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» Hatrack River Forum » Active Forums » Books, Films, Food and Culture » Could use the help of an Armchair Psychologist

   
Author Topic: Could use the help of an Armchair Psychologist
Blayne Bradley
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Basically I play a game every saturday wherein I engage in epic economic-military struggles with over people for control of the world and currently engaged in a coalition struggle against two-three-ish players who just recently made a bid for hegemonic mastery therein I only barely managed to contain via my diplomatic skills*.

Essentially I managed to intercept the enemy's internal memo to his allies that he also sent to my allies in an attempt to form a counter-counter coalition struggle to contain moi, which I have here and quoted below and want to send a response to hopefully infuriate him in some condenscending and smug matter.

My default choice is just to respond with "u mad?" but preferably I would like to enlist the aid of any armchair psych major's into this cause or people who have a sufficiently good ability to do so. Like Sam or Orincoro, making this dude mad should be child's play.

Below is the message in full, below that will be my comments on the situation and refutations for context.

quote:

I am sorry I have been absent on the diplomatic front these last few sessions. I am sorry about this, and vow to change. First order of business: Qina, and the American situation.
I feel Blayne has been sticking his nose in places where it does not belong; interfering in international affairs without broad support and without allowing for appropriate diplomatic alternatives. Again, I have no personal beef with Qina; I just feel nobody should be subjected to punitive wars without a diplomatic 'out'. (Neither I nor Bavaria were given plausible peaceful alternatives.) I also feel Blayne's stance is inhibiting a globally acceptable solution to the American question. This document serves to address both these issues.
Additionally, I do not feel he is appropriately respectful to the minors in his neighbourhood, and think it would be wise for said minors to unite and stop being minors, and that it would be good for the majors to support this.
Not to mention the slew of personal enemies Blayne has made in the process of, well, being Blayne - but that should never be a reason. We should, however, hold him accountable for the political consequences of his actions.

I therefore propose an alliance of 'Stop interfering everywhere, Qin, and if we have to reduce you to a minor in the process, so be it'.
The goal of said alliance would be to diminish Blayne to the point where he is unable to intervene globally, and to be of similar power to the weakest of his neighbours. This would mean losing large amounts of land to Khmer and Punjab, and a significant portion to the Komnenids and Japan. Bavaria's, Croatia's and the Komnenids' (additional) gain would be no more support to Novgorod. Africa's gain would be no more help to Persia and a safeguarding of India from Qinese depredation, as well as no hegemony in the Americas - which ties in with my gain: personal satisfaction and the solution to the American situation.

About the American situation: I endeavour to propose a solution acceptable to the majority - though perhaps not to Dano. I feel Dano is unwilling to accept a solution wherein not all land is returned. This is obviously not realistic; even with considerable help he is not able to win. Best-case scenario is he does not lose; this I am willing to concede. I propose a situation wherein he cedes the lands I cut off and becomes an English vassal; a vastly extended California Republic, if you will. This will create two blocs of approximately equal power in the Americas: me, and England and USA. If Africa supports this solution and guarantees both parties there is no chance for me to win in America. This is in Africa's best interest, given that they do not want to see a hegemon on the American continent.

A private forum should be forthcoming. Thank you for your attention, and I hope to hear from all of you.

Kind regards,
Oddman

Now for the refutations:

quote:
I am sorry I have been absent on the diplomatic front these last few sessions. I am sorry about this, and vow to change.

I'll be good this time I swear! I've changed I've really changed!


quote:
First order of business: Qina, and the American situation.

My nation is "Qin" due to it being alternate history played in the game Europa universalis III. The America's (the year is 1782) is divided between the United States of Central America that spans from Alaska to Panama. Catalunya which has its capital in Buenos Ares Argintina but owns all of South America sans the Amazon and all of Iberia.

quote:

I feel Blayne has been sticking his nose in places where it does not belong;

U mad bro?

quote:
interfering in international affairs without broad support and without allowing for appropriate diplomatic alternatives.

I'm certain HITLER thought the same way. Clearly Britain and France didn't properly represent the world, just most of it, the silent minority must not be oppressed!

But clearly me going to war against him to defend the United States from an unprovoked war of aggression while allied to Persia, Russia and Kongo making it a five versus two coalition struggle is clearly insufficient to meet the noble and high standards of Catalunya as to what constitutes a "wide range of support" and that clearly I underestimated Oddman's honor regarding the sanctity of treaties and the diplomatic solution to disputes; like the ones he broke. Several times when he attacked the United States not once but thrice while showing outright contempt for his non aggression pact with the Americans.

quote:
Again, I have no personal beef with Qina;

Which is a shame because I am hungry for a beef of some kind.

quote:

I just feel nobody should be subjected to punitive wars without a diplomatic 'out'. (Neither I nor Bavaria were given plausible peaceful alternatives.)

