When to Use Spoiler Warnings?

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fagricipni
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When to Use Spoiler Warnings?

Postby fagricipni » Thu Sep 20, 2018 7:13 pm UTC

How does one decide when to put in spoiler warnings. By the way, given the fact that this thread is about spoilers some silly examples of spoilers will be used; in theory, potential spoilers exist in this thread; in practice, unless one avoids all possible spoilers for anything, there should be no worries.

I have two problems: being too intelligent (having a good memory for what I have read and making connections easily) and suspecting that I am not typical in my enjoyment of fiction reading. I have had the experience of reading years earlier of how some author explored the idea of X by using a character with characteristic Y and then reading what I now think to be the novel that the original article was referring to. I had only read partway though the novel for the first time and thought that this might be the novel that the original article was referring to and thinking about how I can see how the "surprise" that the character is Y is being set up by careful choosing of words by the author. So in one sense, it is frightfully easy to "spoil" a story for me.

On the other hand, if the nearly the only pleasure I can get from the story is the shock of being surprised, then in my opinion it is a not a good story in the first place. Indeed, in the Joseph R. Garber's Vertical Run I got about a sixth of the way in and then had to read the last page to make sure that this wasn't just some absurdist piece but that there was actually a good reason for what was happening. But for me, I don't see how knowing the "surprise" the author didn't actually reveal until one sixth of the way from the end (though strong hints were made earlier) actually hurt anything in so far as my enjoyment of the story was concerned; indeed, the knowledge of what was being hidden simply allowed me to shortcut to the kind of enjoyment one gets from a second read of a familiar story.

But I have seen spoiler warning that to me are the silliest things. I have seen one, apparently unironic, spoiler hide/warning for the fact that the astronauts survived in the 1995 film Apollo 13. For someone with my interest in STEM, astronomy, and space travel that's like putting a spoiler warning on a historical novel that the American/British side won World War II. Like that not a spoiler, human. (Trying avoid gender-bias of saying "man" or "dude" here.) I, personally, have considered a spoiler warning for an episode of Star Trek: The Original Series where Kirk appears to die but doesn't and the last episode of that show aired in 1969, and it has been in continuous syndication since then; also, Kirk appeared in at least 7 of the pre-reboot movies: I don't think that I am giving away any secrets here in saying that he didn't die in the original series.

My question: is how do other people decide when spoiler warnings/hiding is appropriate and when it is unnecessary? Like a spoiler warning that the Cuban Missile Crisis didn't lead to full-scale nuclear war. Um, like no shit, Sherlock.

[EDITED: minor punctuation edit]
Last edited by fagricipni on Thu Sep 20, 2018 8:51 pm UTC, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: When to Use Spoiler Warnings?

Postby doogly » Thu Sep 20, 2018 7:24 pm UTC

fagricipni wrote:I have two problems being too intelligent

Claw your ways into situations that will help disabuse you of this notion. Good luck.

As for when to use spoilers, observe local custom. For example,
viewtopic.php?f=22&t=23118

Or, if there is a thread market "full of spoilers," then you need to apply the spoiler box. The thread is meant to be for that.

For historical events, it's generally ok not to give spoilers.
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Re: When to Use Spoiler Warnings?

Postby SecondTalon » Thu Sep 20, 2018 8:44 pm UTC

Yeah, I was just going to post #4 verbatim, but Doogly linked it.

So.. that.

Historical stuff gets a pass for being historical. Fictional stuff doesn't get that pass, no matter how old.

Religious stuff is where it gets wonky as... it's history to some, fiction to others.

The biggest problem I encounter with spoilers is .. for example, someone making a joke about Cloud City then saying it's an Skywalking offhand joke and someone else yelling "Dude, spoilers" at them when the only way the spoiler makes any sense as a spoiler is if you're aware of it.
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Re: When to Use Spoiler Warnings?

Postby Zohar » Thu Sep 20, 2018 9:19 pm UTC

I agree with doogly that you should stop referring to your "problems" of being too intelligent.

