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Conspiracy and the Truth

Ren
Posts: 7,102
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5/17/2012 9:50:02 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
In pondering how the acknowledgement of dubiety of certain circumstances or characteristics of various entities almost invariably leads to some preposterous explanation, I realized it happened here with the whole "DDO Elite," and I think it might serve as a perfect illustration, so I'm sharing it with all of you.

The DDO Elite is our own little illuminati. People have come to staunchly deny and deride its mere reference:

http://www.debate.org...

However, this whole thing began rather strangely. If I'm not mistaken, this whole month's long inside joke/gag/obsession began with one little statement:

At 4/14/2012 2:38:09 PM, Reasoning wrote:
At 4/14/2012 2:17:50 PM, royalpaladin wrote:
At 4/14/2012 2:14:22 PM, Reasoning wrote:
If JimTimmy has left, then who do I vote for for President?

A better candidate who will actually serve the site.

I'm not going to cast a vote for a member of the DDO elite.

Oh, the outrage! And why? Why would we care to talk about this one little phrase for so long if it didn't hold any credence?

Because, of course, the DDO Elite does exist. And, we know exactly who they are. We hold regular elections for them alllllll the time. Observe:

http://www.debate.org...
http://www.debate.org...
http://www.debate.org...
http://www.debate.org...
http://www.debate.org...
http://www.debate.org...

From such threads, you can essentially glean a generally amorphous understanding of who the DDO Elite are.

Well, are they relevant? Of course they're relevant! They shape the site and how it appears to others. Observe:

http://www.debate.org...
http://www.debate.org...
http://www.debate.org...

They are the most relevant members of the site, for all intents and purposes, even though they're an (extreme) minority.

However, threads like this:

http://www.debate.org...
http://www.debate.org...

Turn the belief in a DDO Elite into silliness, maintaining some pretention that everyone on this site is generally considered equal (which is ridiculous).

This is just like every conspiracy theory, the Illuminati included. I'm sure there are people in control, and the way they got there is probably perfectly explainable. Moreover, the fact that they're there is incredibly relevant, because they shape the way things are throughout the world. However, they're not a cult, they're not lizard people, and they probably don't even communicate in funny ways.

They are instead people that somehow assumed a position of leadership or influence and thus, affect your everyday life by merely existing.

Thing is, though, is that the global elite hide.

If there's anything I can say about the DDO Elite, it's that they have nothing to hide about.
CosmicAlfonzo
Posts: 5,955
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5/17/2012 10:24:29 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
Don't put those silly thoughts into these people's heads. There is no conspiracy, no DDO elite.
Official "High Priest of Secular Affairs and Transient Distributor of Sonic Apple Seeds relating to the Reptilian Division of Paperwork Immoliation" of The FREEDO Bureaucracy, a DDO branch of the Erisian Front, a subdivision of the Discordian Back, a Limb of the Illuminatian Cosmic Utensil Corp
Wnope
Posts: 6,924
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5/17/2012 1:18:54 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
Actually, it's more like Illuminati than you think in terms of conspiratorial reasoning.

Conspiracy Theorist: DDO Elites exist!

You: No they don't, the person who said they exist was making it up.

CT: But the Inner Circle is made up of people who control the moderator. That's the DDO. I have proof the Inner Circle exists, it secretly meets with the moderator, and it controls everything the moderator does. That's why the moderator's policies are in agreement with the policies of the Inner Circle members he chooses.

You: That borders on nonsensical. It's a group of people with differing interests who get together with a shared goal of some sort (in this case, advising Inno as moderator) to discuss and persuade each other.

CT: Then why so secretive? Why not post it all for everyone to see?

You: The whole point is to have a closed circle of communication to allow for bluntness that would otherwise be deemed politically incorrect.

CT: If the Inner Circle is so unimportant, why does it contain presidential candidates, previous official advisors, and Inno himself? [Redacted], a member of the Inner Circle, also has connections to a DDO wide kfc-related propaganda campaign.

CT: If the DDO Elite isn't controlling Inno, what about these PMs I have showing that DDO Elite members suggested Inno do things he later did?

You: Assuming people did not agree on the matter beforehand, all you are mentioning is times when one person was able to persuade another. Why don't you look at all the PMs where Inno tells others members he completely disagrees?