Yes, I am also truly sorry that simply leaving a country half your size alone was not plausible enough for you, I am truly sorry for my lack of empathy for your poor plight of the Catalunyan people living in their crowded jungles and badly in need of lebunsraum.

quote:

I also feel Blayne's stance is inhibiting a globally acceptable solution to the American question. This document serves to address both these issues.

No Passera! My glorious troops will inhibit you all day long and especially night 8)

Inhibiting you from annexing all of North America is kind of the whole point of this shebang.

quote:

Additionally, I do not feel he is appropriately respectful to the minors in his neighbourhood, and think it would be wise for said minors to unite and stop being minors, and that it would be good for the majors to support this.

The same minors who only still exist because I, in my rose tinted idealism refused to annex them or let them be annexed for short term gain? Oh my! The poor still existing, breathing and alive minors and their Qin granted prosperity, who will ever think of the minors!?

quote:

Not to mention the slew of personal enemies Blayne has made in the process of, well, being Blayne

He's got me there, I have a very real sense of RUGGED INDIVIDUALISM.

quote:
- but that should never be a reason. We should, however, hold him accountable for the political consequences of his actions.


Aww, I love your condenscending weak willed rationalizations too! ~chuu~

quote:

I therefore propose an alliance of 'Stop interfering everywhere, Qin, and if we have to reduce you to a minor in the process, so be it'.

Operation Guttersnipe! Whatever happened to short two-word combination operational name schemes [Frown]

quote:

The goal of said alliance would be to diminish Blayne to the point where he is unable to intervene globally, and to be of similar power to the weakest of his neighbours. This would mean losing large amounts of land to Khmer and Punjab, and a significant portion to the Komnenids and Japan. Bavaria's, Croatia's and the Komnenids' (additional) gain would be no more support to Novgorod. Africa's gain would be no more help to Persia and a safeguarding of India from Qinese depredation, as well as no hegemony in the Americas - which ties in with my gain: personal satisfaction and the solution to the American situation.

Glad to see risking taking recieves its proper and just reward, death to more risk taking and absolute safety to everyone everywhere! Obviously the Chinese should stop interfearing in your backyard, clearly this is an inconvenince that must be squashed as a lesson to all the other would be meddlers! Afterall, with meddling outsourced to Qin this means that there's no more meddling jobs anywhere else, we must take back the jobs of being meddlers!

quote:

About the American situation: I endeavour to propose a solution acceptable to the majority - though perhaps not to Dano.

I am so happy you are so considerate to everyone but the player you are annexing!

NB: Dano is the American player.

quote:

I feel Dano is unwilling to accept a solution wherein not all land is returned.

Do not free my people now!

quote:
This is obviously not realistic;
Realism is for whiners. Not that this wall of text of yours isn't the definition of whining unintelligibly.

quote:
even with considerable help he is not able to win.
Because clearly fighting to even a stalemate isn't a worthwhile goal in of itself. France should have just given up and gone home in 1915.

quote:
Best-case scenario is he does not lose; this I am willing to concede. I propose a situation wherein he cedes the lands I cut off and becomes an English vassal; a vastly extended California Republic, if you will.

ASK NOT what you can do to defend yourself but ASK INSTEAD how far you should bend over.

quote:

This will create two blocs of approximately equal power in the Americas: me, and England and USA.

Woah, what kind of super awesome math FROM SPACE are you using to get 1+1+1=2!?

Side note; I'm pretty sure classical realists would throw a hissy fit over the idea that bipolarity is most stable geopolitical situation.

quote:

If Africa supports this solution and guarantees both parties there is no chance for me to win in America. This is in Africa's best interest, given that they do not want to see a hegemon on the American continent.

It is in Africa's best interest to not have a hegemon by having you as hegemon. Since England is very likely to bandwagon with you, since he has, thus far been your ally.

quote:

A private forum should be forthcoming. Thank you for your attention, and I hope to hear from all of you.

Kind regards,
Oddman

Who I have spies in since I acquired this message about 10 minutes after you sent it out [Big Grin]

Any help in further satiricalizing this message, or making my response further intolerably smug would be great, thanks.

*I am not joking, I deserve the noble peace prize, I am like Kissinger, Zhou Elai, Molotov and Carter all rolled into one smug package; it took two goddamn forsaken weeks that I will NEVER EVER get back just to get three players to agree to not fight each other to fight their common enemy.