That said, it really depends on context. I'm listening to a podcast that reviews Buffy the Vampire Slayer, a 20-year old series, episode by episode. They actively avoid future spoilers on the podcast. However in casual conversation with someone, I would probably not actively avoid spoilers for the show. Though really, often I would ask "Are you planning to watch the show?" or "do you care about spoilers for this?". I remember having an argument regarding the movie Zodiac because I didn't know the story and wasn't happy that the movie poster literally tells you what happens at the end of it. My friend said it's silly because it's an historical event, but since it was pretty obscure, there was still tension for me.

You're right that a piece of fiction should be enjoyable whether or not you know the details of the story, but it can be enjoyable in different ways. Think of a story with a massive twist, something like The Usual Suspects or The Sixth Sense. The first time you watch it you're almost innocent - you experience the story, its suspense, you're enthralled with it. The second time you're watching it you're probably appreciating the way the story is built up to prepare for the twist ahead, it's a much more critical and thoughtful viewing. Is one better than the other? I don't know, but I think it's reasonable to give people the option to still experience the story in their innocent state. If you tell them the twist at the end, that would be impossible, they will have lost access to a specific experience.
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Re: When to Use Spoiler Warnings?

Postby fagricipni » Thu Sep 20, 2018 10:56 pm UTC

doogly wrote:
fagricipni wrote:I have two problems being too intelligent

Claw your ways into situations that will help disabuse you of this notion. Good luck.


My first thought was that you were telling me to surround myself with more intelligent people than myself so that I am aware that I am not always the most intelligent person in the room. Which I would very much like to be able to do. On further consideration I thought you might instead be telling me to put myself in situations where my intelligence is a very much a help rather than a hindrance. Which I would, also, very much like to be able to do. Either way, I take it as a humorous way of telling me to do something that I already need to figure out how to do.

doogly wrote:As for when to use spoilers, observe local custom. For example,
viewtopic.php?f=22&t=23118


Your pointer to "local custom" is helpful for posting on here, but there are other forums, even my own web site. I'm trying to figure out a balance between consideration for other people and having reasonable expectations of others' considerations for me not having to avoid talking about the story of Samson (of Samson and Delilah fame) from the Old Testament of the Bible; that story's been around long enough that if you didn't want to be "spoiled" by information by the end of his life, you should have read the <censored> thing by now.

fagricipni wrote:Like a spoiler warning that the Cuban Missile Crisis didn't lead to full-scale nuclear war.


Strangely, even though this was intended to be deliberately made-up example of a ridiculously stupid thing to have a spoiler warning/hiding for, I can imagine an alternate history story (probably involving some sort of time travel) where a major plot point turns on the fact that we the readers are supposed to think what happened was that the Cuban Missile Crisis went the other way in their reality, but we discover late in the story that there was another explanation for the "new future" of the story; so in some literal sense if such a story existed telling someone that "no, the Cuban Missile Crisis didn't lead to full-scale nuclear war" could in some sense literally be a "spoiler" for someone, but I'd know the difference between revealing details about the story and telling someone that yes, the Cuban Missile Crisis was a real thing, but it just didn't lead to nuclear war in our reality.

Zohar wrote:I agree with doogly that you should stop referring to your "problems" of being too intelligent.


Well, there's the fact that I attempted to "spoil" my parents for an episode of Touched by an Angel that I had seen less of than they had when I was 22. Touched by an Angel episodes run for 1 hour with commercial breaks. They had been watching this one from the start. I walked in around minute 15 and saw about 10 minutes before the commercial break in which I predicted the "surprise ending" because I wanted my prediction on the record so that would be no argument that I had accurately predicted what the writers had decided to do to write themselves out the problem that I saw that they had written themselves in to. I would have given a greater than 95% chance that X was how the writers were going to write themselves out of the problem they had written themselves in to, and if not X, then Y with a greater than 99% chance and that would simply to surprise people who like me saw X coming a mile away. I simply gave X as my prediction to my parents; my mother had a reaction best described as "This is the first time this show has been on; how do think you know that?" and my father's reaction to both of us was "We'll wait and see". Well, in the end neither of them could deny that I had correctly called it. The bad thing is that I would have loved to see the writers do something less predictable than either X or Y, but they couldn't do so without disappointing their base. You will note that I have left out so many details that this should not constitute a spoiler.

