The Rookery

Madeline's thoughts on social deduction games, forum/community meta, and any other philosophical musings
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Selection Bias

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No mountains, no valleys
Never argue with idiots; they'll drag you down to their level and then beat you on experience.
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No community can, or should, be all things to all people. And that's okay!

When I've felt that people's behavior is unfair, or unpleasant, I tend to pull away and stop participating in games with them. It preempts situations where it's likely the same behavior will reoccur, and I'll be bitter, that are easily avoidable. This has happened to quite a few people over the years.

Though this may come as a surprise to some rap battlers, my general ethics are sort of a (very ill-defined) blend between "do what can be universalized to make it fair" and "the greatest good for the greatest number," and I don't really see a contradiction in this. But maybe people who act un-universalizably getting to stick around, and me not participating often or at all, is the greatest good for the greatest number? Sometimes that's hard to believe because there are mountains and valleys that don't get along with each other, let alone me, but...who knows.

And I feel like the absence of fairness hurts me...where? In my feelings? Definitely not in, like, my elbows. But sometimes it seems like that kind of frustration doesn't count, because it's not "really" emotional. If I complain or dump my problems on everyone else, however, I'm making the problem worse especially for people like me who might come later, because they'll read this and see "wow, the old-timers are mad at anyone who doesn't think like them, no chance this would be welcoming for a newbie!" So I stay quiet. (Except here.)

One approach I've seen people take is "if you have a problem with me, tell me about it, so I can avoid you in the future!" I don't like this approach. When your behavior is corrosive, I'm not going to give you the chance to show off your magnanimity by stepping aside for me. And who says anyone else will think I'm in the right? Probably the stuff I'm still pent-up and bitter about doesn't seem like a big deal to anyone else--after all, they didn't say anything.

The other version of this is people sort of being self-aware on their own, and saying stuff like "I realize that I have screwed up by making it all about me so I will do better in the future." Even when it's not all about them, it's all about them. (And then they tend to go back to normal after a couple weeks.)

This may beg the question of why I'm still even here, and I'm not sure myself. Maybe it's petty jealousy? Like, "how dare these jerks get to mostly enjoy themselves, whereas I, who give a rip, am left out in the cold." I don't know.

But the upshot of all of this is selection bias. If someone claims "obviously nobody has a problem with my behavior, because nobody here has ever complained," they're only able to see everyone there--not the people, old or new, who have been driven away by that behavior and aren't able to be counted.

Again, this isn't necessarily a bad or preventable thing. But it's worth bearing in mind.
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