Home « Forum « Author Hangout

Forum: Author Hangout

I know the answer but I'm going to post this anyway

Bondi Beach
Updated:

This just in: reader comment on Pagan Spring: Chloe at Easter:

"Hate male on male. Should have put in tags[Emphasis added]. Find it very disgusting and against natural order of

things. Men that do that should be denutted and

cocks cut off for the safety of the rest of the

world so they can not pass on the fag gene!"

From the story description: "Once again, pay attention to the codes! MM plays a relatively small but important part in this, although it's only oral, but if that isn't your thing this is a good story to skip." [Note: The story also carries an "Ma/Ma" tag.]

I know this is hopeless, and I know it's idiotic to respond to this guy, but I'm finding it awfully hard to resist pointing out to him that the story did in fact warn him in advance.

I know I should file this in the "Idiot Reader" category and forget it. I guess what startles me is it is the first, the absolute first---after tens of thousands of downloads (I'm not in the big leagues) and dozens of comments---obscene and obnoxious comment I've received on one of my stories. (I know how common it is---we've discussed it in this forum, but I'm not in the big leagues there, either.)

Maybe I'll go with a blog entry, instead.

bb

Grant

@Bondi Beach

I know this is hopeless, and I know it's idiotic to respond to this guy, but I'm finding it awfully hard to resist pointing out to him that the story did in fact warn him in advance.

I'd suggest responding that it was in the codes, there was a warning in the story description & you can't help it if they choose to ignore what's there for them to see.
Then put them on your ignore list.

Replies:   Bondi Beach
Ross at Play

@Bondi Beach

should be denutted and cocks cut off for the safety of the rest of the world so they can not pass on

Yep! Idiot reader pile.
Although I see something of value within that diatribe. If he'd ended that with 'whatever gene I have', I'd have totally agreed with him.

Bondi Beach

@Grant

I'd suggest responding that it was in the codes, there was a warning in the story description & you can't help it if they choose to ignore what's there for them to see.


That's what I put in my blog. I'm not going to respond directly to the reader—no point.

bb

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
docholladay

I have always wondered how many beginning story tellers stop writing because of those bullies. Heck I have even thanked writers who's stories I have no intentions of reading. Just the act of sharing deserves that much.

Replies:   Bondi Beach
Lugh

Musing--would there be value to having group-endorsed blog posts? Not necessarily suggesting the software changes to have a multiauthored post.

I'd certainly sign a caution to those who won't read.

Bondi Beach
Updated:

@docholladay


I have always wondered how many beginning story tellers stop writing because of those bullies. Heck I have even thanked writers who's stories I have no intentions of reading. Just the act of sharing deserves that much.


I've already heard from someone in response to my blog entry on this to say he as a reader has as much exasperation with comments like the one in question as authors have.

I'm not a new writer and I've got a thick skin, but even if I were just starting I'm pretty sure one nasty note wouldn't stop me, but it's still shocking to have this kind of thing come out of the blue.

The story's download count (not high to begin with) has spiked in the last 12 hours, and the score has dropped a little, so perhaps it will be a 1-bomb target for awhile.

bb

Ross at Play
Updated:

@Lugh


value to having group-endorsed


Lazeez mentioned to me that the Thumbs Down causes a copy of a post to be sent to him, for consideration of banning the poster.

I'm thinking if only writers could get together, and writers could issue their thumbs down against certain readers; then other writers would assess whether that reader's views were extreme and should be disregarded. Ideally, Lazeez would not count those readers' ratings afterwards in scores.

It might minimise the homophobic bias in the way the site scores are calculated now.

To Lazeez: I'm NOT suggesting or asking you for this - just dreaming of what Writers' Utopia would be like.

REP

@Lugh

would there be value to having group-endorsed blog posts?


Good idea, Lugh. However, if the idiots don't read the codes and cautions preceding the story, why would they read the group posts.

There is also the situation that many readers are not interested in the writer blogs.

red61544

BB, let it go. I you respond in any way, the idiot will try to destroy any scores you receive in the future. The best thing you can do with a troll is ignore him! Without someone with whom to argue, trolls simply wither an die

Replies:   REP  Crumbly Writer
REP
Updated:

@red61544

Red61544 --I agree with the advice you gave BB about him letting it go. I do question the accuracy of your labeling the reader a troll. Although, your advice on how to deal with a troll is also good.

To me a reader who contacts you one time about something is a disgruntled, angry reader; even if the reader makes disparaging remarks, is in the wrong, and is an idiot.

To me the label troll is only appropriate when applied to a reader who attempts to contact you repeatedly after you make it clear you wish no future contact with them.

BB -- Has that reader contacted you multiple times? If not, courtesy to your readers suggests that you at least acknowledge having received and read their email. How nice you treat that reader is a matter of personal judgment.

Crumbly Writer

@Bondi Beach

I know this is hopeless, and I know it's idiotic to respond to this guy, but I'm finding it awfully hard to resist pointing out to him that the story did in fact warn him in advance.

I know I should file this in the "Idiot Reader" category and forget it. I guess what startles me is it is the first, the absolute first---after tens of thousands of downloads (I'm not in the big leagues) and dozens of comments---obscene and obnoxious comment I've received on one of my stories.

It's hardly original, but like injustices, to ignore microaggressions like these is the same as encouraging it. It's essentially one person asking the public at large to agree with him, and by not telling him he's an ass, you're confirming to him that his way of thinking is actually an acceptible view in common society.

I keep repeating this, but this type of attitude is why we have so few gay author (defined as ANY author who'll comment on being gay at all) on this site. It's also not unusual that he'd ignore the warning or be the first to post a reply, as he chose the story just so he could express his outrage at the horrors of homosexuality! He knew it was something he disapproved of, but rather than avoid it, he sought it out to fuel him 'justified' homophobia. In that way, it's not at all unlike the misogynist, racist and religious jokes being tossed about at Trump rallies--and which he's actively baiting. If no one expressing how socially reprehensible it is, it won't be long until they stop talking about it and start beating/shooting people in the street for some perceived slight!

Crumbly Writer

@Bondi Beach

I'm not going to respond directly to the reader—no point.

Rather than no response, and tacitly agreeing with him, I'd suggest he stay off the site, since he's likely to encounter many other thing he's disgusted by, since they're normal parts of belonging to civil society.

@dochollday

I have always wondered how many beginning story tellers stop writing because of those bullies.

That's the whole point in this kind of rant: they (homophobes, racists, etc.) are trying to drive normal conversations away, so the only ones left are those who agree with them.

Instead of abandoning the site, the actually make me want to write MORE of the same!

Crumbly Writer

@Lugh

Musing--would there be value to having group-endorsed blog posts? Not necessarily suggesting the software changes to have a multiauthored post.

I'd certainly sign a caution to those who won't read.

I would too, as I'm sure you've all noted by now. ;D

Crumbly Writer

@red61544

The best thing you can do with a troll is ignore him! Without someone with whom to argue, trolls simply wither an die

Sorry, I've heard this argument over and over, and I've seen ZERO evidence anywhere which supports it. Rather, he'll be encouraged whether you agree or disagree with him, because it puts you into a neat little box. Rather than an author writing about universal experiences, you become with gay yourself, or a 'homo lover', and thus a blight on humanity in your own right.

Replies:   Ross at Play
Crumbly Writer

@REP

To me the label troll is only appropriate when applied to a reader who attempts to contact you repeatedly after you make it clear you wish no future contact with them.

Trust me, REP, as one who's encountered this kind of hate mongering, it'll continue. I've seen it happen repeatedly. On the flip side, ignoring it isn't likely to discourage him either. In short, there's nothing you can do to disuade him. Instead, about the only option that works--as most websites eventually learn once trolls start impacting their appeal--is to start banning those readers, and requiring log-ins with actual names, so everyone recognizes who's spouting their hated in a public venue. To not do so is to risk the thousands of readers the trolls victimize--simply because no one will stand up for them!