CT: Because it's secretive.

You: Oh...right.

CT: So what you're saying is you have no evidence to show that the accordance of Inno's policies and the DDO Elite aren't pure coincidence, and you concede the existence of a group of hand-picked individuals with differential influence that Inno listens to.

You: You mean a think tank?

CT: NO, a conspiracy!
Ren
Posts: 7,102
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5/19/2012 3:02:03 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
Okay, let's put this a different way.

The fact is that there is a "DDO Elite," and that small group of people do have a degree of influence. However, given this is a debate and social website, money doesn't matter here, as there is no economic component. Indeed, the only measurable "thing" that one could accumulate is social status, popularity, and perceived expertise in debate.

These things certainly affect every member, thus giving power to those with greater influence, popularity, and perceived expertise to affect every member's stay here.

That isn't to say that anyone has abused those powers, but one must admit that it's possible. Popular and influential members can turn against a member in a debate or forum conversation, and several followers will concur, reaffirming a personal attack, attack on one's opinion, or votebomb. In fact, I'm sure you've seen those things before. I know I have.

Identifying who those members are may or may not be necessary, depending on how you see things. At first, since new members would not know or understand the social dynamic at this website, people would simply perceive it as "the whole website." So, if they don't like the regs, and especially the more influential members, then it would just seem as though they don't like "DDO.org," and for all intents and purposes, they'd be largely right.

So, they can just leave and never come back, and this happens several times a day, I fancy. I'm pretty sure it happens several times a day on every discussion forum. The regs just won't be for everyone, and neither will the respected, and neither will the mods.

Now, to complete the metaphor, I'd say this whole microcosmic "DDO Elite" as I explained it is comparable to social classes in general. The regs are essentially the upper class, the less regular and disliked are the middle class, and the trolls and rare visitors are the lower class.

It's just the way things are. It's how people are.

In a country, on the other hand, it's a lot more difficult to leave and just become a member (citizen) of another country, and likewise, every manifestation of the social dynamic I've pointed out is at least tenfold more intense.

So, this elite that we're really referring to -- the Upper Class, leading to the select few that make the decisions -- they're going to work much more aggressively in their own favor, and at the disfavor of everyone else. Of course they are. They got where they are by capitalizing on people and resources. They pretend as though anyone could do it. Perhaps, to scale. But, that's a different problem.

In any case, the people at the top that get to make all the decisions -- naturally, with the bare acknowledgement that they certainly exist -- there would be outcry that they put themselves in the forefront and reveal their intentions, so the masses can determine whether they would like those people to maintain that position. Because, fo course, for them to remain who they are, everyone else must cooperate.

So, instead, they spread this absurd rumors about the apocalypse and aliens in hopes that the same cynics that are intelligent enough to figure them out and screw up their intentions would instead reject that they even exist vis-a-vis accepting their absurd explanation.

And, that's more what I'm saying is going on.

This whole Illuminati thing that Freedo and everyone else are doing, in an attempt to parody the whole idea of an Illuminati, are actually starting something that people might actually fall for eventually, if it weren't common knowledge that every single forum that exists has a social elite, as well as every other social arena. People don't see things that way in terms of countries, because countries are lot more tightly-knit, for the lack of a better description.
GeoLaureate8
Posts: 12,252
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5/19/2012 3:11:44 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 5/17/2012 1:18:54 PM, Wnope wrote:
Actually, it's more like Illuminati than you think in terms of conspiratorial reasoning.

Conspiracy Theorist: DDO Elites exist!

You: No they don't, the person who said they exist was making it up.

CT: But the Inner Circle is made up of people who control the moderator. That's the DDO. I have proof the Inner Circle exists, it secretly meets with the moderator, and it controls everything the moderator does. That's why the moderator's policies are in agreement with the policies of the Inner Circle members he chooses.

You: That borders on nonsensical. It's a group of people with differing interests who get together with a shared goal of some sort (in this case, advising Inno as moderator) to discuss and persuade each other.

CT: Then why so secretive? Why not post it all for everyone to see?

You: The whole point is to have a closed circle of communication to allow for bluntness that would otherwise be deemed politically incorrect.

