTE
The problem is, "Tradition for tradition's sake" is like flying blind in an airplane. It's like saying as you approach a mountain "But we've always flown in this direction before... why would we change direction? It isn't the tradition!"


QUOTE
Remember that -- clever absurdity, designed to harmonize with certain tastes, is the key to originality.


QUOTE
Ironicles.


QUOTE
People are like snowflakes. No two are the same.


QUOTE
Yes, the Toa will win somehow. But let me give you a challenge. Write a story. In which the good guys win, or the bad guys win, doesn't matter. But write it with only introducing the challenges that the winner must overcome, and avoid showing how the winner wins. Just set up the problem, then skip to the end:

"In the end, this character wins, somehow."

Now, do you think this is a successful format for a story, that anybody would really want to read? [...] Readers demand that you as writer have thought through the "how" of the story.


QUOTE
Where is this idea coming from?


QUOTE
Makutarahk


QUOTE
[L]et's not mince words here -- all LEGO products are toys. It's a toy company, in the toy business. There's nothing wrong with that.


QUOTE
[A] wise Daoist once said that a name is merely a label. If a person calls me a "nerd", then that is their label for me. If a person calls me a "human", that is a label. If they call me "bonesiii", that is a label. I would simply reply that, if "nerd" is the term they wish to apply to me, like "human", then so be it -- I would thus be proud of that label, because I am proud of who I am.


QUOTE
I'm not telepathic.


QUOTE
I don't know if this is just the way I'm wired, but I don't really think like "hey, wanna be my friend?" I just be myself, treat others with respect and friendliness, and those who would make good friends just sorta show up. And I really don't think like "well, you're not my friend, you are, you aren't" etc. Anybody can be my friend.


QUOTE
*revives topic, only to kill it seconds later*


QUOTE
My two pieces of eight.


QUOTE
Ha ha! Voriki myth still isn't dead? It's been so long since the constant flow of these topics stopped I guess I thought Voriki had finally kicked the bucket. Well, I hate to put another nail in the old guy's coffin, but...

Topic closed.

I Heart Logic

_bonesquotes_ii

QUOTE
Ahhhhh, the sweet smell of complaint topics in July!


QUOTE
I think Evil Lord Survurlode is out to get me.


QUOTE
Bionicle doesn't revolve around ANY one fan. Not even you.


QUOTE
Bionicle does NOT age with its fans.


QUOTE
If something absolutely has to be done for the greater good, it is by definition NOT evil.


QUOTE
Think, guys, think! You have brains! Use them!


QUOTE
Logic is not some meaningless buzzword you can throw around like pie, at least not as long as I, an actual logician, am here.


QUOTE
Common myth. The answer is: "Yes, if you are an ancient Greek."


QUOTE
Last I checked, most of us aren't ancient Greeks. tongue.gif Some of us are ancient Geeks, but...


QUOTE
Besides, show me a brown rock, and I'll use your logic on you. "That's not a rock, it's hardened lava."


QUOTE
The best symbol of stone would be gray. But it would probably sell almost as bad as brown -- LEGO needed a "flashy" color, more like what Ta, Ga, and Le Toa have.


QUOTE
Do not insult cheese.


QUOTE
Omi's right.


QUOTE
Forty-two.

(Four eight fifteen sixteen twenty-three... *ahem*)


QUOTE
Logic! Why don't they teach logic in these schools?


QUOTE
Can you imagine MNOG ending with the Turaga and Matoran executing Ahkmou?


QUOTE
So here's the question: If LEGO working harder by listening to fans is "lazy", then wouldn't they be "lazy" if they listened to you -- a fan?


QUOTE
You don't need to hate to say it.


QUOTE
Four extra letters. "Bionicle sets." How hard is that?

Actually, three extra letters since the s just moves.


QUOTE
If they are "Bionicles", then you are "History".


QUOTE
BZPers are often the exception, not the rule.

::celestial_drink::

_bonesquotes_iii

QUOTE
Of course it's cruel -- did you think bad guys were Mother Teresa?


QUOTE
It isn't like I hide it, but it also isn't like I go up to random students at college at say "Hey, I like Bionicle, isn't that something?!"


QUOTE
One man's junk is another man's treasure.


QUOTE
I had the same theory in ages past, and Greg personally disproved it.