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scifibum
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You're asking for help in tormenting somebody? Really?
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Blayne Bradley
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I'm downright mild compared to the metagame for EVE Online, all is fair in love and war. Every psychological weapon must be used to achieve ultimate victory, internet simcountry is serious business! Note, he has already killed at least three players from the game.
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jebus202
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Wait, he's killed people? And you're just trying to send back some smart-ass comments? Blayne, this is serious, you need to contact the authorities. Since we're dealing with the leader of a large world nation, perhaps you need to take this all the way to the UN. Don't worry the UN police will know what to do, but you should avoid that psychological warfare stuff you were talking about, or you might find yourself in trouble with them too, and then what would your nation do without you?

Remember, it may have been a game, but when he starts killing people, that's when it becomes serious. Don't confuse reality with fantasy, get help.

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Dan_Frank
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quote:
Originally posted by Some Dude In EU3 Who May As Well Be Samprimary:
Not to mention the slew of personal enemies Blayne has made in the process of, well, being Blayne...


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Samprimary
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Title of thread is wrong, you need the help of a real psychologist
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Parkour
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Ok, yeah, that is a pretty good punchline setup...
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Geraine
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Blayne, if you wanted to be a complete jerk and you have the resources, why not just invade his country, have him assassinated, or feed false information to the people he intended the message for?

Better yet, pass the letter along to the people it was intended for, but change it slightly so it makes the guy look like a complete jerk or that he is the real threat the others should worry about.

Not sure how your game works exactly, but sending him a message back laughing at him just gives him more fodder with which he can use to further build his case against you. Don't give him any ammunition. Let him know you intercepted the letter, then tell him there will be consequences.

Then craftily do something to him that can't be traced back to you, if that is possible.

In other words, be Iran.

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Dan_Frank
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Except hopefully less insane.
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Samprimary
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quote:
Originally posted by Parkour:
Ok, yeah, that is a pretty good punchline setup...

couldn't be resisted
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Geraine
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No, if you want to get ahead in a game like this, you gotta be sneaky. Start a conspiracy. Make up some false information that you made up and make it look as though he sent it out that paints this guy as a complete lunatic.
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Orincoro
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quote:
Originally posted by Samprimary:
Title of thread is wrong, you need the help of a real psychologist

I honestly don't know if he thought what he was saying was going to come across as complimentary, or hurtful to either of us? Does he know?


Incidentally, the very best way to wind somebody up is to gather as much observation of them as you can do, analyze what you've learned, and show that person that you understand them far better than they are comfortable with. But only do this if you wish never be trusted by this person, ever again. And I'm not talking about spying- I'm talking about using what you know about how a person thinks, to predict what they will do. Often it works better than finding out actual secrets ever could.

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Blayne Bradley
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quote:
Originally posted by jebus202:
Wait, he's killed people? And you're just trying to send back some smart-ass comments? Blayne, this is serious, you need to contact the authorities. Since we're dealing with the leader of a large world nation, perhaps you need to take this all the way to the UN. Don't worry the UN police will know what to do, but you should avoid that psychological warfare stuff you were talking about, or you might find yourself in trouble with them too, and then what would your nation do without you?

Remember, it may have been a game, but when he starts killing people, that's when it becomes serious. Don't confuse reality with fantasy, get help.

I am the UN!

Of course you're jebus, so I'm unsure if at some point you became serious or some deeper level of insane jebusness.


The point of riling him up is that he is the kind of player who will make massive mistakes when he is not of sound mind and emotionally compromised.

WAAAAAAAAGH!

quote:

I honestly don't know if he thought what he was saying was going to come across as complimentary, or hurtful to either of us? Does he know?

Why wouldn't it be complimentary? For good or ill it is what you are good at.
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Orincoro
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Yeah, I guess you can't imagine why somebody wouldn't find that kind of talk flattering.
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Dan_Frank
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In fairness, Orincoro, you and Sam do seem (at least on Hatrack) to be particularly adept at being some variation of scathing, condescending, mocking, and smug. I think it's a fairly common interpretation of your style.

For what it's worth, I don't think this is, by a long shot, your only way of communicating here. I find that when I'm conversing with you and you're not behaving that way, it's hugely fun. [Smile]

Heck, even when you are conversing that way, I don't always see it as a bad thing. When you're doing it to someone else, I'll admit to sometimes being very amused (if I feel like they had it coming, or simply if you managed to be extremely funny while you did it). Exhibit A: This thread! (Well Sam does it in this thread, you not as much)

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Samprimary
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I really honestly could care less about the label of armchair psychology nor did I at all assume it had anything to do with me.