Replies:   REP
Daydreamz

@Bondi Beach

That's tough. I'm not sure there's a solution except to share it with your fellow writers as you've done. And to say to yourself it is not about you or your story, in any way whatsoever, it's entirely about him. I doubt you can fix him, tbh. You did everything right.

Bondi Beach

@REP

BB -- Has that reader contacted you multiple times? If not, courtesy to your readers suggests that you at least acknowledge having received and read their email. How nice you treat that reader is a matter of personal judgment.


I've only heard from this guy once.

My default is to reply to every note, directly or in my blog if the writer is anonymous. Doesn't matter whether the note is praise or criticism. The only time I haven't replied is where the note invited me to trade "real" stories about the themes of my stories, and even then only when the reader persists past my standard "It's all fiction, I made it all up, the story is the whole story" line.

In this case, I'm not going to reply because thanking someone for taking the time to share his vile homophobic drivel seems a little---odd.

bb

Replies:   REP
REP

@Crumbly Writer

is to start banning those readers, and requiring log-ins with actual names,


Overall, I agree with you.

The only problem is that a registration does not guarantee the person registering is doing so using their real name. If I were to register as John Snodgrass, then people would be upset with John, but since I am actually Harry Ponce, I will not be affected by their comments. If I get kicked off the site I can always reregister using a different name and email address.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
REP

@Bondi Beach

because thanking someone for taking the time to share his vile homophobic drivel seems a little---odd.


A reply does not have to be a "Thank You".

You can always tell the person what you think of them and their opinions and you can tell them you do not care to discuss the matter further with them.

I did that to a reader about two years ago who was telling me in a very derogatory tone that I had a number of well known and commonly accepted "facts" wrong. I explained to this reader using some biting words that his facts where valid here on Earth, but may not be so on another planet. My reader stopped contacting me, and I suspect he 1-bombed me in retaliation for letting a bit of hot air out of his ego.

Replies:   Bondi Beach
Crumbly Writer

@REP

The only problem is that a registration does not guarantee the person registering is doing so using their real name. If I were to register as John Snodgrass, then people would be upset with John, but since I am actually Harry Ponce, I will not be affected by their comments. If I get kicked off the site I can always reregister using a different name and email address.

I wasn't saying it's a perfect cure, but after watching Trolls infect one site after another, I've observed that it's about the only way to control it. You don't require a name, but associate a given pseudonym with a physical address--even if it's only an email address. By being able to block that user, and all his permutations, you can limit their vile. Otherwise, if anyone can claim to be anyone else to spout their hate, diminishing the original authors well-earned reputation, the site becomes no help to anyone.

It's a drastic step, but it's usually only undertaken as a last ditch method. Alas, if the 1-bombers get too aggressive, about the only solution I can see it to ban scores entirely, or at least reduce the 10 star system with a 4 star system (where a 1-vote has less of an impact, much closer to the more reasonable scores have).

@REP

My reader stopped contacting me, and I suspect he 1-bombed me in retaliation for letting a bit of hot air out of his ego.

Alas, there must be a price for living in a civil society, and the charge is often public shaming. If people can't behave in a civilized manner, it's up to the other members of the community to apply social pressures for the benefit of everyone.

That approach has fallen into disrepute, but it seems to apply to the current virtual world. If left alone, the internet is becoming a cesspool of inflammatory extremest views.

Replies:   REP
REP

@Crumbly Writer

I agree whole heartedly. When people can say anything they want to say without fear of repercussion for unwarranted insult to another person, we have a problem. User names support this type of unacceptable behavior.

If there was a way to trace these types of comments back to the person who makes them and hold them accountable for their comments, then a lot, but not all, of the problem would end.

Bondi Beach

@REP

A reply does not have to be a "Thank You".

You can always tell the person what you think of them and their opinions and you can tell them you do not care to discuss the matter further with them.


Fair enough. I always thank a reader for taking the time to write, hence the "thank you." But if responding itself is a form of respect, I don't care to show respect to a person who wrote the garbage this guy wrote. He doesn't deserve it.

Given the terms in which he delivered his view, I doubt any response would be productive, so no point in sharing my views with him.

I acknowledge it's pretty much of a no-win situation, which is why I elected to blog my response rather than write to him. There's reason to respond directly, I agree, but in this case I don't care to dignify what he said with a response.

(My nose really isn't as high in the air as this sounds. Really it's not. I am holier than he is, however ...!)

bb

Replies:   REP
REP

@Bondi Beach

The saying goes something like: 'Don't judge a person until you have walked a mile in their shoes.'

There is a big difference between angry words and hateful words.

Replies:   Bondi Beach
Bondi Beach
Updated:

@REP


The saying goes something like: 'Don't judge a person until you have walked a mile in their shoes.'

There is a big difference between angry words and hateful words.


I hope you are not asserting I have to attend x number of Westboro Baptist Church demonstrations before I can conclude this writer's speech was hateful.

His first sentence was angry. Apparently he was taken by surprise by the MM material because he either had not read or did not pay attention to the warnings.

The remainder of his message was hateful. Straight-up hateful.

The "holier than he is" remark was a joke and I should have tagged it as such. A bad joke, as my wife points out frequently about my jokes.

bb

Replies:   REP
REP

@Bondi Beach

I hope you are not asserting


Nope! I was trying to say I did not know specifically what your reader said. Therefore, it would be wrong of me to be critical of any decision you chose to make. My recommendations were only made based on a generic angry reader comment, not a hate filled reader.

As far as Westboro goes, all you need to do is look at the signs they carry and listen for one minute to tell that they are a hate group. If I ever went to where their church is located, I would stand on the porch of the gay pride house that is right across the street from the church and wave at those going in to worship.

Ernest Bywater

@REP

If I ever went to where their church is located, I would stand on the porch of the gay pride house that is right across the street from the church and wave at those going in to worship.


What would be better is to get a bunch of people, prepare signs like God is love and Jesus taught to love each other with suitable quotes from the Bible, and set up a picket line in front of the church to make it hard for them to get in.

Replies:   REP
REP

@Ernest Bywater

Ah yes. Poetic justice. Unfortunately, that type of bigot has their own interpretation of what those messages mean, so the intent may not be clear to them.

Bondi Beach

@REP

Nope! I was trying to say I did not know specifically what your reader said. Therefore, it would be wrong of me to be critical of any decision you chose to make.


Got it. No worries. Here's the reader's text. The first two sentences (not one, as I said earlier) arguably are the words of an angry reader. The remainder of the message is hate. For what it's worth, he'd fit in nicely with the Westboro Baptist Church crowd.

BEGIN QUOTE
Hate male on male. Should have put in tags. Find it very disgusting and against natural order of things. Men that do that should be denutted and cocks cut off for the safety of the rest of the world so they can not pass on the fag gene!
END QUOTE

bb

Replies:   REP
Crumbly Writer

It's strange he would specifically state "[you] Should have put in tags", where the story was tagged appropriately. My interpretation--previously--was that he specifically sought the story out because of the tags. Either he doesn't know how to read/interpret, or he didn't get very far into the description.

Did he saw whether he was a fan (i.e. someone likely to trust your story content without fully checking the story out first)?

Replies:   Bondi Beach
Ross at Play
Updated:

@Crumbly Writer


@red61544 --

The best thing you can do with a troll is ignore him! Without someone with whom to argue, trolls simply wither an die

THEN from CW --

Sorry, I've heard this argument over and over, and I've seen ZERO evidence anywhere which supports it.


I'm with CW it's better not to ignore, but for a different reason.

Don't base what you do on it's potential impact on him, base it upon how you choose to behave, irrespective of any provocation from others.

My choice in a similar situation is always to state my disagreement, but then cease contact when it's obviously pointless.

No matter how futile it may be (it obviously is in this instance), I prefer to respond as if there was some element of doubt in their intentions. Not for them, but so I feel comfortable I have exhausted all possibilities of a rational outcome.