QUOTE
The thing can destroy time, man. You guard those kinda things.


QUOTE
Brevity is the soul.


QUOTE
Which I suppose is a fancy way of saying, "I have no idea."


QUOTE
I attack my own theories. I'm weird like that.


QUOTE
If only books could be updated like web pages.


QUOTE
Bionicle was supposedly a betrayal of everything LEGO stands for, its pieces far too clunky, a horrible turn away from the more "intelligent" Technic and a total stabbing in the back of the good old brick, an insult to AFOLS, evidence of a mythical trend away from the construction toy, far too violent, etc.


QUOTE
It's really pretty simple:

Gadunka is one of the "coolest" sets ever. Most inventive, most unusual, most striking. Thus, he is horrible.


QUOTE
Of course they're weird. All Bionicle names are supposed to be weird. Show me the Bionicle name that is "normal".


QUOTE
You just completely contradicted yourself. If Mata Nui was working out great, then wouldn't Metru Nui have made less money?



QUOTE
If that's greedy, then you are greedy for driving in a car to get somewhere far away fast, for wearing shoes so you can walk at a reasonable pace without cutting your feet, using silverware to better eat your food, using a telephone to avoid having to make a trip and speak, using a computer to type a forum post when you could walk personally to everybody's house and speak what you just said over and over and over again.... At least 2000 times to account for all the possible active BZP members, and preferably about five million times -- and you'd have to go door to door throughout the whole world to even figure out which people were Bionicle fans anyways before you started confusing monks in Tibet with strange words like "Kongu" and "Cordak". All within your own lifetime, regardless of whatever else you had wanted to do in your life.

And forget speech. You have to scratch out the message with your fingernails in stone. Then maybe you wouldn't be greedy. Maybe.



QUOTE
Nobody would surprise me, so it's probably Makuta. But I went with Hydraxon, because he's a weapons master and it would make sense, no?


QUOTE
Why didn't I think of that earlier?


QUOTE
I don't just ask rhetorical questions -- I answer them.


QUOTE
I knew you'd say that.


QUOTE
You're a body with a head. So what?


QUOTE
A simple conversion is not a business plan to actually get two radically different markets to behave as if they were the same.


QUOTE
Um, hello? Are my posts invisible?


QUOTE
Universe go poof.

We All Live In An

_bonesquotes_iiii

QUOTE
I hate typing Roman numerals above three.


QUOTE
I always find these topics funny -- everybody goes in circles, pointing to the exact same aspect of the set and going "See that? So it's obvious it's horrible! How can you not see that?", and then someone else saying, "See that? It's obvious it's awesome! How can you not see that?"


QUOTE
Obviously, not everybody sees I to I.


QUOTE
They have their uses -- like if you're making a MOC that's supposed to be a light green faceless humanoid.


QUOTE
I hate it when I can't tell if someone's joking.


QUOTE
Yes, that's an excuse to be lazy.


QUOTE
Hold on just a second. I think you have things backwards. Mata Nui was not paradise -- it was a place of horror and war for a thousand years!


QUOTE
Lol.


QUOTE
I'm a logician. I can tell you that your argument does not merely sound illogical. It is.


QUOTE
Yeah, that'd be bad. Next question?


QUOTE
We'd still have wooden ducks, no plastic bricks, and definately no LEGO if change was prevented. Really, we wouldn't even have that.


QUOTE
It is unfortunate that it's this way (at least for us). But it is. We might as well come to grips with it.


QUOTE
And I walk away in peace.


QUOTE
You have no idea how many times I've read this style of opening to this kind of topic, man. I must admit I am very very tired of it.

*deeeeep breath*

*shakes head madly*

Okay, I'm good.


QUOTE
My memory doesn't go back that far.


QUOTE
If I didn't agree with something, I'd try to find out the reasons for it before doing anything else, which is something I think some people forget to do and instead they dig themselves a hole for no reason.


QUOTE
Lol, I think you missed the point -- BR isn't going to think your forum deserves approval if he has to be told it exists.


QUOTE
I'm a coolomaniac.


QUOTE
But I like spam!
Wait...


QUOTE
This is not a country. This is a website. Countries are led by governments. Websites are owned by owners. Countries are places you physically exist in, and may have difficulty leaving. Websites are places YOU choose to go. Countries are places you may be born in, or grow up in, etc.

