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Thoughts on Shrysr Leaving Younghands and Asciilifeform's Excommunication

I'm taking the time to write about shrysr leaving, not for the sole purpose of passing judgement,1 but to reflect on my own situation and what I think about the cult aspects of younghands and tmsr. I can't discuss shrysr's departure without sharing my thoughts on the rating changes with asciilifeform. I said previously that I wasn't going to speak on that subject, but what can you do.

So to begin with shrysr, I believe during his last conversation with diana_coman she correctly assessed why he wanted to leave. I had internally experienced a flow of thoughts that mirrored the reasons diana_coman accused shrysr for packing his bags. My thoughts went something like ~ diana_coman has got me off my ass, helped me settle into a nice apartment, motivated me to get my hours done in the saltmines, prevented me from making bad investments after nights of drinking, helped me organize my schedule for 11 weeks straight, pulled me out of the haze of pot, put me to work on an interesting project, helped me acquire a personal computer, given me better methods to become bilingual, read all my articles and commented on them, etc. etc. But now there's nothing to stop me from walking away. I will continue my life at a much higher comfort level, and I can enjoy that comfort while dropping the hard work and getting back to surfing and weed. And I have the perfect excuse - asciilifeform got excommunicated unjustly, and I just won't stand for that! I entertained this thought, but let it pass. By acting on it I would be simultaneously betraying diana_coman and working against my best interest.

So I see shrysr's decision to leave as selfish2 and stupid. He's cashing out early and leaving diana_coman to eat a loss of time invested. Based on my own experience and what he said himself about receiving 10x the attention from diana_coman than from those he paid, I believe he would develop more at DCU than anywhere else. In sincerity I wish him the best of luck on his journey, I hope that he works harder than ever and blogs about his success.

But I do not see that happening. His website looks great now and has a handsome picture of him in some lab gear, but his blog has been lacking new content since he left. As far as I can tell, he has given up a path to meaningful and interesting academic work to twiddle css parameters until he makes his site shiny enough for him to get paid six figures of monopoly money.

The excommunication of asciilifeform is a more complicated matter. I have tremendous respect for him, and the situation has left me in quite a knot. I believe his side of the story and had I submitted to training under him, which I considered, I would likely be on the other side of the fence.3 He built tons of infrastructure and worked loyally for mp and others, and seeing him tossed to the side after his effort makes me believe it naive to become attached to any relationships within tmsr.

The only way I reconcile his having been tossed out is by hanging onto the idea that tmsr is only a place to grow and the moment the derivative of one's graph of progress over time becomes negative, that's it - no matter the max y value achieved. I am most cautious and aware of one point asciilifeform made, namely that mp picking up a bunch of noobs is perhaps his strategy to stay safely seated on his throne and keep the council well indoctrinated.4 There's not much I can retort to this, as it is true I trade my fidelity for a path to growth. I anticipate asciilifeform will call me a 'chained biorobot', and to some degree he will be right. But I would rather be a chained lion than an independent sand gnat, free to fly where I'd like --- until a gust of wind sweeps me to sea.

I don't doubt that shrysr leaving and running into the arms of asciilifeform is avoidance behavior. I think it is even worth gently reminding asciilifeform about his own prediction that leeches will come trying to make friends. Maybe now that shrysr is done sapping from diana_coman he'll see if he can get something from asciilifeform.

I do have doubts about the justification of asciilifeform's excommunication. As strong as those doubts are, I don't plan to use them as an excuse desert diana_coman and younghands. I hope asciilifeform respects that I took an oath and doesn't ban me from his chan for it. But I will see myself out if requested because I understand he sees diana_coman as chained to mp, and I would follow diana_coman's orders to leave his channel should I be so instructed. I have grown under her guidance, and I don't plan to start making exceptions to my pledge. Diana Coman keeps me "hypnotized" because she has this habit of giving advice that is in my self-interest to follow.5

  1. Although I will. []
  2. Misguidedly selfish. []
  3. The fence asciilifeform predicted would exist. []
  4. There are various other warnings asciilifeform's made that keep me on my toes. For example, mp is a talented writer with tits by his side. I don't question his ability to convince me of anything. []
  5. Even though following the advice may be painful in the short term. []