CT: If the Inner Circle is so unimportant, why does it contain presidential candidates, previous official advisors, and Inno himself? [Redacted], a member of the Inner Circle, also has connections to a DDO wide kfc-related propaganda campaign.

CT: If the DDO Elite isn't controlling Inno, what about these PMs I have showing that DDO Elite members suggested Inno do things he later did?

You: Assuming people did not agree on the matter beforehand, all you are mentioning is times when one person was able to persuade another. Why don't you look at all the PMs where Inno tells others members he completely disagrees?

CT: Because it's secretive.

You: Oh...right.

CT: So what you're saying is you have no evidence to show that the accordance of Inno's policies and the DDO Elite aren't pure coincidence, and you concede the existence of a group of hand-picked individuals with differential influence that Inno listens to.

You: You mean a think tank?

CT: NO, a conspiracy!

Strawman.
"We must raise the standard of the Old, free, decentralized, and strictly limited Republic."
-- Murray Rothbard

"The worst thing that can happen to a good cause is, not to be skillfully attacked, but to be ineptly defended."
-- Frederic Bastiat
Oryus
Posts: 8,280
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5/19/2012 3:22:32 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
A well-reasoned and interesting read, Ren.

I would tend to agree. Though, as you said, these folks have nothing to hide. So it isn't an illuminati type behind-closed-doors thing so much but a general social understanding that this group of people are good, well-liked, etc. And due to those things, as well as their determination, (read: Koopin, Ore, imabench, etc.) they have made a name for themselves and, whether they like it or not, are very influential.

And like you said, with any large group of people cliques often become a reality and it would seem DDO is no special utopia which is safe from this. Though I would say that making your way into any kind of "clique" on DDO is much easier than most other mediums.

So, yes, there are social classes BUT there is a very large chance for social mobility if one were so inclined. All you need to be is intelligent (not hard for the vast majority of folks here), have ideas, be creative and dedicated to implementing your ideas. Also, being good at debating helps. It helps for social mobility when the currency used is not something which is difficult to come by or requires other people's cooperation (i.e. money).
: : :Tulle: The fool, I purposely don't engage with you because you don't have proper command of the English language.
: :
: : The Fool: It's my English writing. Either way It's okay have a larger vocabulary then you, and a better grasp of language, and you're a woman.
:
: I'm just going to leave this precious struggle nugget right here.
Oryus
Posts: 8,280
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5/19/2012 3:33:07 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 5/19/2012 3:22:32 PM, Oryus wrote:
A well-reasoned and interesting read, Ren.

I would tend to agree. Though, as you said, these folks have nothing to hide. So it isn't an illuminati type behind-closed-doors thing so much but a general social understanding that this group of people are good, well-liked, etc. And due to those things, as well as their determination, (read: Koopin, Ore, imabench, etc.) they have made a name for themselves and, whether they like it or not, are very influential.

And like you said, with any large group of people cliques often become a reality and it would seem DDO is no special utopia which is safe from this. Though I would say that making your way into any kind of "clique" on DDO is much easier than most other mediums.

So, yes, there are social classes BUT there is a very large chance for social mobility if one were so inclined. All you need to be is intelligent (not hard for the vast majority of folks here), have ideas, be creative and dedicated to implementing your ideas. Also, being good at debating helps. It helps for social mobility when the currency used is not something which is difficult to come by or requires other people's cooperation (i.e. money).

So I think something important to remember for people who take a stance like Reasoning is..

Did this person actually EARN their respect and influence? Or are they popular for some reason unknown?

And of course, whether they are truly respectable and influential should play no role in how we judge their arguments- only how we judge their respectability. I say this because the disdain for a member of the so-called DDO elite shouldn't be felt solely for the reason that they are well-liked and popular. As with anything else- it should be for a good reason. Disliking, distrusting, etc. someone simply because you perceive that they are part of a group you are not a part of is stupid- especially if it is a group you could be a part of if you wanted to be.

But if you're a user on DDO, it would seem you should know this, because smart people usually do :)
: : :Tulle: The fool, I purposely don't engage with you because you don't have proper command of the English language.
: :
: : The Fool: It's my English writing. Either way It's okay have a larger vocabulary then you, and a better grasp of language, and you're a woman.
:
: I'm just going to leave this precious struggle nugget right here.