Zohar wrote:You're right that a piece of fiction should be enjoyable whether or not you know the details of the story, but it can be enjoyable in different ways. Think of a story with a massive twist, .... If you tell them the twist at the end, that would be impossible, they will have lost access to a specific experience.


And when I lent my friend the copy I had of Vertical Run; I did tell him that there was a good reason for the events in the early part of the story, but revealed nothing else. Based on his later descriptions, I'd say that he experienced the story the way the author intended for readers to experience it on first reading; I just had read about 50 pages and didn't want to read another about 250 more to find out the author had no explanation and had just written an (to me) disappointing absurdist story and so, thus, "cheated" by reading the last page, and planning to work back far enough to see if there was any point in me continuing to read forward from where I was at. The last page was sufficient explanation for me, would have been for my friend as well; so I told my friend that a logical explanation existed for events in first half of story even if I didn't reveal the actual logical explanation.

SecondTalon wrote:The biggest problem I encounter with spoilers is .. for example, someone making a joke about Cloud City then saying it's an Skywalking offhand joke and someone else yelling "Dude, spoilers" at them when the only way the spoiler makes any sense as a spoiler is if you're aware of it.


You anticipate one of the ways in which I have considered trying to make spoiler hiding unnecessary: tell the critical detail, concealing the story name, and distorting the unimportant aspects of the situation as camouflage; but it wouldn't likely work on me, especially after a few years when the surprise detail is much stronger in my memory than unimportant camouflage. Mind you I wouldn't likely be talking about the stories for their own sake, but as hopefully familiar examples of the types of situations and events I want to talk about.

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Re: When to Use Spoiler Warnings?

Postby Pfhorrest » Thu Sep 20, 2018 11:15 pm UTC

i'm feeling braindead today because life is shit so this is a halfassed comment

I too have the pattern of seeing twists in stories coming well in advance and almost never being surprised by them. My girlfriend has asked me to stop speculating on the future of shows we watch together because it feels like a spoiler to her when it almost inevitably happens as I predicted, even though I don't know actually what happens in unaired episodes any more than she does.

I don't find that seeing things coming spoils stories for me though, and so I pretty much never care about other people who've seen or read something I haven't yet telling me "spoilers". I enjoy the fact that the twist exists in the story anyway in a kind of timeless fashion. I don't have to actually be surprised to like that the story took that "surprising" twist.

IIRC there have been studies that concluded that contrary to popular belief, people who have had stories spoiled for them generally enjoy them more than people who haven't, so the term "spoiler" is itself misleading as if anything the "spoiling" is enhancing the experience. At least, statistically, according to those studies I can't be bothered to look for right now because life is shit and i don't give a fuck

There's a lot of spoilerific stories that I had no interest in until someone spoiled the twist in them for me, and then that twist was interesting enough to make me go check them out.

On the rare occasions that stories do actually surprise me, I do get a kind of thrill out of the surprise that I don't get when twists I saw coming happen, but I'm not sure I have the same timeless appreciation for the twists looking back on the stories as I do the ones that I like even without being surprised. Weirdly enough, the only example I can think of in this category off the top of my head right now is "Happy Feet", which followed more or less the trajectory that I expected the movie to follow leading nigh up to the resolution I expected to come of the ending and then... didn't stop there, and continued going in a direction I really didn't expect a movie like that to go, winding down to an ending I really didn't expect a movie like that to have... and then didn't stop there, and continued going even further places that I really didn't expect a movie like that to go. Rewatching it, there's plenty of foreshadowing for those later acts, but I guess I wasn't expecting sophistication from a movie like that so it caught me off guard when it unexpectedly veered out of the expected formula that it had almost completed running through.
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Re: When to Use Spoiler Warnings?