BZPower is a place YOU sign an agreement in order to join. Blame cannot be placed on us when a member violates that agreement. And if a member chooses not to like that agreement anymore, they are free to leave at will. If a member violates the agreement they made with us, we are justified in punishing the member as agreed.


QUOTE
I'm a logician -- I think in terms of what makes sense all the time. I don't just agree -- I know why I agree, and I think my reasons are pretty sound.


QUOTE
If I'm breaking a rule, it's because I gave myself permission to allow myself an exception, thus I am not technically breaking it.


QUOTE
[A]lthough Evil Lord Survurlode does seem to be making a bit of a comeback, just like Sauron, so we might have an epic war that will spawn a novel and three giant books of a trilogy soon... but yeah...


QUOTE
I object to the wording of this question.


QUOTE
Huzzah?

I'm A Doctor, Not A Great Being

_bonesquotes #whatever

QUOTE
Ever had one of those moments where you think you just passed into an alternate timeline? This is one. ()_o


QUOTE
Rants are based on pompous egos and desire to pick a fight. Not intelligence.


QUOTE
The Monster on LOST is Makuta.


QUOTE
Cynics are some of the most naive people on the planet. They hear someone claim things are bad, and they accept it without question.


QUOTE
I'm a realist with an imagination.


QUOTE
I blame Survurlode.


QUOTE
You see a flamer, your response should not be to just flame him back -- you lower yourself to his level if you do.


QUOTE
Let's open that can of worms, as unpleasant as it might be. [...] *I'm not afraid of you, worms!*


QUOTE
"Transformation" can be as simple as a bomb rearranging a building into a debris field.


QUOTE
Far better to be proven wrong than to be wrong without knowing it.


QUOTE
I remember when I was a kid, and I was just playing around, I didn't know this stuff, so I said gas prices were five dollars at my play gas station.

My dad laughed, said gas would never be that expensive.


QUOTE
Toa carrying rifles... as they ride their space shuttles into... Klingon territory...


QUOTE
Kazi [ha]s Rahkshi staffs. (Oooh, Kazi=evil??)


QUOTE
Take an election between two candidates. Obviously, both candidates will get votes. However, one will get more votes, and one will get less. You would be, in this example, voting for the one with less votes (Mr. Olderfanson). You see why the fact that you, one person, did vote for that guy, doesn't prove that he won the election? [...] "Mr. Newerfanson" won the election.


QUOTE
o_O


QUOTE
In general, I do enjoy debates--but I don't enjoy being flamed, no. Nor do I enjoy wasting time when I have tons of PMs I need to reply to and top secret reference projects to work on and all that responding to things that could have been cleared up with more thought before posting, heh. Debates can still get tedious when it seems (please note "seems"!) that a few people refuse to approach them with an open mind.


QUOTE
<_<
>_>
<_>


QUOTE
I didn't even spell "the" right.


QUOTE
Lol. I never said I'm always right! Yeesh, what do I have to do to convince you guys I don't think that? Purposefully take wrong positions or something?


QUOTE
Guess what? I could draw before I learned to write, but does that mean I should get all huffy and insulted at the fact that not everybody shares my particular talent? This is just absurd, isn't it? Did you honestly think that everybody has the same talents and gains proficiency at the same time?



QUOTE
When someone much older than you was a kid, LEGO was wooden toys. [fogie teeth voice]"These newfangled plastic things are insulting! As if there isn't money to be made in good old fashioned woodblock toys!"[/fogie teeth voice]


QUOTE
Can we sing kumbaya yet? Sing it! Koooooooo----oom---bah-----yaaaaaaaaahhhhhh.

Or something... Sing it! You don't even have to agree with me! Just sing it anyways, maaan!

Sing!


QUOTE
Your mistake is that you are thinking in terms of a simplistic "formula" of strength, and thinking that can be used to predict everything. It can't--every situation is different, and sometimes a weak Matoran might catch a glimpse of a passing Rahkshi while a powerful "Toa Ultimaultrasuper" might get blasted to bits when the same Rahkshi actually attacks. You need to be realistic--think in terms of the situation. Stories are based on that--they are a "game of seconds and inches" where dangers both big and small can occur to both powerful and weak people, and how you perform depends on your brains and the time you have to prepare more than your actual power level.


