seiberwing: (Bad Idea)
As some of you in the World of Warcraft community may know, Blizzard has contracted a case of the stupid. In short, they have decided that the best solution to the Greater Internet Fuckwad Theory is to remove the anonymity factor by forcing people who post to the forums to use their RL names.

I do not have to tell anyone on my flist that this is an outrageously bad idea. I get what Blizzard is thinking, assuming that the only reason people are rude is that they can hide being being Iceburn Elfpants rather than the world knowing their true name. Unfortunately that's not how it works at all.

Someone on the [livejournal.com profile] sf_drama (locked, but open membership) commenetd that WoW's general forum is basically '4chan lite'. I'm not a patron of the game myself, but I've heard a lot of stories about people being harassed, particularly women and queer persons. This is how bad it is without people trying that name back to an identity, and if real names are known it's just going to get worse. If someone posts on the forum everyone will know their name--but nobody will know the name of the person who simply lurked in the thread, gathered their name, and proceeded to stalk their Facebook and other internet gathering places. A tremendous amount of information about a person gathers on the internet, especially if your name is particularly unique--I've googled my own and found my Facebook, my school, my hometown, and gleaned the fact that I have bipolar disorder from a four year old newsletter. It's actually a bit creepy. And that's just google, not anything more in-depth like the White Pages or background check sites. If you get a person's real name you can know everything about Iceburn Elfpants and, for jollies, you can make their life hell.

This has already happened, by the way. Mr. Whipple is lucky nobody showed up at his house with a smug grin and a paintball gun, or that the good lads and lasses from /b/ didn't start ordering septic tanks delivered to his house.

As a F_W commenter pointed out, being known on the internet hasn't stopped people from being assholes. What it will do is help that assholes know exactly where that woman they're lusting after lives, and if they're not afraid to stalk her in-game and send sexually harassing messages to her there's a good chance they're not afraid to come after ones who live near them or post on her Facebook. It will also let employers, schools, clubs, etc. know exactly what that person does with their day, and I doubt playing one of the most addictive MMORPGs ever will make someone pick you over a less gamerish candidate. Abusive exes and other RL harassers will be able to find someone in a place they go to relax, and for people already boxed in that's a huge deal.

That's not even mentioning the fact that there's little way of punishing anyone for harassment other than the ways WoW already does (banning, etc). If a guy in Borginia harasses a chick in Zheng Fa, who should she call? The governments aren't going to interfere in each others' affairs over a simple matter like internet stalking. Even within the US legislation against 'cyberbullying' is scarce and light due to a deep misunderstanding of how it works. I believe we're all familiar with the Facebook suicide case, in which the culprit was acquitted despite the fact that she obviously committed a horrible act. It was not the first time, it was not the last time.

In a lot of folkloric traditions, knowing an entity or person's true name gives you power over them. On the internet it's halfway to true, and implementing this policy is going to hurt someone. This is exactly why I need to go out, get my masters and doctorate, and start doing research into psychology in social media...so I can get hired and tell people that stuff like this IS A REALLY BAD IDEA.
seiberwing: (Abe Sapien)
I am awesome. I am more awesome than you.

I don't care what you were doing Tuesday night, I was in Asheville listening to and getting hugged by and sharing a sundae at IHOP with Philip Zimbardo, quite possibly the most renowned psychologist currently living. There is nothing more awesome than this.

Photographic proof of awesome beneath the cut. )
seiberwing: (Wheelie)
Dear Hans Eysenck,

You are one of the top 100 esteemed psychologists according to scientific studies of how esteemed you are. You've written many books and papers and fundamentally changed the field of psychology. Do you really need to fill every bloody page of your biography with mentions of how awesome you are at everything from statistics to tennis and how everyone is totally jealous of your skills but they eventually bowed to your superiority in the field of things because you're just that great?

It's like reading an overly thick and far more intellectual version of an internet tough guy's forum post. I'm not denying his ability but the man's outright arrogance is staggering.
seiberwing: (Wheelie)


My primary area of interest human social behavior on the internet. This may overlap with studies of fandom, because fandom is pretty social on the internet and because I like watching what fandom does with itself. It’s a newish field, at least relative to the rest of psychology, and I think there are many academic and commercial benefits to studying it. It’s what I want to do in grad school and possibly pursue as a career afterwards.

But if I ever, ever, EVER do something as boneheadedly, unscientifically, patronizingly, unethically, sexistly, homophobicly, transphobicly MORONIC as this I want someone to come to my house and bash my head in with a blunt object. And I do mean bash. I want my cranium to be a slurry of bone fragments and brain matter because if I ever consider this anywhere near a worthwhile research method I have obviously either gone mad or my body has been possessed by some inhuman creature intent on making my entire profession look like a bunch of disgusting voyeurs. It would be a mercy to my immortal soul if my cursed body was destroyed along with any notes I may have taken during this profane thing I would call “research”.

I won’t go into the many, many things that are wrong with this because I think Neuroanthropology and others cover the topic sufficiently, but good grief. I wish I hadn’t missed it before Ogi Ogas (who sounds like a Yu-Gi-Oh! monster for some reason) deleted his LJ and comments and thought that would suitably hide his tracks. It would have been psychologically interesting to watch as he dug himself deeper and deeper until he hit China and decided to make a break for it while information, group action and discussion spread through the internet in a way that always makes me feel a bit tingly in the netherbits of my brain.

Dr. Forrester would think this was an implausible study and his primary experimental design involves putting a janitor in space and showing him bad movies.
seiberwing: (WTF?)
So one of the exercises we did today in our Personality class was to pick which animal we'd prefer to be. I found my results rather interesting, not because of the animal but because of the selection process.

You see, my first pick was an archaeopteryx. My first thought was how amusing it was that I'd expanded my mental search engine to extinct animals, and lesser-known ones at that (well, less than T-Rex, at least). Second, of course, came the crippling thought that I'd been far too pretentious in my choice and that if I had to explain it to people after mentioning it they'd all think I was an elitist twit, so I quickly changed it to the similar but more conventional bat.

Third thought, of course, was how revealing my reasoning had been. Instead of going with the usual power animal like an eagle or a lion (although Boots tells me I'm a bit like a tiger) I went about it logically, thinking about various pros and cons of my choices. Archaeoptyrx was flight capable and theoretically warm-blooded, but also had lovely sharp teeth, heightened sensory ability and agility, and claw-tipped digits that would at least help with manipulating things even without opposable thumbs.

On the other hand, my reaction to the 'what animal would you least like to be' was purely in my gut: a slug. Slugs are vulnerable and defenseless in most cases and one of my biggest fears is helplessness. So I'm coldly logical when considering what I want and how I should be and quite unlogical when it comes to what scares me.

Interesting.

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seiberwing

May 2013

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