Postby Soupspoon » Fri Sep 21, 2018 12:42 am UTC

Many's the 'standard' twist-driven TV show where the Law Of Significant Events (a Chekhovian Gun, Gunman, Gunsmith, Armoury, etc… or indeed a Gun Forgotten, equally significant) makes you think "I bet that lingering shot on <foo>/seemingly irrelevent dialogue about <bar> will be important later!".

It's no art to spot them. Which is why the scriptwriting industry bothers to make false Checkhovs in the cleverer scripts, just to keep everyone guessing.

(If you really wanted to show off by predicting spoilers, I'd scribble your prediction on a scrap of paper and clearly put it somewhere in view so that it can be picked up at the end. That'd be the smart thing to do.)

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Re: When to Use Spoiler Warnings?

Postby fagricipni » Fri Sep 21, 2018 1:14 am UTC

Soupspoon wrote:(If you really wanted to show off by predicting spoilers, I'd scribble your prediction on a scrap of paper and clearly put it somewhere in view so that it can be picked up at the end. That'd be the smart thing to do.)


I didn't think of that at the time, and I only did it once just to avoid the argument that I was lying when I said that I predicted later events before a given point. I appreciate the suggestion for possible future use, though.

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Re: When to Use Spoiler Warnings?

Postby ucim » Fri Sep 21, 2018 1:47 am UTC

re: actual spoilers for actual stories: You can only see it for the first time, once. Respect that. 'nuff said.

re: other uses of spoiler tags: Sometimes spoiler tags are used for hanging a lampshade, and are thus ironic. Sometimes spoiler tags are used to limit the size of a post, hiding details from the uninterested, letting the post itself be a kind of executive summary. Sometimes spoiler tags are (similarly) used to finish a teaser: Start a story - drop a tantalizing hint [spoiler tag] rest of story [/spoiler tag]. They are also used to hide redundant (but useful) info such as duplicate image links (to mitigate phpbb wonkiness - see the Time thread). Sometimes spoiler tags are used to hide the answer or to hide clues within a post.

Sometimes spoiler tags are used to hide the null set. That's for people who habitually click spoiler tags. There are also deliberately malformed spoiler tags (an 1190 rickroll), used for amusement. There are other uses; you might find one in this very post. Because of all these other uses, "spoiler" is probably a misnomer.

But, if you are interested only in the canonical usage, the first paragraph should be enough for a sufficiently intelligent person to grok. :) Even people you consider less "intelligent" than you deserve respect and consideration. And sometimes, you're just wrong. Even Einstein was wrong.
Spoiler:
Later he thought he was mistaken about that, but that was an error.
fagricipni wrote:...in which I predicted the "surprise ending"...
Don't confuse prior experience with intelligence. That would be dumb. Not all stories are that well written, and there are tropes that somebody experieced in the genre would be more likely to pick up on. But none of this makes you "smart".

fagricipni wrote:but there are other forums
...and each forum will have its own customs. If it's your forum, you can start out by setting the rules, but customs will develop. You can influence this, but probably should have a light hand.

fagricipni wrote:The bad thing is that I would have loved to see the writers do something less predictable than either X or Y, but theqpoilery couldn't do so without disappointing their base.
Try writing some fiction. If you're that good, you'll make a fortune. If you're not, you may become enlightened.

Another way to look at it is that what is outside the spoiler is intended for one audience, and what is inside the spoiler is intended for another audience - a subset of the first perhaps, but still, a different audience.

Respect your audience.

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Re: When to Use Spoiler Warnings?

Postby SecondTalon » Fri Sep 21, 2018 2:45 am UTC

fagricipni wrote:
doogly wrote:
fagricipni wrote:I have two problems being too intelligent

Claw your ways into situations that will help disabuse you of this notion. Good luck.