I suggest you'll sleep better if you treat every irritating person that way.

EDIT TO ADD (after seeing his actual)

I would probably answer that with:

If I had NOT used appropriate tags, I would apologise to you, even though I find your remarks extremely distasteful.

In fact, I used these tags ..., and put this additional warning in the description of the story

"full quote".

You make the mistake, and your comments have been very hurtful to me.

I request an apology. If you have any decency. you will send one to me, without any mention of any views you now know I abhor.

Whatever he does, you'll feel your sense of dignity return after sending him something like that.

Bondi Beach

@Crumbly Writer

It's strange he would specifically state "[you] Should have put in tags", where the story was tagged appropriately. My interpretation--previously--was that he specifically sought the story out because of the tags. Either he doesn't know how to read/interpret, or he didn't get very far into the description.

Did he saw whether he was a fan (i.e. someone likely to trust your story content without fully checking the story out first)?


I'm pretty confident he didn't bother with the description, and probably didn't check the tags, either. If you start at the story's index page, i.e., you got there without seeing in the "New Stories" or author listing, you won't see the description or the tags unless you click the "Show Story Details" link.

He's not a fan known to me.

bb

Bondi Beach

@Ross at Play

Whatever he does, you'll feel your sense of dignity return after sending him something like that.


We take different approaches to this, although I see your point.

As for my dignity, while it's often others who are judges of whether one's dignity is intact, from my point of view it is, and I'll stick with the blog post and this discussion.

Cheers,
bb

REP

@Bondi Beach

My question is how do we as a society define the natural order of things. People like your reader are obviously not aware that many of the 'greats' of the past were in or condoned same sex relationships.

Furthermore, what gives this person the right to decide that others behavior is inappropriate and why does this person feel they have the right to decide on what punishment is suitable for someone violating their narrow moralistic code. Yeah, that does sound like the Westboro crowd.

I have to consider the possibility this man feels an attraction to other men, and wants to deny it. If so, then his hate is probably self hate focused outward in the form of moralistic rants about the sexual act itself, which is what he fears he will someday do.

Dominions Son

@REP

People like your reader are obviously not aware that many of the 'greats' of the past were in or condoned same sex relationships.


That reader would likely disagree with you as to who the 'greats' of the past were.

I have to consider the possibility this man feels an attraction to other men, and wants to deny it.


You do not need to consider that.

It's probably best to avoid considering the motives of people you don't know, haven't spoken to, and who aren't public figures.

Replies:   REP
Crumbly Writer

@Ross at Play

No matter how futile it may be (it obviously is in this instance), I prefer to respond as if there was some element of doubt in their intentions. Not for them, but so I feel comfortable I have exhausted all possibilities of a rational outcome.

Actually, I agree with that assessment. You don't want to pick a fight with someone unreasonable, as YOU'll look like a jerk and come off as an ass. Your posting the blog comment was probably best. Rather than personally confronting him, you're signaling to the SOL community that you don't share his opinion (as if any normal person would think that), and then you drop the whole topic. The WORST thing for an author is to publicly rant about someone's opinion (like a bad review).

Replies:   Bondi Beach
Bondi Beach

@Crumbly Writer

Your posting the blog comment was probably best


I did do that, but the comment you are replying to is Ross at Play's.

bb

Bondi Beach

@REP

Furthermore, what gives this person the right to decide that others behavior is inappropriate and why does this person feel they have the right to decide on what punishment is suitable for someone violating their narrow moralistic code. Yeah, that does sound like the Westboro crowd.


An argument based on morals or doctrine is futile (ex.: Westboro). It's ironic, sort of, but unless this guy lives in the back of beyond (and he might---his email alias suggests he's from the South) it's virtually certain he knows and interacts with (not-yet-out) gay folks even if, like Justice Kennedy, he were to claim and believe sincerely he doesn't know anyone who is gay.

The only hope I see is that as everyone sees and interacts with gay men and women, and the whole LGBTQ XYzZ (that last is a joke, deal with it) spectrum and discovers how human we all are, folks like this reader will feel less threatened (if that's what they feel now) and see less reason to believe such folks are evil. And we'll get past the bathroom wars, one hopes.

Note I didn't say anyone's going to like anyone, necessarily, but then that's a minor detail. OTOH, maybe they will. You never know.

bb

Crumbly Writer

@Bondi Beach

The only hope I see is that as everyone sees and interacts with gay men and women, and the whole LGBTQ XYzZ spectrum and discovers how human we all are, folks like this reader will feel less threatened (if that's what they feel now) and see less reason to believe such folks are evil. And we'll get past the bathroom wars, one hopes.

As more semi-closeted people come out as LGTBQ, more come around. That's what ultimately converted the Bushes & Cheuneys, eventually learning close members of their families aren't the 'monsters' they've always maintained gays to be.

REP

@Dominions Son


It's probably best to avoid considering the motives of people you don't know


To a certain extent that is true. However, if you want to understand why a person does or thinks things you need to postulate possibilities. A chain of 'if' statements will lead to a conclusion, however if any 'if' statement is false then the conclusion is probably false.

Replies:   Dominions Son
REP

@Bondi Beach

There is a passage in Heinlein's "The Moon is a Harsh Mistress" that pretty much sums up the problem our society has with sexual preference and other things.

The Moon's convicts have revolted against the Earth Authority and the people are in the process of forming a Congress and establishing the laws they will live by. I don't recall the exact quote, but an elderly man who was shipped to the Moon for fomenting revolution against his government says, "It never ceases to amaze me at the number of people who want us to pass laws that will protect their neighbors from themselves."

Our world would be a far better place if we all focused on living our lives the way we feel is right for us and ignore our neighbors so they can live their lives the way they wish.

Dominions Son
Updated:

@REP


However, if you want to understand why a person does or thinks things you need to postulate possibilities.


No, the only thing that will lead to understanding why a person does or thinks things is to talk to that person about it.


A chain of 'if' statements will lead to a conclusion, however if any 'if' statement is false then the conclusion is probably false.


Unless you are claiming to be a mind reader, every 'if' statement will necessarily be false.

Replies:   REP  richardshagrin
Ross at Play

@Bondi Beach

An argument based on morals or doctrine is futile

BTW, the idiot has his genetics all wrong too. The less common of the various natures tends to reduce rates of reproduction. Natural selection says it must fade away, but it has been pretty stable (I don't know, but perhaps 10% of males) over millennia. THEREFORE, there must be some advantage to them and society. They don't kill each other as often? They have a civilising effect on society as a whole?

My ONLY real point in the draft reply I posted was - DON'T bother about his morality (or lack of), JUST focus on your actions being in accordance with your moral standards.
My approach to life is always (I try, but I don't always succeed) state my rebuttal, but politely. Your approach may be different.

Replies:   Dominions Son
Dominions Son
Updated:

@Ross at Play


THEREFORE, there must be some advantage to them and society. They don't kill each other as often? They have a civilising effect on society as a whole?


Actually to persist, the gene would have to impact reproductive success. Even if it was beneficial to society as a whole but reduced the reproductive success of the individuals with the gene, it would still fade.

I read a very interesting study out of England. It was based on a very small sample, so it's not definitive.

There are genes in various animal species, including mammals that have very different effects in males and females. No such genes have yet been cataloged in the human genome.

In the study in England gay males were far more likely to come from large families and have many siblings.

The paper on the study put forward the theory that the gene that results in male homosexuality increases fertility in females.

Now there is a homosexual gene that will persist.

Bondi Beach

@Dominions Son

The paper on the study put forward the theory that the gene that results in male homosexuality increases fertility in females.