6 Responses to “Thoughts on Shrysr Leaving Younghands and Asciilifeform's Excommunication”

  1. BingoBoingo says:

    Asciilifeform didn't get excommunicated from TMSR, he was cut off from working with Mircea Popescu. I respect the kind of work he does, but his insensitivity to time and opportunities for leverage make him difficult to collaborate with. Spending time with someone who unambiguously enjoys Uruguay was a refreshing change of pace when he came down here. He sold me on colocating the former Qntra server with him, and I don't regret it. If he can ever dig himself outta the hold keeping him in the zone, I wouldn't mind him as a neighbor. He's also got a bit of a bullheaded streak to him like any healthy adult male. The problem emerges when the bullheadedness is brought in to defend handicapping habits.

    As folks more notable in recent years for their absence than anything they've done or notable for being adlai keep gathering in his channel, the noise level goes up. Where the noise transforms into problem is at the point where it appears to carry a signal, and that wanna be signal implies defending your handicaps is fine. Nevermind that challenging one's handicaps is the basis of living an active life. Defending the handicaps and refusing to dump the stupid that accretes when one grows up in the zone is a great way for a person to become a liability to their own self.

    The nature of the crowd that built itself up and started noising around asciilifeform was a great reason to stop listing the channel alongside clearly alligned channels. To his credit, I expect Alf's bullheadedness to keep him from being seduced by the Miami siren song. The names in the channel and the ongoing threads lead me to believe however that the irc channel with his name is going to be a sort of safe space for folks to manalone together.

    With respect to the fellow in Canada, he took an opportunity to sharpen himself out of his immediate problem and promptly decided to fuck off. Nevermind there's always a next problem waiting around the corner, nevermind how easy it is to fall back into the grooves well worn by the old, bad habits. His immediate problem was solved! Good riddens!

    The "cult" and "indoctrination" labels historically have been used "in universe" by Pantsuits to challenge folks attacking parts of their reality denial bubble. They gotta marginalize the scary thing over there improving people and... Dog forbid, even making them happier! The reason the cult label seems to work so well is rejecting just a little bit of Pantsuit can lead to vastly improved quality of like leading all sorts of still, very stupid things to fall under the cult label. If something works, great. If something might work better, test it.

    Mircea doesn't have his throne because other folks gave it to him. He made it, and he defends it. That some other people don't happen to recognize the throne doesn't make it any less real.

  2. whaack says:

    Well this looks like an example of a comment appearing quite quickly to outdo the article. The point about bullheadedness being a problem when it is used to defend handicapping habits is something I'll keep in mind as I slowly try to move from necessary self-laceration to confidence with my writing.

    I see how #asciilifeform is becoming a safe space for the absent crowd, as I describe in this article his situation is an easy thing to latch onto as an excuse for not doing cool work that comes downstream from mp. I also agree that he will not be "seduced by the Miami siren song."

    The idea that "cult" and "indoctrination" are magic strings pantsuits use just like "terrorist" to discredit anything cool is not foreign to me. And although I said mp may pick up some noobs as a strategy to keep his throne, I don't think his position at the top is a fickle thing that can change by a quick sway of a few opinions. My point is to say that those at the bottom of the totem pole have the most incentive (or at least necessity) to revere his lordship and mp, understanding this, may employ it to his advantage. Not that there's anything wrong with that.

  3. Diana Coman says:

    The trouble with asciilifeform's "predictions" is that they are more expressions of his own goals (whether he admits to them or not) than any predictions. He works *towards* making them true and he states them in the first place precisely because he is already walking on that path. And look more closely at it: there wasn't and isn't any fatwa/wall/whatevers + no negative ratings for him even now (only the other way around, it's he who is building the wall, you know?)

    He is of course free to dress anything as he likes but it's quite ridiculous really when he ends up with the equivalent of "everyone not following me is a biorobot" and the like. Fwiw, I stand by my rating of him precisely as it reads: his technical outputs can be brilliant *when they exist* (and it's a big when), his communications and evaluations of people however are entirely unreliable (and from significant causes too).