My first thought was that you were telling me to surround myself with more intelligent people than myself so that I am aware that I am not always the most intelligent person in the room. Which I would very much like to be able to do. On further consideration I thought you might instead be telling me to put myself in situations where my intelligence is a very much a help rather than a hindrance. Which I would, also, very much like to be able to do. Either way, I take it as a humorous way of telling me to do something that I already need to figure out how to do.

Yeah, you may want to keep considering.
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Re: When to Use Spoiler Warnings?

Postby fagricipni » Fri Sep 21, 2018 5:13 am UTC

I don't feel like going back to do an exact count but approximately 4 or 5 people have some comment on my use of the word intelligent to describe myself in this circumstance.

As a self-diagnosed high-functioning autistic of nearly 2 decades (BTW, my individual therapist has very recently started the process of getting me to someone who can formalize that diagnosis), I am well aware that there are different types of intelligence and that skill in one is not very well correlated with skill in another. When it comes to STEM type stuff, I am very intelligent. When it comes to interpersonal intelligence, I am well aware of the fact that my natural intuitive level of understanding is at best at the 10th percentile for people my age; I am partially able to compensate with my non-directed studies of psychology and sociology textbooks, but I will never have the quick on-the-fly intuitive facility that someone like Megan (pseudonym) has demonstrated repeatedly in handling interpersonal interactions; yet Megan is the same person who performs so poorly in what is commonly regarded as intelligence, ey couldn't add 25 and 11 in eir head, even when told by me who ey knows would know "try a little bit; you don't even have to carry". (Unfortunately, my attempt at a bit of an ego-boost for em was a failure; when ey started to get up to get a calculator, I simply gave the answer to em.) Despite the lack of what I will call formal intelligence, Megan had repeatedly impressed me in eir ability to pick up interpersonal signals. Unfortunately, not only have I lost contact with em, ey was often not able to express the "why"s in a way that would fit in my mind.

For example, we were together a a party for about an hour. There were two other individuals that I have in mind that were also both at this party. Megan says to me later words to the effect of "X and Y don't like each other", despite the fact the ey had never met X or Y before. My immediate internal reaction was something along the lines of: "How the f___ did you actually determine this?". I knew ey to be correct because I had been friends with one of the individuals involved for over 6 months at the time; I knew that there were significant "hard feelings" between X and Y. But also based on my pre-existing knowledge, at the party I saw two people doing a good job of pretending to be strangers out of politeness to the other party guests. While I did not express my impressedness to Megan in the language that first came to mind, I did attempt to express the level of impressedness that I felt to em.

Perhaps, my knowledge of my own lack of skill at certain things causes me to be overly impressed with the fact that I appear to be able to predict so well what creative types like scriptwriters are going to do in their works sometimes based on only the first part of the work; too many clearly intended "surprise" twists aren't surprises to me.

Some people have been helpful to me in this thread: ucim's most recent response strikes me as almost designed with the idea that I might be high-functioning autistic in eir mind. One other respondent seems to be more interested in being snarky or scoring some kind of social points than in being helpful. I wonder how much it might have helped if I had given in to my initial impulse and put my initial post in Serious Business; perhaps a lot, perhaps not at all.

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Re: When to Use Spoiler Warnings?

Postby Pfhorrest » Fri Sep 21, 2018 7:54 am UTC

i'm still exhausted and beat to shit so this is another halfassed reply that's way off topic but what the fuck ever the topic is drifting there already

when I saw OP describe themselves as intelligent my first thought was something along the lines of "that's a bad move". Not, like... morally bad. But like, you're watching... sports or something I guess?... and see someone make a play that is strategically unfavorable and likely to result in negative consequences.

sure enough, lots of backlash to that line in this thread.