So if you want children, marry a woman with a gay brother? Sounds good.

bb

REP

@Dominions Son

I am not disagreeing with what you say. There are practical limitations on doing things as you describe. The only meaningful dialog you can have with someone is a face-to-face discussion. It is easy for someone to make false claims in emails, letters, and posts. You have no way to identify those misrepresentations. At least in a face-to-face discussion you can read the other person's body language and that will give you at least some indication as to the person's veracity.

Replies:   Dominions Son
Dominions Son

@REP

What you were doing was not identifying false claims or misrepresentations, but rather you were assigning motives to them.

Leave motives out of the discussion. short of a dialog with the other person or telepathy you can not know their motives to any meaningful degree.

Replies:   REP
REP

@Dominions Son

Angry feedback from a reader is often the reader venting without addressing the real reason they are angry.

No offense intended DS, but it sounds as if you are saying it is wrong for a writer to guess at why a reader is upset when they get angry feedback and the reason for the reader's anger is not clear.

Trying to understand that anger before one responds to the reader is what I was talking about. It is the first step in instigating meaningful dialog with the reader. Without an understanding of why a reader is venting their anger at you, you don't stand a chance of resolving the real issue.

You can call that telepathy or anything else you want, but I suspect all writers do it before responding to an angry reader.

Replies:   Dominions Son
Ava G

@Dominions Son

Actually to persist, the gene would have to impact reproductive success. Even if it was beneficial to society as a whole but reduced the reproductive success of the individuals with the gene, it would still fade.


Then there's the gene for sickle cell anemia (SCA). If a person has SCA, their reproductive success is lowered.

However, the gene is recessive, meaning it has to come from both parents for SCA to occur. If a person has one "normal" gene and one gene for SCA, that person's reproductive success is improved because she has become more resistant to malaria than a person with two "normal" genes.

Therefore, SCA persists even though it lowers reproductive success.

Replies:   Dominions Son
Dominions Son
Updated:

@Ava G


Then there's the gene for sickle cell anemia (SCA). If a person has SCA, their reproductive success is lowered.


Actually this isn't quite true. While most Americans see SCA as a black/African problem, it exists in European and Asian populations where malaria is prevalent.

In areas where malaria is prevalent, SCA is adaptive and increases reproductive success because it comes with resistance to malaria.

Even if SCA lowers absolute fertility in the individual, where malaria is endemic, your chances of surviving to reproductive age is lower without SCA.

Replies:   Ava G
richardshagrin

@Dominions Son

Unless you are claiming to be a mind reader, every 'if' statement will necessarily be false.


How about, if the sun comes up in the east tomorrow? Some probabilities approach unity.

Replies:   Dominions Son
Dominions Son

@richardshagrin

How about, if the sun comes up in the east tomorrow? Some probabilities approach unity.


Yes, but the probabilities for if statements regarding a stranger's motives approach zero, not unity.

Dominions Son

@REP

No offense intended DS, but it sounds as if you are saying it is wrong for a writer to guess at why a reader is upset when they get angry feedback and the reason for the reader's anger is not clear.


No, I'm not saying it's wrong, I'm saying it's an exercise in futility.

Trying to understand that anger before one responds to the reader is what I was talking about. It is the first step in instigating meaningful dialog with the reader.


No, trying to understand it without meaningful dialog with the reader is an exercise in futility.

Without an understanding of why a reader is venting their anger at you, you don't stand a chance of resolving the real issue.


Without a dialog with the reader you don't stand a chance of understanding why they are venting their anger at you.

Making guesses and assumptions ahead of time just brings bias into the dialog.

Replies:   REP
Ava G

@Dominions Son

Even if SCA lowers absolute fertility in the individual, where malaria is endemic, your chances of surviving to reproductive age is lower without SCA.


The New York Times reports:

As recently as 1973, the average lifespan for people with sickle cell disease was only 14 years. Currently, life expectancy for these patients can reach 50 years and over.


I think you're confusing SCA with the gene for SCA. As noted earlier, you need two copies of the SCA gene to actually have SCA, and having SCA lowers the chances of reaching reproductive age.

However, having just one SCA gene is adaptive, because, as you said, a solitary gene increases resistance to malaria. But these carriers don't have SCA; the just have a gene for it.

Replies:   Dominions Son
Dominions Son

@Ava G

As recently as 1973, the average lifespan for people with sickle cell disease was only 14 years. Currently, life expectancy for these patients can reach 50 years and over.



I think you're confusing SCA with the gene for SCA. As noted earlier, you need two copies of the SCA gene to actually have SCA, and having SCA lowers the chances of reaching reproductive age.


No, you are confusing modern law and morality with biology. The average age at which a human becomes fertile is around 11.

Also areas where malaria is endemic tend to have high infant mortality rates due to malaria.

So, biologically, 14 is old enough to reproduce, half of those with SCA will exceed 14 and they would have had a very high chance of not even reaching 14 without the SCA gene.

REP

@Dominions Son

It is obvious that we disagree and I doubt either of us is going to convince the other that they are failing to understand the situation. Shall we agree to disagree and let the question go?

Replies:   Dominions Son
Dominions Son

@REP

Shall we agree to disagree and let the question go?


Okay.

Crumbly Writer
Updated:

Shall we agree to disagree and let the question go?

Okay.


Finally! One discussion, out of hundreds, has been resolved successfully.

Ross at Play

@Dominions Son

Actually to persist, the gene would have to impact reproductive success.

I cannot recall details, but I vaguely remember an article in The Economist about a study concluding it was the siblings of homosexuals who were more successful (high rates of reproduction), and that is how the gene persists. I put that down to growing up in a family with (on average) more civilised and decent siblings.
If brother was gay, I'm pretty sure (a) he would not be the utterly arrogant arsehole he is now, and (b) my social skills would be better.

joyR

@Bondi Beach

Hate male on male. Should have put in tags. Find it very disgusting and against natural order of things. Men that do that should be denutted and cocks cut off for the safety of the rest of the world so they can not pass on the fag gene!


So, you are dealing with someone who believes that sexual congress between two males results in pregnancy… How else can any gene be "passed on" ?? Given that level of intelligence any reply is pointless, especially one made in a blog as that gives the idiot a stage.

As for the various comments regarding scoring and the '1 bomb'. The point is that if you give the readers the ability to score your story, it is the same as giving people the right to free speech. In both cases -YOU- don't get to decide what they can or can't say/score. The scoring on SOL is already 'fixed', something I personally wish wasn't done. However, the right to free speech requires the person to speak for themselves, when expressing their opinions, not speak anonymously, or by proxy. So in turn should scoring require the person to stand up for what they believe, publicly. Scoring is not voting. There are excellent reasons to ensure that those voting in the next election do so without fear of persecution, scoring a free story on a website isn't in the same league.

The cure for the 1-bomb is simple, all that is needed is for the users id to be listed alongside each score they award. Perhaps on each users profile?

Yes that might reduce the numbers of members who choose to score a story, but how valid are scores given by people who are afraid of others knowing how they scored a story? After all, the user names already give everyone anonymity. It is impossible for members to know that in truth Crumbly Writer is actually Jack Nicholson….

Sorry Jack… err… CW

It would also make it glaringly obvious to anyone interested just exactly which members score stories for reasons outside that of literary criticism.

Lastly, any chance we can resist the urge to mess with the voting system further? If you opt to allow readers to vote for your story, you have to accept that not everyone is going to award you a 10. If scoring was opened up on all the classic stories ever written, there would be 1's awarded. So what? At least the system is being honest. Scoring is by its nature subjective, deal with it.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Crumbly Writer

@joyR

Lastly, any chance we can resist the urge to mess with the voting system further? If you opt to allow readers to vote for your story, you have to accept that not everyone is going to award you a 10. If scoring was opened up on all the classic stories ever written, there would be 1's awarded. So what? At least the system is being honest. Scoring is by its nature subjective, deal with it.