Besides, the way armchair psychology is often used as a label towards me is complimentary, even if unintentionally so. Especially when it has to do with me or someone else really being able to understand or reasonably guess at motives and states of mind on the part of others, in a way which others really like to pretend nobody can 'fairly' do. I'm sure Tom gets a lot of that, too.

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jebus202
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quote:
Originally posted by Orincoro:
Yeah, I guess you can't imagine why somebody wouldn't find that kind of talk flattering.

Well when you go to so much effort trying to create that image of yourself, one would assume it would be flattering.
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Orincoro
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My point is not that my skills as a provocateur are not well honed, but that I have other, greater, intellectual skills that I display here just as often. I make no effort to create an image for myself. Others do quite enough of this on my behalf.
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El JT de Spang
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That's a lie.
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Orincoro
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No, it is not. You don't know what is and is not important to me, and what I do and do not put effort into. But I'd love to see you try and argue intent on my behalf; that would be just more of other people doing it for me.
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jebus202
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quote:
Originally posted by Orincoro:
My point is not that my skills as a provocateur are not well honed, but that I have other, greater, intellectual skills that I display here just as often. I make no effort to create an image for myself. Others do quite enough of this on my behalf.

Still, you can hardly be surprised when the task is "be a jerk" and the first person to come to mind for help is "Orincoro".
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El JT de Spang
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quote:
Originally posted by Orincoro:
No, it is not. You don't know what is and is not important to me, and what I do and do not put effort into. But I'd love to see you try and argue intent on my behalf; that would be just more of other people doing it for me.

I don't need to argue intent. You put effort into your writing, and part of that effort is tone. It is a choice on your part to be douchy, acerbic, and dismissive. I know it's a choice because I see you be normal sometimes. So your statement that you put no effort into your image is verifiably false, even on it's face. ALL of us put effort into our image, because all written communication comes with the job of choosing how we phrase things.
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Scott R
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quote:
Especially when it has to do with me or someone else really being able to understand or reasonably guess at motives and states of mind on the part of others, in a way which others really like to pretend nobody can 'fairly' do. I'm sure Tom gets a lot of that, too.
Both of you seem to think you're good at it, that's for sure.
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Orincoro
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quote:
Originally posted by El JT de Spang:
quote:
Originally posted by Orincoro:
No, it is not. You don't know what is and is not important to me, and what I do and do not put effort into. But I'd love to see you try and argue intent on my behalf; that would be just more of other people doing it for me.

I don't need to argue intent. You put effort into your writing, and part of that effort is tone. It is a choice on your part to be douchy, acerbic, and dismissive. I know it's a choice because I see you be normal sometimes. So your statement that you put no effort into your image is verifiably false, even on it's face. ALL of us put effort into our image, because all written communication comes with the job of choosing how we phrase things.
Under those terms, yes. Regardless, my statement is not a lie, least wise a lie of commission. I make no effort, beyond that which is incidental to my communication, to present any particular image. I was objecting to the idea that I create a "persona" or some kind of alternate personality for myself. I do not. Your not justified in calling that a lie- especially considering I had given you the benefit of the doubt, undeservedly, in sussing out the difference between subtle projection and play acting. Clearly you don't credit there being any difference. If I had said "I don't put any effort into the way I dress," I'm sure you'd be there saying "liar liar! If you didn't you'd be naked!" yes yes, some of us are adults who understand these distinctions well enough not to sit around calling each other liars for no reason.
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TomDavidson
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*blink* Did Scott just guess at our state of mind, Sam, or am I seeing things? [Smile]
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Orincoro
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Impossible!
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Aros
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Like Gaga said, he was born that way.
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Scott R
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quote:
*blink* Did Scott just guess at our state of mind, Sam, or am I seeing things?
Not at all. You and he both have touted your ability publicly. I suppose someone who is excessively literal might think that my statement implied I read your mind-- but there's evidence to show that the attitude I indicated exists, even without resorting to telepathy.

For example, Sam's post, which I quoted.

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Orincoro
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How could you possibly read the mind of the excessively literal person? Are you that person? How would you know what they would and wouldn't take literally?
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Scott R
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quote:
Originally posted by Orincoro:
How could you possibly read the mind of the excessively literal person? Are you that person? How would you know what they would and wouldn't take literally?

Note my language: "You seem"; "I suppose"; "someone...might think."

I'm not a mind reader, and with that language, I'm indicating that fact.