    "But now there's nothing to stop me from walking away." + "By acting on it I would be simultaneously betraying diana_coman and working against my best interest." - as your 2nd sentence correctly states, it's not really that there isn't anything to stop you from walking way; there is, but it is precisely only as much (and not "as little", despite what it might seem to some) as there should ever be - your own character, evaluation and choice in the matter.

    As to shrysr, he chose to repay his debt to me by serving simply as a live example of failing that character test at first opportunity, nothing more. He'll be therefore useful in that role, not a problem at all.

  4. Is that "but what can you do" first on the list of these supposed "cult aspects" ? Because it seems to me it should be.

    I'm not asking you lot to grow beards or copy my contrived idiomatics or anything the fuck else -- you do that. You do it of your own and for yourselves ; I tolerate it because on one hand I don't give a shit and on the other hand not everything can be discussed at once, just like no travel yet consisted of making all its steps simultaneously.

    And I have the perfect excuse - asciilifeform got excommunicated unjustly, and I just won't stand for that!

    I lulzed.

    Actually, I lulzed live & synchronously with both dc over netlink & local manticores over air, thus therefore it could properly be said that... am ris cu fetele de voi. Din nou.

    He built tons of infrastructure and worked loyally for mp and others

    This is at best a bizarre misstatement of history, but not exactly unprecedented -- it seems to me exactly the mechanism whereby beings an engineer end up attached to their dependopopotami (lotta beings an engineer in the us army, it's true, but this is because the us army is one of the most wasteful organization in human history -- otherwise BAEs flock anywhere with similar high waste/high throughput environmental conditions) is engaged here as well.

    Stanislav sat on millions in capital while whining about being uncapitalized, as his principal achievement. Other than that, he greviously mismanaged a key piece of republican infrastructure to the point we were forced to actually take a retreat ; and otherwise wasted everyone's time to such a copious degree, now that he's finally sent back to the pantsuit world he was borne of and belongs in activity everywhere skyrocketed. I will pass in silence over his would-be-offensive-if-weren't-so-ridiculous, patently deranged statements of self-importance -- except to say plainly that no, he was never all that interesting, important, central, productive or anything else in that vein. Schmuck is to this day alternating between whining as to how nobody gave shit one about his nonsense on even days and ranting grandilocvently about how much everyone deeply cares about his nonsense on odd days, this strikes you as intellectually tenable somehow ?

    These are the things that matter in the world : that if you receive a knight from my hand and then spend years doing nothing (except for posturing furiously, of course, of course) with it all, there will be hell to pay. These are the things that do not matter in the world : all the inane, minutious, circumlocutionary bullshit you come up with to "justify" why "you couldn't do anything". None of that crap matters, nor has it ever nor could it ever nor ever will it excuse anything. And yes, while all this shit was burning I tolerated Stan doing all sorts of stupid shit, all the way down to playing with an X-ray machine in an improvised arrangement. Is the plan seriously here to turn around and pretend tolerated weirdness is "years of loyal service", while outrageous failure and neglect somehow magically rendered unmentionable by the sheer force of moronic will ?

    Which takes us back to the dependopopotamus : that she does all day what she feels like doing anyway, that she filled your house of children, which are approximately clean and unmistakably uneducated, that she goes to the store [every time she's out of nacho cheese], that she's being a dependopopotamus in a word ain't something that figures in black on her balance sheet. You don't get any credit for doing what you were going to do anyways, and you sure as fuck don't get to park your fat ass at my table and expect me to pay for it. What next, I'ma go out there paying the sheep for grazing and the storms of storming ? I'm not the universal bank of natural processes, nor is anyone, nor will such purely pantsuit fantasies ever actually exist.

    You have no business experience, which is why you don't recognize the post-mortems written by the idiots responsible for the death in question as a categorical, self-obvious item ; but everyone is not equally impaired. It takes anyone with a clue all of five minutes to notice that "holy shit, this idiot dun goofed, cocked everything up, and now is on a rant about how right he really was and how mean, cold and unloving the world ?!". This is why we even have the logs in the first place, as opposed to gpgballs or whatever nonsense. This, specifically : so for the first time in history when the moron goes moronic there's a complete chain of incontrovertible proof rather than the traditional "nobody can distinguish" left behind all the previous Symbolics.