My main objection with 1-bombs isn't the reader's opinion/protest-vote, but rather with the greater value 1 votes get given the current 10 point scoring system. If everyone votes in the 5 to 10 range, then a single 1 vote has a greater impact than 9 tens. A better solution would be to limit the power of each 1-bomb by limiting the range of scores, like Amazon does, to only 1 out of 4 stars. That way, a 1-star has a minimal impact on the overall score and actually helps the book as people view the votes as being more authentic since they represent a variety of opinions.

Replies:   joyR
joyR
Updated:

@Crumbly Writer


My main objection with 1-bombs isn't the reader's opinion/protest-vote, but rather with the greater value 1 votes get given the current 10 point scoring system. If everyone votes in the 5 to 10 range, then a single 1 vote has a greater impact than 9 tens. A better solution would be to limit the power of each 1-bomb by limiting the range of scores, like Amazon does, to only 1 out of 4 stars. That way, a 1-star has a minimal impact on the overall score and actually helps the book as people view the votes as being more authentic since they represent a variety of opinions.


Let us ignore the 1-bomb, defined as a score of 1 given not as literary criticism but due to the -ist the person is, -ism they believe in, or perceived awfulness they believe the story and/or author promotes.

That leaves us with readers who take the time to score a story and who chose what score to award based on their personal subjective opinion.

And yes, I'm asking you to also ignore those who '10 score' their favourite author(s) regardless of what they post. After all, are they any better than the true 1-bombers?

Why exactly should everyone vote in the 5 to 10 range? Are you saying that those who judge a story to be a 1, 2, 3 or 4 shouldn't vote? Or that they are too stupid to know that the story should be given a 5 or more? Or are you saying that no story uploaded to SOL deserves less than a 5 in anyones personal subjective opinion?

It would probably be fair to say that many readers, upon discovering what they believe to be a poor story, simple move on, never bothering to vote. There are probably those who only score if they are 'rewarding' an author for what they see as a fine piece of work.

We currently have a ten point range within which we as individuals can award what we believe is an appropriate score. There is NO rule that only scores of 5 or more should be made.

How is reducing the ten points down to four an improvement? Granted it makes mediocre stories appear closer in score to great ones, but only to those who don't see that wider scoring increases accuracy. For that matter, why not replace the whole thing with a simple thumbs up/thumbs down? Oh, and make a rule that only thumbs up should be given…

I would hazard a guess that when attending high school you and your contemporaries were marked in the A to F range. A six point range, oh, except for the A+ A- B+ B- C+ etc etc now I wonder why all those teachers thought a 15 point range better than just 5? Maybe they just didn't understand how a four point range would mean little Johnny's poor marks would have less effect on the school's exam statistics, or maybe they should have only marked in the A+ to B range, as (to mis-quote you) that would actually help the student as people view the marks as being more authentic since they represent a variety of opinions. It would certainly help little Johnny who would otherwise have barely scraped an F…

But I wonder how the universities would react? Never mind, we know from fairly recent experience, they accuse the school boards of 'dumbing down' and as a result cease to view a mark below an A as relevant to eligibility.

Replies:   Dominions Son
Dominions Son

@joyR

Why exactly should everyone vote in the 5 to 10 range? Are you saying that those who judge a story to be a 1, 2, 3 or 4 shouldn't vote?


No, he wasn't saying that at all, he was detailing a hypothetical example to illustrate how a 1 bomb can have more impact on the average score than an additional 5 or 10.

Replies:   joyR
joyR

@Dominions Son

Granted, it's just simple maths. But the hypothetical does not really help here, does it?

As far as I'm aware people do award scores less than 5, so whilst I understand the woe of a straight 10 story receiving a 1, and thus screwing the average, it's not really about the maths.

The real question is would an author rather only get the straight 10's, or would she/he rather get the honestly awarded 1 as well?

Whilst we all seek to perfect our endeavours, wouldn't honest scoring be better than what could be sycophantic scoring by overly eager fans?

Whilst high scores are good for the ego, less than perfect scores are more informative, much like constructive criticism is more valuable than a simple "great story, thanks". Whilst both are appreciated, one is far more useful than the other.

I really don't care what system is used, but by preference I'd prefer one with a greater range of scores (The ten we have as opposed to four, etc) but unadulterated by formulae (however well intended) etc etc, just simple honest scores.

Replies:   REP  Dominions Son
REP
Updated:

@joyR


The real question is would an author rather only get the straight 10's, or would she/he rather get the honestly awarded 1 as well?


Personally, I have no problem with an "HONESTLY" awarded vote of 1. I haven't posted many stories, but I have noticed that within an hour or so of posting a new story, someone has 1-bombed it. I suspect that there is someone out there that gets some perverse pleasure out of 1-bombing all authors regardless of their story's quality, content, or other quality.

Then you have the hate mongers. They 1-bomb a story without reading it because it is about something they dislike or because it is by an author they don't like.

Yes this is all based on my suspicions for I don't know who the 1-bombers are or why they 1-bombed a story. However, these types of things happen too frequently to be just coincidence.

Dominions Son

@joyR

The real question is would an author rather only get the straight 10's, or would she/he rather get the honestly awarded 1 as well?


How many ones are honestly awarded? Do you actually think authors post stories that bad?

I really don't care what system is used, but by preference I'd prefer one with a greater range of scores (The ten we have as opposed to four, etc) but unadulterated by formulae (however well intended) etc etc, just simple honest scores.


You just want to see the individual raw scores? No average? No sum? :)

Replies:   joyR
joyR
Updated:

@Dominions Son

How many ones are honestly awarded? Do you actually think authors post stories that bad?


Select 'Advanced Search' enter only score from 1 to 3.

You will get 119 results, that answer your question? Note that there are stories listed with more than 50 votes and a score less than 2

You just want to see the individual raw scores? No average? No sum? :)


Feeling a little pedantic are we? :)

Dominions Son

@joyR

Feeling a little pedantic are we?


Always.

Grant

I think the issue with scoring is Authors see it differently to the voters.
The Authors see it as a comment on their story. The vast majority of the voters use it to vote for how the story appeals to them (or not). And these days with the ever increasing number of small minded wankers all it takes is one particular thing that the reader has issues with & they will vote a 1 on the story.
Not because the story is bad, but just because of their small minded pettiness the very mention of something they object to (even is it's less than .0001% of the story) they will vote 1. Even though they enjoyed the rest of the story, they feel compelled to show their displeasure at something that offends them, no matter how minor or insignificant it may be in the story.
So of course if there's more than one thing they have issues with, or it's a significant part of the story then there's no other option (for them) than to vote 1.
Voting on the story on it's merits isn't an option.

I personally liked the old scoring system, still used for the reviews- separate scores for Plot, Quality, and Appeal.
There you can see if a story is well written or not, as well as whether or not the reviewer enjoyed it. I've seen stories with good Plot & Quality scores, but it wasn't the reviewer's things, so the appeal was marked down. Others where the appeal was high, even though the quality or even the plot was lacking.

With the reader's story votes, there is no way to differentiate what the reader did or didn't like about the story. But given the narrow minded blinkered views of so many people these days, I doubt they'd be able to use the TPA system properly anyway; they can't even use the current system in a reasonable manner.

Dominions Son

@joyR

Select 'Advanced Search' enter only score from 1 to 3.

You will get 119 results, that answer your question? Note that there are stories listed with more than 50 votes and a score less than 2


If you resort by score, it eliminates the stories with too few votes to display an average score and the list drops to 56. Also looking at the codes and descriptions, there seem to be a lot of stories that would draw out the 1-bombers.

richardshagrin
Updated:

Probably more pedantry to mention the normal (bell) curve where the mean (like average) score has a standard deviation and approximately 66% of all scores are within one standard deviation of the mean. The 34% not within one standard deviation are split evenly between about 17% higher than one standard deviation and 17% lower. Scores higher or lower than two standard deviations are rare, maybe 1 or 2%. More than three standard deviations are incredibly rare. I am reasonably certain our glorious leader adjusts the average score to a six, so that is the mean. I don't know what the standard deviation is, but I make an assumption it is one, so 66% of all stories score from 5 to 7 and about 17% score higher than 7. And 8s are rare and 9s almost unheard of. As far as I know no story on SOL has a score of ten, which would be four standard deviations above the mean. And there aren't any with a score of one, either. While reviewing I try to keep my tens to stories that take my breath away. And I still probably give more tens than I should. I don't think authors should expect tens from most readers. A six is a solid C, an average story. A seven is a B, good. An eight is like an A, very good. Nines are A plus. If writers took statistics and believed that an 8 is a exceptionally good score they would be happier, rather than being unhappy they don't get tens for all their stories.