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Orincoro
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No, yeah, I saw that. I think it speaks to the flimsiness of your argument against "mind reading," as if interjecting a few qualifiers makes the act substantively different.
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TomDavidson
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quote:
there's evidence to show that the attitude I indicated exists, even without resorting to telepathy
Ah! [Smile] So your personal stance is that when evidence exists to show to one's satisfaction that the attitude indicated exists, one is not mind-reading? *grin* I'm glad to have that in writing.

It's also interesting that you think that the use of the words "in my opinion" or "seems" inoculates someone against assertions of mind-reading. Because I think I've been pretty consistent about using phrases like "I think" when offering my own opinions about someone's motivations, and yet it doesn't seem to matter much to you.

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Scott R
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Orincoro:

Feel free to think that.

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TomDavidson
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Ooo! Now that I'm getting laminated. [Smile]
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Scott R
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[Smile]

See my edit, Tom.

quote:
It's also interesting that you think that the use of the words "in my opinion" or "seems" inoculates someone against assertions of mind-reading. Because I think I've been pretty consistent about using phrases like "I think" when offering my own opinions about someone's motivations, and yet it doesn't seem to matter much to you.
To a certain extent, yeah. I don't think I've behaved the way you describe, but I could be wrong-- do you have a specific example in mind?
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TomDavidson
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It's more a general observation: that you get snarky whenever someone discusses the possibility of knowing someone else's mind, even if they use all kinds of conditionals -- like "I think" or "seems to" or "it appears." That you seem to believe those words soften the weight you give your own opinion but don't prevent you from criticizing what you appear to perceive as the false authority of other offered opinions is something I find interesting.
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Scott R
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I'll watch out for that tendency.
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Orincoro
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quote:
Originally posted by Scott R:
Orincoro:

Feel free to think that.

I don't need your permission. [Big Grin]
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TomDavidson
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In all seriousness, I don't mind it. I think it's very human to speculate on what's going on in other people's heads. I just think your decision to criticize other people for it even though it's something that you do yourself (and which I don't think anyone on the planet can actually help doing in order to function in society) is a little baffling. As long as we remember that what we think of someone is not and cannot be the alpha and omega of someone's own internal narrative, I don't see a problem with any of it.

If I thought I were actually defined by people's opinions of me, it'd be difficult to function. [Smile]

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Scott R
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Analogy:

Doctor John smokes. He tells his patients to quit smoking.

Does the fact that Dr. John smokes take away the harmful nature of smoking, or the validity of his advice?

Point being: I'm not perfect in this; I think it's still important to try. My hypocrisy doesn't make your presumptuousness any less presumptive or ignorant.

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TomDavidson
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Dr. John breathes. He tells his patients to quit breathing. Does the fact that Dr. John tells his patients to quit breathing mean that breathing is bad for them?
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Scott R
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Let's make sure we're talking about the same thing:

Making judgments about others' motivations is difficult if not impossible to avoid. I personally feel inclined to try to eliminate that tendency within myself, especially when the interaction is over a faulty medium like the internet.

Making negative comments about people's personal lives and their inner motivations is uncivil, especially when the medium through which one has communicated with them lends itself to misunderstanding and anonymity,

Who disagrees?

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Orincoro
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quote:
Originally posted by TomDavidson:


If I thought I were actually defined by people's opinions of me, it'd be difficult to function. [Smile]

Particularly as I imagine you without lungs.
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Scott R
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quote:
So your personal stance is that when evidence exists to show to one's satisfaction that the attitude indicated exists, one is not mind-reading? *grin* I'm glad to have that in writing.
I would like to point out the last time we had this conversation-- on a different forum-- that I asked for evidence to support your assertions, and you refused.
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Stone_Wolf_
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I tend to agree that trying to suss out people's motivations is basic human nature, AND that using statements which give room for the possibility of inaccuracy -do- soften the blow. I'm okay with speculation, I'm not okay with certainty.

Example:

Okay: I suspect that THIS is your motivation, and if it is, I'd like to say THIS.

Not okay: I know your motivation is THIS and THIS is what I have to say about that.

The proceeding was my opinion and is not to be used for any reason other then agreement.

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deerpark27
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What's the difference between word reading and mind reading?
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deerpark27
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The l'etres!

(gasp...I'm choking on my own spit...)

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TomDavidson
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*grin*
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Samprimary
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quote:
Originally posted by Scott R:
quote:
Especially when it has to do with me or someone else really being able to understand or reasonably guess at motives and states of mind on the part of others, in a way which others really like to pretend nobody can 'fairly' do. I'm sure Tom gets a lot of that, too.
Both of you seem to think you're good at it, that's for sure.
I boggled a little bit when I read this, for the same reasons that tom articulated!
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Scott R
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I boggle at your boggle!
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