Mailvox: can’t you be nicer?

Robert imagines I would be more accessible if I only toned it down:

VD, I’ve read everyday for probably 18 months (and bought a couple of your non science fiction books). I agree with the overwhelming vast majority of what you have to say. I’m not thin skinned and I don’t mind confrontation. From school, to the business world to “around town” I’m considered well above average intelligence….

I still don’t always understand what you are trying to say 25% of the time. While my 38 years of life may prove me not in the fat part of the bell curve, here I most certainly think you would. Which is why when I read, and once every two to three days I think to myself “Vox sure can be an asshole. I don’t think that guy was trying to undermine or go gamma- just had an honest question because he didn’t understand” But I come back to read because you are also extremely insightful, even if I don’t also always understand.

Do you ever think you are turning away A LOT of potential allies because their IQ is 100, 110, 120, 125? The one time I took an IQ test back in high school mine was a little north of the latter. Maybe all those questions aren’t because they are trying to undermine what you are saying or making it about them with their gamma behavior. Sometimes us 100-125 folks just don’t get it. And yet I’m pretty sure if we are going to win, not lose, it’s going to take the 100-125 folks getting on board. I want to win. So in other words Vox, “I love your work. Please don’t always be such an asshole. Cause I want to win.”

I understand I said “I” about a hundred times in that, I’m a reader and not one who comments. Therefore you have no history with me and I no legitimacy with you- forgive my temporary trespass trying to build some cred to make a point.

This tends to remind me of the woman who argued that Ann Coulter would have so much more of an impact if she was just nicer. At the time, Ann had the bestselling nonfiction book in the country and was, as she is now, the most influential conservative political commentator in the world. It doesn’t actually apply as an analogy, since I’m not that successful, but you get the point.

Anyhow, while I’m willing to admit that I do occasionally misread questions that are asked in all innocence or ignorance, my read on a questioner is usually pretty good, having been honed by many years of receiving questions concerning my columns and blog posts. Spergs, trolls, and anklebiters have learned to try to conceal their intentions, and spergs, in particular, love to try to score imaginary points with pedantic, and usually incorrect, “corrections”. And frankly, I consider my response to that sort of thing to be restrained; I would favor capital punishment.

But I’m sure there are honest questions from the 0SD to 2SD crowd that simply don’t get something for one reason or another. It’s possible that I could try to slow things down in order to communicate better with them, or spell things out more, or stop skipping logical steps. I don’t see how that would make sense, however, as there are relatively few people doing what I’m doing. How many other people are introducing people to Fukuyama and Turchin and Taleb and tying their theories into something that can be coherently tied to today’s politics, just to provide one example? And I’m dubious that I have the personality or the patience to surmount the so-called communication gap that separates me from the 0SD to 2SD crowd. I’m not a teacher, after all, and this isn’t my job.

I’d prefer to see people do what the Men of the West have done. Take the ball and run with it. Rather than waiting for me to tone it down or dumb it down, why not write your own translations or impressions of what I’ve said and put it on a blog somewhere? Because, honestly, I don’t see things changing much. We are who we are, and if anything, I’m so busy these days that I am even less inclined to suffer questions and criticism that are less than substantive.

It is a good reminder, though, to think twice before dismissing someone as a troll, a sperg, or an anklebiter and treating them accordingly. Because not everyone who initially looks like one actually is.