And depending on the genre and story type, including tags that don't appeal to every reader, there are stories with scores well below six worth reading. Take a look at Rache's (and her numerous pen names) output. There are stories in the fours, or even lower that are superior craftsmanship. Unless you don't have time to read a lot of stories, requiring scores of any particular minimum before you will read it is hard to justify, in my mind.

joyR
Updated:

@richardshagrin

66% of all stories score from 5 to 7


Actually it's around 49.17%

about 17% score higher than 7


Actually it's around 29.433%

9s almost unheard of


9.0+ there are 102 stories

All of course are taken from current search results which means they include the votes made by the 1-bombers and crazies, and to be fair, those made by the sycophantic.

And even so, there are more stories scoring over 9.0 than there are scoring between 1 and 3.

Not that any of this really matters.

ps. Is pedantry contagious ??

Replies:   sharkjcw
sharkjcw

@joyR

ps. Is pedantry contagious ??


Around this bunch? YES!!;)

Replies:   Ross at Play
Ross at Play

@richardshagrin

Probably more pedantry to mention the normal (bell) curve

I was thinking about that before I reached your post. I would support an average score based upon the middle 60-80% of actual scores. This type of thing 'average' is used in many situations to reduce the impact of outliers.
In bridge competitions it is (almost?) universal when the same cards are played many times at different tables.
More timely, it has a long history for events that are judged in the Olympics. And as for whether a 10 score is possible, Nadia Comeneci proved it was.

Ross at Play

@sharkjcw

@joyR
Is pedantry contagious ??
sharkjcw
Around this bunch? YES!!;)

CANNOT AGREE. Those still here are here because they were pedants before they arrived, so not contagious here. :)

Ernest Bywater
Updated:

@richardshagrin


Probably more pedantry to mention the normal (bell) curve where the mean (like average) score has a standard deviation


The Gaussian Distribution Curve:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Normal_distribution

has some faults, one of which is it ignores a lot of the abnormalities that occur in human reactions. Also, it's application to anything depends a lot on you having a large enough source points and the source points aren't biased in an unusual way. All of these points are issues with any statistical analysis.

Take a statistical analysis of the answers to question of people in the street and compare that to the same questions to people leaving a Republican Rally and those leaving a Democrats Rally, and you get three very different results due to the biases of the people.

The issue with statistical analysis of SoL scores is the low level of source points in relation to the universe relevant to the story being evaluated.

One story posted in 2005 has a score of 9.61 from 1,529 votes and 248,390 downloads. That means the score is from only 0.616 percent of those who read the story, assuming all the downloads are different readers and not a few people reading it hundreds of times.

Another story posted in 2011 has a score of 9.11 from 7,695 votes and 2,470,280 downloads. That means the score is from only 0.312 percent of those who read the story, assuming all the downloads are different readers and not a few people reading it hundreds of times.

While a third posted in March 2016 has a score of 8.53 from 491 votes and 11,382 downloads. That means the score is from only 4.314 percent of those who read the story, assuming all the downloads are different readers and not a few people reading it hundreds of times.

A fourth story posted in 2010 has a score of 9.23 from 2,794 votes and 25,327 downloads. That means the score is from only 11.032 percent of those who read the story, assuming all the downloads are different readers and not a few people reading it hundreds of times.

When you compare the score with the relative number of readers who voted, how relevant does the score become when it shows the great majority of readers don't think enough of the story to register a score for it. Does the higher score of 9.51 from 6 out of a every 1,000 readers mean it's a better story than one with a score of 9.23 from 110 out of every 1,000 readers. It's all way to subjective to mean much to anyone.

Lazeez has a number of blog and news entries on the scoring system, about how it works and why it's that way. I see little point in going much further with this type of discussion on scores.

edit to break up on paragrpsh to be mroe readable.

Replies:   solitude
Ross at Play

I might try finding a way to include the number eight or nine a few times in the last chapter, hoping for some sort of subliminal effect.

solitude

@Ernest Bywater

assuming all the downloads are different readers and not a few people reading it hundreds of times.


A better assumption would be to divide the download count by the number of chapters, on the hyptheses that each chapter was posted on a different day and that most readers were following the story as it was being posted.

Crumbly Writer

Again, I've got no problem with reactive votes. Hell, I've seen time and again on Amazon where a few 1-votes would improve reader perceptions, because nothing but 10s look like the author/seller was promoting their own products (i.e. artificially inflating the products score). The problem is that, on SOL, everyone votes in the 5 - 10 range, giving the lowly 1 vote an exhoribant vote it doesn't have in a 1-4 vote like Amazon uses.

The issues isn't that haters don't hate, it's in giving them a bigger voice than the more loyal voters. Loyal readers tend to cluster votes, while haters vote strictly to punish.

Replies:   REP
REP
Updated:

@Crumbly Writer

Consider five 10's and one 1 vote on a scale of 1 to 10. The median value is 5.5 and the average is 8.5, thus the 1 vote pulls the average down by about 33.3%. In a similar manner consider five 4's and one 1 vote on a scale of 1 to 4. The median is 2.5 and the average is 3.5, which means the 1 vote pulls the average down by about 33.3%.

It seems as if the scale makes little to no difference in the effect a 1 vote has on the average score.

Replies:   Argon
Argon

@REP

Hi, just wanted to point out that the median in a sample 10-10-10-10-10-1 is 10. The median is the value that separates the high half of the numbers from the low half. The high half would be 10-10-10, and the low half is 10-10-1. With an even numbered sample, the median is calculated as the mean of the two middle values: (10+10)/2=10, for an uneven numbered sample, it is the middle value.
The same goes for your 4-4-4-4-4-1 example; the median would be 4.
The median is very robust against outlier data, an advantage over the mean when the population contains contaminations.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Median

REP

Yep! Thinking of average and said median. OOPs!

Replies:   Dominions Son
Slutsinger

@Bondi Beach

It's been really great to see the author community's responses here. Thanks for being a welcoming community that supports inclusion.

Dominions Son

@REP

Yep! Thinking of average and said median. OOPs!


An easy mistake to make because there are three different calculations in mathematics that mathematicians lump under the term average.

The mean: This is what most people think of when you say average, the sum of a set of numbers divided by it's size.

The median is the number that divides the set in half. Half the values will be equal to or greater than the median and half equal to or lower than lower than the median.

The mode: The is the least well known of the three. the mode is the most frequent value in a set. This works best for sets consisting of a finite set of discrete values

For the story codes, the mean is probably the most useful for readers, but the mode is probably more useful for authors unless the majority of votes are 1-bombs.

Replies:   REP
Ross at Play
Updated:

EDITED TO REPLACE POST
If anyone saw my original, the author had it correct. The word president is usually only capitalised if coming before a name.
Appears the 1-bombers in that case were pissheads, offended by some watersports, despite that being clearly stated in the story description.

Replies:   joyR
joyR

@Ross at Play

Maybe the subject of the next story competition should be a one guaranteed to attract the attention of the 1-bombers..?? The winner would of course be whichever author attracts the most 1-bombs.

Obviously such things as flagellation, necrophilia and bestiality could be included.

Or would we all be flogging a dead horse……...

Dominions Son

@joyR

Obviously such things as flagellation, necrophilia and bestiality could be included.