i'm resisting the urge to chastise people for that backlash so instead I'll just share a fragment of personal anecdote: when I was young I thought some good things about myself and some bad things about myself, each in proportion to the kinds of consequences I got in different areas of life (e.g. I scored highly on tests at school, but couldn't easily initiate or maintain romantic relationships, so I felt good about myself in one way and bad about myself in another). Then after years of making the "bad move" of occasionally (when relevant) admitting when I thought something good about myself, only to get the kind of response OP is getting here, I've now got the internalized voice of everyone who's ever participated in such backlash plaguing me and shooting me down every time I'm tempted to think anything good about myself. I know that internalized voice is wrong, it's countered by the other internalized voice of every supportive person who's ever tried to comfort me in the depression I've suffered with for the past decade, telling me that I've got to admit to myself my good qualities too and stop being so harsh and negative to myself, and I never quite say it, even just in my own head, but I feel like saying back to that supportive voice "but I'm not allowed to", and so I don't, even though I'd love to. Draw your own moral from this story, I can't be bothered to spell it out.

I also want to suggest OP take this reaction as a learning experience in their ongoing study of navigating social situations but I'm too exhausted to spell out exactly what the lesson here is and I'm pretty sure they get it already. It's a shit world that you're not allowed to be honest about yourself in it, but that is the world we're stuck with and it's strategically prudent to account for it.
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Re: When to Use Spoiler Warnings?

Postby SecondTalon » Fri Sep 21, 2018 2:31 pm UTC

I don't think figuring out where Touched by an Angel is going to go is very meaningful. It's a formulaic show that operates on a pretty repetitive "problem of the week" plot. I mean, figuring out Jack's name in under 20 minutes isn't especially difficult either, more of a "Are they going with that or something else?" prediction. Especially as they spoiled his name in the trailer.

If you want to test your predictive abilities...


Watch Moon, Pandorum, Pontypool, Antibirth, The Similars, Patchwork. Stop it 20-25 minutes in to the film, write down your predictions on what is going on and where it's going, continue watching. Also, if horror isn't your thing then I apologize as .. most of these fall in that category as it's what I like.

If you want more specific questions to answer -

Moon - What's going on with the Corporation?

Pandorum - Where is the ship?

Pontypool - How is it spread?

Antibirth - What is the purpose of the baby?

The Similars - What is the source of the change?

Patchwork - Who paid for the surgery?

If you really want to test it in a completely unfair way, try that on Daemonium. I say unfair because I'm 90% sure the people who wrote the film had no idea where any of it was leading at any given time, making it impossible to predict what will happen.
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Re: When to Use Spoiler Warnings?

Postby Tyndmyr » Fri Sep 21, 2018 3:52 pm UTC

fagricipni wrote:
doogly wrote:
fagricipni wrote:I have two problems being too intelligent

Claw your ways into situations that will help disabuse you of this notion. Good luck.


My first thought was that you were telling me to surround myself with more intelligent people than myself so that I am aware that I am not always the most intelligent person in the room. Which I would very much like to be able to do. On further consideration I thought you might instead be telling me to put myself in situations where my intelligence is a very much a help rather than a hindrance. Which I would, also, very much like to be able to do. Either way, I take it as a humorous way of telling me to do something that I already need to figure out how to do.


Well, it also seems very..../r/iamverysmart is perhaps a good description for it? Many people have a high opinion of their own intelligence. World's a crazy big place. There's definitely smarter people out there. Intelligence isn't a single thing, either. I might be fantastic at coding, but kind of rubbish at medical knowledge.

Basically, one shouldn't generally assume one's problems stem from being too intelligent. It is more likely that you need to learn something else about that topic.

Zohar wrote:I agree with doogly that you should stop referring to your "problems" of being too intelligent.