    I understand, also, why this feminine bullshit is appealing to the sad spawn of our meanwhile failed colonies : for the same fucking reason it's appealing to the traditional female. It just happens to be the path away from humanity, is all. If this is your outlook you will be farmed for meat (but, as a consolation prize, you can #believe-women or whatever it is they do), while you (unconvincingly, except for the other dreamers) claim to have been "unjustly" bla bla. The only injustice there however is what you've been doing to yourself.

    makes me believe it naive to become attached to any relationships within tmsr

    Don't try and make us your crutch, you'll be fine. Do you know what codependency is, incidentally ?

    the moment the derivative of one's graph of progress over time becomes negative, that's it - no matter the max y value achieved.

    This read is not supported by available observations, or else how do you reconcile say Mocky's adventures ?

    his strategy to stay safely seated on his throne and keep the council well indoctrinated

    The reason this is such deliciously sweet delusion is that it resolves the principal problem of the feminine mind : she knows she's exactly worthless, but if perhaps someone could be found that is interested, then by that token she's maybe worth something ? God knows she can't say what, but since this dude's going to all this trouble to "stay on the throne" atop her... it must be something ? Right ? Besides, he's a lot smarter than her, so he'd know better, yes ?

    A much better solution is to actually start being worth two shits, by doing useful things. Then you can stop wasting your time coming up with elaborate explanations as to why the guy with tits on his side gives shit one about some "throne" you came up with yourself. Because you did, you realise this ? The only place I'm sitting on a throne is in your own head.

    And yes, I can convice anyone of "anything". Do you know how I do that ?

    By not saying stupid shit. That's how. People manage to distribute themselves in the field, and so sanity is liable to appear to them as "anything", come to them at "unexpected" angles -- elaborately, deliberately "unexpected" -- and so bam, I can convince anyone of anything. Like, for instance, if you're veering too much to the right I can most definitely convince you to steer left ; while if you're veering too much to the left, I can convince you of the opposte, and now have you steer right instead! Truly my powers of persuasion are endless, I can convince anyone of anything! Hurr.

    I always convince everyone of the same like... maybe three fucking things.

    he sees diana_coman as chained to mp

    Da fuck is this nonsense even supposed to be ?! Are we rehashing tardstalk now or some shit ?!

    Good god the re-runs.

  5. whaack says:

    @ Diana Coman

    Yes there is a lot stopping me from walking away, but that lot comes, as you say, from my own evaluation. So with some mental gymnastics (likely employed to avoid work, to avoid addressing problems, etc) the 'a lot' could, in principle, suddenly disappear. Similar mental switches seem to happen with some frequency around these parts; an ethlos steps in, does some cool projects, and then *poof* vanishes.

    @ Mircea Popescu

    > Is that "but what can you do" first on the list of these supposed "cult aspects" ?

    Yes the "but what can you do" re the "cult aspects" of tmsr is the concluding thought I had when I finished this article.

    > Don't try and make us your crutch, you'll be fine. Do you know what codependency is, incidentally ?

    I did not know of the term, looked it up, and from ahdictionary got the definition:

    Codependent

    1.Mutually dependent.
    2.Of or relating to a relationship in which one person is psychologically dependent on another who has an addiction or is a narcissist.

    The interesting bit is which particular direction the second definition defines the relationship. I admit having been the "psychologically dependent" in more than one codependent relationship in my life.

    > This read is not supported by available observations, or else how do you reconcile say Mocky's adventures?

    Well now I could say he flat-lined and atm is being revived, but I won't argue this point. Maybe it'd be better to say - if someone's interaction with tmsr is believed to cause a global negative then that's it no matter what.

    Regarding "strategy to stay safely stead on the throne. --- Aha yup "oh look actually I'm valuable-because-I'm-worthless"

    Regarding your point about being able to convince anyone anything --- Yes I believe you get convincing powers by consistently 'not staying stupid shit.' But many things you say, such as

    You have no business experience, which is why you don't recognize the post-mortems written by the idiots responsible for the death in question as a categorical, self-obvious item ; but everyone is not equally impaired.

    I am too poor to evaluate for myself.

    Also once someone has saved your life a few times by screaming "left!" or "right!" you become conditioned to listen to their advice without too much evaluation. What can you do?

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