QUOTE
Why did the entirely robotic Bohrok need teeth? Someone explain how that is okay but teeth in Piraka isn't?


QUOTE
Phew. Now, to post, and see if I maxed the text limit out.

Yabo! Hahaha!

_bonesquotes #whatever.2

QUOTE
Thanks X. Thanks D. Thanks X and D. XD


QUOTE
I lazy.


QUOTE
You can make any innovation look bad if you point to the non-innovative ways (the old "normal" ways) and claim they must be followed blindly.


QUOTE
But what I don't get about it is -- why the apparent desire to kill characters off for no reason? In real life you meet tons of people who you will never meet again, and they're not dead. Is that to you a problem? I don't get it -- you'd go insane if you tried to stay in touch with every random old lady that said hi when you were walking the dog...


QUOTE
Yes, my post in this topic is product placement. So sue me.


QUOTE
In addition, high gravity affects spacetime on a fundamental level, slowing time down and bending the spatial brane. Not to be confused with the spacious brain.


QUOTE
It would create a field of electrogravimetry that would pull all nearby matter in and then make it explode. The explosion cloud would take the form of an anchovy.


QUOTE
There's only a slim chance that we exist.


QUOTE
I love taking myself out of context.


QUOTE
I think it's admirable to be careful not to offend people where it makes sense. But at some point, you have to be willing to stand up for yourself and be confident enough that if someone comes at you with an unreasonable accusation, you don't take it.


QUOTE
I think aliens invaded already and have fooled us into thinking they are mere animals who "meow".


QUOTE
Good stories aren't puppet shows. They are tales of life, with realistic characters -- people -- living out their lives, with really minimal "guiding" by the author.


QUOTE
Oh goody, a complainer to blast to oblivion.


QUOTE
To begin with, I disagree strongly with pretending it is "killing off", rather than a serious story being told, with serious themes and life in the story. Characters aren't "killed off". They die.

I find this term somewhat offensive, because it implies the writer kills the character like a TV show host telling a contestant to leave. This is not a game show. It is the events of the storyline that kill the character. That term is merely a psychological shield to avoid the emotion of the moment in the story. IMO, that's a kind of immaturity.


QUOTE
Um.


QUOTE
You can't always get what you want "now now now". Your logic makes no sense -- if you want to know what's in the books, that means you support the books' existence. Yet you apparently want spoilers to go up the day it's out, so in the countries where it is bought, people could just read the spoilers and not buy the book, risking its sales going down and the books ending, and thus no more spoilers for you to read!


QUOTE
Truth = Truth. And nothing else.


QUOTE
I had spammed ten thousand times.


QUOTE
A good comedy is a development, like a story, not a punchline. You start with a situation, and it goes in unexpected, funny ways, which leads into other twists, to a conclusion that often can be more serious than funny, avoiding random cliches and developing enough logic that it doesn't feel like you slapped random nonsense down. Comedies Forum has this bad rap of having a lot of Unfunny Stuff -- I think it's the temptation to write short punchlines drawing on typical one-liner cliches that causes this. The 300 word rule is a good basic start to avoiding that problem.


QUOTE
Dude. My voting precint is a "23". ph34r.gif


QUOTE
And what people are saying about randomosity is true -- I hope that it's not surprising that as a logician, I understand how to be funny (though I won't try in this post ). Logic isn't for Spock who refuses to smile -- you actually need logic in your comedy to make it funny. In my experience, a balance of logic and random nonsense helps -- even logic OF the random nonsense.


QUOTE
I highly recommendate it.


QUOTE
Another mistake a lot of people make is thinking a comedy must be 100% funny -- reality is that that tends to just overwhelm the reader and come off more as spam. If you look at my Survurlode interviews, for example, there is always at least one serious theme that the whole work revolves around. The serious aspects support the humorous, and vice versa.


QUOTE
*strongly approves of the use of the term "bionical"*


QUOTE
Well, my observation has always been the opposite -- more established official facts inspires MORE fan imagination -- at least with imaginative official facts. It was really only once the "gappists" starting complaining, in my observation as a 2003+ member here, about "tons of official facts" that I saw the fanfiction community here really explode with creativity.

Think about it -- imagination feuls imagination. Less imagination doesn't -- it starves imagination.

Search My Blog

_bonesquotes #whatever.3

QUOTE
How much wood would a woodwood wood if a woodwood would would wood?