Or would we all be flogging a dead horse……...


Only if you can manage all three of those in one story. :)

Ross at Play

@joyR

flogging a dead horse

I know the sex act has an enormous number of euphemisms, but 'flogging' is a new one for me....

Argon

@joyR

You want 1-bombs? Just let your protagonist forgive his cheating wife/girlfriend! Works like a charm.

Replies:   Dominions Son  joyR
Dominions Son

@Argon

Just let your protagonist forgive his cheating wife/girlfriend! Works like a charm.


It's boring. At least revenge makes for an interesting story.

REP

@Dominions Son

three different calculations in mathematics


I never heard of 'mode'. While I can visualize the concept, I can't think of any practical application where the result would be meaningful.

If a story is so bad that the majority of votes are 1, the rest of the scores would probably be low also. The mean and median would both be low also if that were the case.

Replies:   Dominions Son
Dominions Son
Updated:

@REP


I never heard of 'mode'. While I can visualize the concept, I can't think of any practical application where the result would be meaningful.


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mode_(statistics)

Among other things, it is very useful for measuring how skewed a data set is.

In a normally distributed data set, the mean, median and mode should all be the same.

When I talk about discrete values, I mean that any given data point must be one of a fixed set of values.

The mode is not particularly useful for non-discrete data sets.

However, for a discrete data set like the scores for the stories, I would suggest that unless the mode ends up being 1 or 10, the mode of the votes is a better measure of the real quality/appeal than either the mean or the median of the votes.

It is possible for the author to know the mode of the votes because the stats page for a a story has a histogram of the vote distribution.

Replies:   REP
REP

@Dominions Son

it is very useful for measuring how skewed a data set is.


I can see how that would be helpful when applied to a data set. If I understand your point, you are saying that in a data set that is influenced by outside factors, the mode would be offset from the mean and median values thereby signifying that there is an outside influence affecting the discrete values.

Some time back, I commented on my manner of voting. I said I start with 5 and then go up or down according to how I perceived the subsequent installments of a story. I recently realized that I made one minor error in that statement. I actually start with Good and on the SOL histogram, Good is 7.

Since most readers rely on the description and content codes to select stories to read, they will select stories that appeal to them. Since that selection criteria predisposes a reader toward liking the stories the select, they will probably rate the story as good or higher on the scale. That is probably why there are so many 7, 8, 9, and 10 votes on the histogram. Since there are only three values above 7 and six below it, the voting for a good or better story places the votes in the upper third of the rating scale.

Replies:   Dominions Son
Dominions Son
Updated:

@REP


If I understand your point, you are saying that in a data set that is influenced by outside factors, the mode would be offset from the mean and median values thereby signifying that there is an outside influence affecting the discrete values.


A skew or bias in a data set does not need to be a result of outside factors.

Not all processes will produce normally distributed data.

In point of fact, the normal distribution is at best an approximation, no real finite data set, and especially no finite discrete data set can truly be normally distributed.

If you really get into statistics, you will discover that there are other distributions against which a data set can be modeled/measured.

The spread between the mean, median and mode becomes a measure of how well the normal distribution does or does not fit a given data set.

Take for instance, the set of hypothetical story scores {1,1,1,2,2,2,6,6,6,6,10}.

The mean is 3.909

The median is 2

The mode is 6

So which best represents the real quality of the story? I would suggest that 6 has the greatest consensus.

Replies:   REP
joyR

@Argon

Just let your protagonist forgive his cheating wife/girlfriend!


In the immortal words of one of my favourite ElSol characters… "Forgiveness is permission to do it again"

Replies:   Ross at Play
REP

@Dominions Son

As a fat old man of 70, I doubt that I will be getting into statistics. I'm more than happy to accept an informed opinion.

Replies:   Dominions Son
richardshagrin

One of the major users of statistics are Actuaries. I approached one who worked for an insurer I also worked for, I needed guidance to develop guidance in setting rates for large accounts. I had about four years of data on what our division's experience had been and expected the actuary to massage the data and give some figures our underwriters could use in modifying our current rates. The Actuary shocked me, he said with that few data points he could fit any of more than a dozen curves and there was no one best way to develop the rates I wanted. What kind of increase or decrease did I want? He could make it come out however I wanted.

Figures don't lie, but liars figure.

Replies:   sejintenej
Dominions Son

@REP

I doubt that I will be getting into statistics.


I wasn't suggesting you should. Myself, I can only name one other formally described distribution and I don't know much about it other than the name.

Replies:   REP  Lugh
Ross at Play

@joyR

"Forgiveness is permission to do it again"

I do not forgive for their sake, but for my own. It's what I offer to negotiate my future peace of mind.
My standard approach for the cheating spouse example would be something like a clear statement, "I will not live with fear. Never again, no excuses! If you do that again it WILL BE divorce, ASAP, and no possibly of discussions."
You MUST be fully prepared to follow through with any ultimatums. It's pointless unless your response to, "I'll try, but I cannot guarantee," will be, "You have just chosen divorce, ASAP, and no possibly of discussions." Anything less, and you are giving giving permission to do it again.

Replies:   joyR  Crumbly Writer
joyR

@Ross at Play

If you do that again it WILL BE divorce


It's the -again- part that makes it redundant.

Most marriages involve vows, most vows include a promise to 'honour' the other. Where is the honour in cheating? And why should a promise not to do it again, be more binding (or believed) than the original vow?

Replies:   Ross at Play
sejintenej

@richardshagrin

The Actuary shocked me, he said with that few data points he could fit any of more than a dozen curves and there was no one best way to develop the rates I wanted. What kind of increase or decrease did I want? He could make it come out however I wanted.


The law is not much different. There is one UK solicitor who routinely gets people off traffic offences by using other laws to defeat the prosecutor.

Another trick is based on the fact that a word has the meaning that you ascribe to it. If you say that black is green, truth is scandal etc. you can tie up the other side in knots. From a practical point of view I had to learn the financing documents for an oil field. It started with about 20 pages of definitions of words!
Next is the Lord Justice Scrutton ploy. In our appeal court (the highest court before parliament) the accused had been found guilty but the good Lord Justice was persuaded that the case was stupid (my word, not his): he fined the defendant the minimum possible fine of one penny (which the Lord Justice himself paid to the clerk of the court) and made the prosecutor pay everyone's costs and expenses for every trial up to and including including the final appeal. His comment was "the law is not an ass".

It simply needs a really competent and dedicated defence; look at the O J Simpson criminal case.
I have come across, often worked with, a large number of lawyers in several countries but of them all I would rate just one (a New York lawyer then sent to Hong Kong) with a second as a perhaps.

Replies:   docholladay
Ross at Play

@joyR

And why should a promise not to do it again, be more binding (or believed) than the original vow?

I used that only as an example of my general approach - when I see potential in a situation to continue cooperating with someone, without living in fear of repeats. That requires, at the very minimum, establishing the inevitable consequences of any repeat.
I would attempt a similar approach if , for example, I noticed someone had a pattern of mentioning things from my past that are no longer relevant. If I found those hurtful, I would want to give them the opportunity to correct their behavior, then all would be forgiven.
That would be my how, but I would have to decide I wanted that before going there.
(Note. I consider the following comment as simply a fact of human life, even if it may appear sexist.)
When married women cheat they are almost always already 'out the door' emotionally. The marriage is over, and she's just waiting for a convenient time (or person) before one or the other moves to some new accommodation. In those circumstances, I would choose divorce now for my sake, rather than when it most suits her.
The other way around, cheating husbands, it sometimes seems to work, as much as I find the choices both make impossible to understand.

docholladay

@sejintenej

It simply needs a really competent and dedicated defence; look at the O J Simpson criminal case.