Well, there's the fact that I attempted to "spoil" my parents for an episode of Touched by an Angel that I had seen less of than they had when I was 22. Touched by an Angel episodes run for 1 hour with commercial breaks. They had been watching this one from the start. I walked in around minute 15 and saw about 10 minutes before the commercial break in which I predicted the "surprise ending" because I wanted my prediction on the record so that would be no argument that I had accurately predicted what the writers had decided to do to write themselves out the problem that I saw that they had written themselves in to. I would have given a greater than 95% chance that X was how the writers were going to write themselves out of the problem they had written themselves in to, and if not X, then Y with a greater than 99% chance and that would simply to surprise people who like me saw X coming a mile away. I simply gave X as my prediction to my parents; my mother had a reaction best described as "This is the first time this show has been on; how do think you know that?" and my father's reaction to both of us was "We'll wait and see". Well, in the end neither of them could deny that I had correctly called it. The bad thing is that I would have loved to see the writers do something less predictable than either X or Y, but they couldn't do so without disappointing their base. You will note that I have left out so many details that this should not constitute a spoiler.


In this particular case, note that your attention was on proving yourself correct/intelligent, not on the enjoyment of the experience for those watching.

You will have better luck avoiding spoilers if you strive for the latter.

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Re: When to Use Spoiler Warnings?

Postby Zohar » Fri Sep 21, 2018 4:11 pm UTC

Is this whole thread's purpose just for us to tell you how clever you are compared to other people? DID I GUESS THE TWIST CORRECTLY??
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Re: When to Use Spoiler Warnings?

Postby SecondTalon » Fri Sep 21, 2018 4:27 pm UTC

Gold Star, Zohar.
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Re: When to Use Spoiler Warnings?

Postby Weeks » Fri Sep 21, 2018 8:53 pm UTC

Pfhorrest wrote:i'm resisting the urge to chastise people for that backlash
It's very magnanimous of you to be so empathetic with this person and to share your own experience; I have struggled with depression and anxiety for about a decade and I've definitely felt this self-repressing voice.

I wouldn't want for past me to not realize how wrong I was. I am much healthier than I used to be, and apart from the support of people who care about me, I learned (painfully, slowly) to overcome my self-consciousness. I could never even start doing that if I didn't realize who exactly I was.

For what it's worth: My life became much happier when I stopped thinking of myself and others in terms of their relative intelligence, perceived or otherwise. There's so much more to humans.

fagricipni wrote:I don't feel like going back to do an exact count but approximately 4 or 5 people have some comment on my use of the word intelligent to describe myself in this circumstance.
Please keep in mind that we don't know you. We have also a long, exhausting, and almost nauseatingly repetitive history of talking with people who believe they are intelligent, and insist on this notion despite it not being particularly relevant to the current topic, and despite them not having much knowledge or at least good evidence to support whatever arguments they are making.

fagricipni wrote:I'm trying to figure out a balance between consideration for other people and having reasonable expectations of others' considerations
This is very much a trial and error thing. Consider that there are few situations where, when reasonably following local custom and a logical recency rule ("let's not spoil the ending of movies released in the past year, at least"), you having spoiled something is a real detriment to hundreds of people and not just a silly little thing. That said, I don't see a good reason for spoiling things to begin with. I don't need to tell people that I know what happens in a movie as they're watching it unless I am specifically trying to bring up how good at predicting things I am, which as you may realize isn't very valuable.

fagricipni wrote:One other respondent seems to be more interested in being snarky or scoring some kind of social points than in being helpful.
You are not owed any help; helpfulness is determined by a poster's interest and patience in a given thread. And you can be direct. If you think I'm being mean to you or something, say "weeks is being mean to me" so I don't have to play a guessing game when trying to speak with you.

fagricipni wrote:
doogly wrote:
fagricipni wrote:I have two problems being too intelligent

Claw your ways into situations that will help disabuse you of this notion. Good luck.