QUOTE
But my point related to that isn't that I literally think it should be FULLY sun-sized. I'm just saying, there's a whole range, from a little larger than Earth, to a LOT larger, to a TONTONZILLION larger, and it's all possible if the story team just feels like it.


QUOTE
*imagines massive asteriod pulling out a pirate's telescope lol*


QUOTE
GD is NOT for storyline-only discussion. That discussion belongs in S&T.


QUOTE
S&T policies are designed for good reasons, tried, tested, and they work.


QUOTE
Sure I'm sure -- it's Bionicle. Anything's possible.


QUOTE
I never understand these claims -- how do you know what "proportionate" is for that character? He's a fictional character, made out of plastic LEGO parts.

So why get annoyed at it? When you look at a giraffe, do you get annoyed? It makes no sense to me to do so.

Besides, you're setting yourself up for it. Nobody ever told you these characters were supposed to be exactly human.

If you look at an ape, would you say it's done wrong, just because it resembles a human?


QUOTE
I plan not to, but I guess if the site shut down I'd kinda have to, wouldn't I?


QUOTE
...they usually give their jokes when they have the upper hand at the moment, though, or when they've just run into a frustrating difficulty that's not immediately dangerous, which are realistic IMO. When they're in immediate danger, I am not aware that they pause to crack jokes.


QUOTE
I strongly disagree -- everybody capitalizes their name. It's cliche.

(I do not capitalize because 1) I hate being cliche, and 2) it is symbolic of humility.)


QUOTE
I knew you'd say that.


QUOTE
Seriously though, obviously the focus groups like silver, guys -- there's no mystery, those of you portraying it as odd that LEGO keeps using the color. This is how personal taste works -- it differs, and you're gonna find yourself in the minority sometimes. Best get used to it -- that's life.


QUOTE
*lets self dp*


QUOTE
I'm not a soldier, but I know that keeping your sense of humor alive even in dangerous or serious situations can be a huge boon to keeping your sanity.

He who forgets how to laugh forgets how to live.


QUOTE
I heart silver. My favorite metallic. If I had my way, gold would be considered lesser than silver.


QUOTE
The red eye thing is the closest thing you have to evidence, but I could argue that Berix is the traitor for spending time away from the villages, or Ackar is the traitor because his name sounds like Admiral Ackbar and there was a traitor in Star Wars called Darth Vader.


QUOTE
Ultimately it comes down to this for me -- YOU choose to dissapointed or miserable.

If you expected the universe to be perfect, that was your choice, and really not very sensible of you.


QUOTE
If I as a writer were to try to appeal to the attitude you express in your post, I would feel like I am constantly walking on eggshells. Everytime I had a cool idea how to use a character, or more importantly logic told me the character naturally would be involved in something, I would have to worry about whether I shouldn't do it as it might offend someone.

That's a miserable way to write, and I wouldn't wish that on the story team, myself, or anyone.


QUOTE
QUOTE
But one thing. Everyone expects something when they do something.


Very true. For example, when I posted the above post, I expected somebody to reward me with this point, giving me an excuse to discuss it in a separate post so as to give it better focus.


QUOTE
Therefore, the more "things to expect" from a "donation or whatever the heck you want to call it", the more likely we get mooooolaaaaaaaa. Therefore good.

QUOTE
I don't see what the anology has to do with this. "Chevys" (or "Chevies") makes sense. Like "Keets" or Morby or my personal favorite for Makuta -- Terry Mack. "Biological Chronicles" referring to beings makes no sense. And as I typed this, a Chevy ad came on TV. They called it "Chevy." Seriously, exact same time.


QUOTE
QUOTE
Oh my, you're completely irrelevant metaphor makes you look sooo intelligent.


This is obviously getting out of hand, so I guess I have to close it. Also, you failed to answer my question. When a moderator asks you a question, answer it. Capisce? wink.gif

Please do not attack people like that. That is flaming, or at best trolling, both of which are not allowed.


QUOTE
What does a premier member buy?

1) YOUR right to be on here for free.

2) Their right to be on here.

3) PM perks, like poll-making, blogs, etc.

4) Proto.

No matter how you slice it, sending in that money is NOT just buying proto. Even if proto is all they want, they're still buying YOUR right to be on here for free. Yall should be grateful.

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