As I recall that case. The DA presented 90% of his case as if it was a paid killing by a professional. He presented all kinds of bs about O J's criminal connections instead of actual evidence. I always felt like if he had made the charges accordingly, the case could have been won. Instead that undermined the rest of the case. Of course that darn glove didn't help either. But anyone who has ever worked with leather knows it will shrink when drying after being soaking wet. The shrinkage can be prevented if a mold of the same size is used to keep its size and/or shape properly.

Replies:   REP  Dominions Son
REP

@Dominions Son

Never though that you did. I made a jest and forgot the happy face.

REP

@docholladay

There are a large number of very good, ethical lawyers in this country. Unfortunately, there are a number of lawyers who use tactics that I consider to be unethical.

Manufacturing, hiding, or misrepresenting evidence to get a guilty verdict and attacking the victim of a crime to get a not guilty verdict are two of the more reprehensible tactics that I feel are unethical. Unfortunately, in a court of law, those and other tactics are common practices.

Dominions Son

@docholladay

@sejintenej

It simply needs a really competent and dedicated defence; look at the O J Simpson criminal case.



As I recall that case. The DA presented 90% of his case as if it was a paid killing by a professional. He presented all kinds of bs about O J's criminal connections instead of actual evidence.


I've seen a convincing case that OJ didn't do it. It was put together by a former NYPD homicide detective that spent several decades training homicide detectives across the country.

He thought there was something fishy about the investigation and decided to look into on his own. He put together a video which is on-line somewhere that details his findings.

Here is a summary. One of OJ's older sons (not sure if it's Nichols or from a former marriage) is a chef, someone familiar with how to use a knife.

That son was in court ordered psychiatric treatment due to a domestic violence case involving a former girlfriend. He was prescribed anti-psychotic medications.

According to his then current girlfriend he was off his meds and she was afraid for her own safety.

On the day that Nichole and Ron were murdered, the son mentioned above was supposed to be head chef temporarily at the restaurant where he worked because the normal head chef was on vacation.

Earlier that day OJ had met with Nichole and Ron at a school recital for one of his and Nichole's younger daughters. Everything is was cordial and pleasant and there was video of this.

They all agreed to meet at the restaurant where the older son worked for dinner.

However, Nichole and Ron blew it off. According to other kitchen staff at that restaurant. The son was pissed off that Nichole didn't show up and left in a huff before the restaurant even closed. This was also before Nichole and Ron were murdered.

According to the video he tried to present all of this information to the LAPD and the LA DA's office before OJ's trial, but they weren't interested in pursuing it.

Replies:   REP  REP
REP

@Dominions Son

As I recall the case, Ron Goldstein was a waiter at a restaurant Nichole frequented, and there was no personal involvement between him and Nichole. Nichole had left a personal item at the restaurant that night, and Ron offered to drop it off at her home after he got off work.

If there had been a personal involvement then I suspect that either the defense or the prosecution would have used it in the case.

Furthermore, how did the detective's investigation account for blood from the scene of the murder being found in OJ's vehicle?

Dominions Son

@REP

Furthermore, how did the detective's investigation account for blood from the scene of the murder being found in OJ's vehicle?


OJ was at the scene after the murders.

The blood in OJ's vehicle doesn't help the case for his guilt one bit.

Nichole and Ron were murdered with a knife, their throats slashed. Only a tiny amount of blood, a few drops, was found in OJ's vehicle, but the murderer would have been drenched with blood.

The prosecution never adequately explained why there wasn't much more blood in OJ's vehicle.

Dominions Son

@REP

As I recall the case, Ron Goldstein was a waiter at a restaurant Nichole frequented, and there was no personal involvement between him and Nichole.


Ron Goldstein isn't the suspect, he's one of the victims.

Lugh

@Dominions Son

ne other formally described distribution and I don't know much about it other than the name.


The bimodal normal distribution is also known as the brassiere curve.

Replies:   Bondi Beach  Capt Zapp
REP

@Dominions Son

Earlier that day OJ had met with Nichole and Ron at a school recital for one of his and Nichole's younger daughters


The comment was in response to the detectives investigation indicating their having a personal relation, friends or lovers, that was not brought out in what I recall of the trial. What I recall of the trial, Ron was her waiter on one or more occasions, and that was the extent of their relationship.

Replies:   Dominions Son
Bondi Beach

@Lugh

The bimodal normal distribution is also known as the brassiere curve.


"He slid his hand under her bimodal normal distribution" somehow doesn't have quite the same flow...

bb

Capt Zapp

@Lugh

The bimodal normal distribution is also known as the brassiere curve


And the amount of curve determines the cup size.

Dominions Son

@REP

The comment was in response to the detectives investigation indicating their having a personal relation, friends or lovers, that was not brought out in what I recall of the trial.


If Ron was not with Nichole earlier in the day, that is the fault of my memory, not anything to do with the detectives investigation.

Replies:   REP
REP

@Dominions Son

I suppose it really doesn't matter at this point. I doubt either of us know everything that actually happened. I know I have forgotten most of the details of what I read.

The only thing I really remember is the media turned it into a circus, and since then court trials have become sporting events with the lawyers jousting with each other and the crowds outside cheering them on.

Replies:   Dominions Son
Dominions Son

@REP

The only thing I really remember is the media turned it into a circus, and since then court trials have become sporting events with the lawyers jousting with each other and the crowds outside cheering them on.


Celebrity trials have always been like that.

Replies:   REP
REP

@Dominions Son

True, but I don't recall them being televised, especially as a live program.

Replies:   Dominions Son
Dominions Son

@REP

True, but I don't recall them being televised, especially as a live program.


OJ's trial was not even close to the first televised trial in the US.

Here is a list of some of the most watched trials. This is not a comprehensive list. It is by year and OJ is only # 6

Ted Bundy, 1979
William Kennedy Smith, 1991
Jeffrey Dahmer, 1992
The Officers who assaulted Rodney King, 1992
Lyle and Erik Menendez, 1993
O.J. Simpson, 1995
Phil Spector, 2007 & 2009
Lindsay Lohan, 2010
Casey Anthony, 2011
Dr. Conrad Murray, 2011
Jodi Arias, 2013

http://mentalfloss.com/article/50232/11-most-watched-television-trials

Replies:   REP
REP

@Dominions Son

Thanks. OJ was the first I was aware of being televised, but I don't watch much TV so I probably just missed them.

Replies:   Dominions Son
Dominions Son
Updated:

@REP


I probably just missed them.


You didn't miss much. Unlike fictional trial dramas, a real trial where you have to sit through all the boring evidence isn't the most entertaining thing to watch.

One interesting point, the Lindsay Lohan trial is the only one on the list that isn't some form of homicide. I don't think it was even a felony.

Crumbly Writer

@Ross at Play

I do not forgive for their sake, but for my own. It's what I offer to negotiate my future peace of mind.

People--especially religious Christians--keep saying that, but they insist on forgiving someone publicly, which translates into tacit permission/acceptance of their behavior. If you forgive someone to clear your own mind, then you don't announce to the world. People who publicly forgive are looking for public brownie points, and are using their own personal slights to win public favors. In short, it's a short-sighted trade-off for acceptance among their friends.

If you need to clear your mind by forgiving someone, then everyone should do it, but you don't go before a court and request the judge forgive a felon's crime!

But I agree with your 'giving permission' argument. If you oppose the idea of casual flings, then state outright, early on, that if someone cheats, you'll walk out. The caveat, though, is if you cheat you accept whatever punishment the other chooses and don't bitch and moan or beg forgiveness. After all, you knew the repercussions just as much as they did!

Everyone has their own lines in the sand, and you've got to draw your own, and keep refreshing it so the lines don't get washed away over time.

Replies:   Ross at Play
Ross at Play

@Crumbly Writer

if you cheat you accept whatever punishment the other chooses

Agreed, but I took that as a given. If you want to draw your lines in the sand (set standards) for others - to protect your peace of mind - you must have your own standards, and others must see you do. Otherwise, you're just a hypocrite and tyrant.

Back to Top