My first thought was that you were telling me to surround myself with more intelligent people than myself so that I am aware that I am not always the most intelligent person in the room. Which I would very much like to be able to do. On further consideration I thought you might instead be telling me to put myself in situations where my intelligence is a very much a help rather than a hindrance. Which I would, also, very much like to be able to do. Either way, I take it as a humorous way of telling me to do something that I already need to figure out how to do.
doogly was saying you should seek situations and things you find challenging to understand.

fagricipni wrote:Perhaps, my knowledge of my own lack of skill at certain things causes me to be overly impressed with the fact that I appear to be able to predict so well what creative types like scriptwriters are going to do in their works sometimes based on only the first part of the work; too many clearly intended "surprise" twists aren't surprises to me.
That's fine. There's a good chance however that you simply haven't read enough stories to find surprise twists that are actually surprising to you.
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Re: When to Use Spoiler Warnings?

Postby Pfhorrest » Fri Sep 21, 2018 9:06 pm UTC

Can I upvote Weeks' post somehow?
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Re: When to Use Spoiler Warnings?

Postby Ranbot » Mon Sep 24, 2018 7:09 pm UTC

Jose[/quote]
Weeks wrote:For what it's worth: My life became much happier when I stopped thinking of myself and others in terms of their relative intelligence, perceived or otherwise. There's so much more to humans.


"...we don’t think people are dumb. We think the world is hard." - Dr. Richard Thaler, winner of 2017 Nobel Prize in economics

The quote seemed relevant to your statement above and has helped my perspective towards individuals and society. It's from this interview with Richard Thaler, if anyone is interested in learning more about him and his research.

ucim wrote:Another way to look at it is that what is outside the spoiler is intended for one audience, and what is inside the spoiler is intended for another audience - a subset of the first perhaps, but still, a different audience.

Respect your audience.

I do that when I think a side note is interesting enough to say something, but I know not everyone will care or the side-note could distract from the main point/discussion. Maybe that's not an officially sanctioned use of spoiler tags, but no one has complained yet.

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Re: When to Use Spoiler Warnings?

Postby doogly » Mon Sep 24, 2018 8:53 pm UTC

fagricipni wrote:
doogly wrote:
fagricipni wrote:I have two problems being too intelligent

Claw your ways into situations that will help disabuse you of this notion. Good luck.


My first thought was that you were telling me to surround myself with more intelligent people than myself so that I am aware that I am not always the most intelligent person in the room. Which I would very much like to be able to do. On further consideration I thought you might instead be telling me to put myself in situations where my intelligence is a very much a help rather than a hindrance. Which I would, also, very much like to be able to do. Either way, I take it as a humorous way of telling me to do something that I already need to figure out how to do.


I should not abandon the thread. I was writing a lot of things, but really it all boils down to the first thing you thought. I think you should do that, as you are aware, and I think it will have multiple beneficial aspects.

There is a combination of "You are not so smart and should learn this via direct experience of smarter folks demonstrating sublime mastery around you, you will not productively learn this by being told you are not so smart on a forum by people who are probably not so smart either," and some "You probably are more smart than some not some digit percentage of the population. It probably is frustrating dealing with people who've never heard of the Cuban missile crisis. It will be good to be in situations where you can be more entirely at ease regarding these things." People should know about the Cuban missile crisis.

I definitely agree with the notion that if the plot is the most interesting thing about a piece of media, that is not likely to be a very interesting piece of media. If I realize something can be fruitfully replaced by its wikipedia article, I stop reading or watching it. I might then go ahead and read the wiki article, because it is sort of neat to know what happens in things, but then I move on.

Also, I deny Tymndr's interpretation. I can guess at /r/iamverysmart and I can promise you, the only subreddit I would ever associate with any way, shape or form, not just as an active participant but even as a conversational referent, is /r/stardewvalley. That subreddit is great, go there. Pay no attention to anything else, all the rest of reddit is terrible. I also think intelligence is a single thing. Or, not so much that I think it, research has shown that all attempts to measure or statistically confirm "multiple intelligence" type proposals are failed. Pathfinder lets you choose your stats with a point buy system, but in life you just get the rolls and are stuck with high correlations to a g factor. It's pretty imbalanced and should not have survived playtesting but here we are.

I think you'll be fine and I hope you enjoy the forum.
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