A message to violent smegwads everywhere:

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A message to violent smegwads everywhere:

Postby Belial » Tue Mar 24, 2009 5:39 pm UTC

For those who insist on crediting evo-psych suppositions:

Apparently, if we just kill all the dominant, aggressive, and douchetacular males, life gets better for everyone else.

Or, you know, you could generalize more and just assume people should stop being such douches.

But I prefer the idea of feeding them all tainted meat.
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Re: A message to violent smegwads everywhere:

Postby Will » Tue Mar 24, 2009 5:56 pm UTC

Listen.

I am willing to bankroll this plan.
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Re: A message to violent smegwads everywhere:

Postby Veracious Sole » Tue Mar 24, 2009 6:17 pm UTC

I cant hit the link from work. What's the gist?
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Re: A message to violent smegwads everywhere:

Postby Izawwlgood » Tue Mar 24, 2009 6:28 pm UTC

Don't be an aggressive jerk and women will have sex with you, then groom you.

I wonder if the whole thing could/would be undone with the presence of a single ultra aggressive alpha male? Thoughts?

A lot of interesting behavior has been observed in primates, but the fact remains that this is still a means for increasing your chances of reproducing. It's neat to note that the selection pressure has shifted, and that according to the sexy son hypothesis, females in this troop will be selecting for milder and milder males, but don't read this and mistake it's link to 'niceness' or anthropomorphize some sense of 'fairness'. It's still just male monkeys figuring out how to maximize their chances of boning females, or female monkeys figuring out how to maximize their male offspring's success at procuring female monkeys to bone.

But yeah, it's a very interesting phenomenon that if male-male aggression is decreased, female acceptance increases.
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Re: A message to violent smegwads everywhere:

Postby Xanthir » Tue Mar 24, 2009 6:50 pm UTC

Veracious Sole wrote:I cant hit the link from work. What's the gist?

There was a typical baboon tribe, but at some point all the alpha males were doing their standard "let's eat all the good shit so the weakies don't get any" to some (accidentally) poisoned meat, and all died.

Now the tribe has a 2:1 female:male ratio, and all the males left are low-dominance. The old social order never reemerged, and everybody was happy and fucked a lot more. Nowadays all the original males have passed on, but the new social dynamic persists with baboons that joined from other tribes. Everybody comes in, gets their lovin' on, and mellows out.

So, kill the aggressive fucks, and everybody chills.

Does bring up memories of "Kill the spiders, save the butterflies.", though.
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Re: A message to violent smegwads everywhere:

Postby Belial » Tue Mar 24, 2009 7:22 pm UTC

Izawwlgood wrote:Don't be an aggressive jerk and women will have sex with you, then groom you.


That, and the rest of your post, is a very male-centric way of looking at what happened.

Yes, a benefit of the arrangement was that the males had more access to willing female mates.

But that happened because the baboon females were more relaxed and generally less victimized by the aggressive males.

Males also enjoyed a benefit that had nothing to do with the females: a decrease in aggressive treatment from other males, up to the point of being willing to groom each other, which is unheard of among baboon males.

Basically, both groups chilled the fuck out and became more relaxed and friendly, which benefitted them both, to the point where both sexes indoctrinated incoming immigrant (male) baboons into that culture and it became self-sustaining.

Xanthir wrote:Does bring up memories of "Kill the spiders, save the butterflies.", though.


Eh. Kill the old spiders, indoctrinate the new ones.
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Re: A message to violent smegwads everywhere:

Postby The Reaper » Tue Mar 24, 2009 7:39 pm UTC

And then suddenly, everyone gets wiped out by an overly aggressive tribe of baboons from another area. Everyone loses. Except the winners.

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Re: A message to violent smegwads everywhere:

Postby Aikanaro » Tue Mar 24, 2009 7:42 pm UTC

"I can picture in my mind a world without war, a world without hate. And I can picture us attacking that world because they'd never expect it. "
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Re: A message to violent smegwads everywhere:

Postby Izawwlgood » Tue Mar 24, 2009 7:46 pm UTC

@belial:
The article you linked had no information about the success rates of the troop, and as I said, the observed behavior should not be anthropomorphised to assume that less aggression=everyone is 'happy'. As such, any conjecture as to whether or not my post was male-centric is, like the article linked, a projection of human values on wild animals.

And, I still wonder if an aggressive alpha male coming in would undo the whole thing.
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Re: A message to violent smegwads everywhere:

Postby Clumpy » Tue Mar 24, 2009 7:47 pm UTC

Belial wrote:
Izawwlgood wrote:Don't be an aggressive jerk and women will have sex with you, then groom you.


That, and the rest of your post, is a very male-centric way of looking at what happened.


Shh. . . I think grooming access is the message we should all take out of this. I don't have ticks but I'd be happy to get some.

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Re: A message to violent smegwads everywhere:

Postby Belial » Tue Mar 24, 2009 7:48 pm UTC

The Reaper wrote:And then suddenly, everyone gets wiped out by an overly aggressive tribe of baboons from another area. Everyone loses. Except the winners.


It's been 20 years. Which is a good while for a baboon troop. Or, for that matter, for most human communes.

Izawwlgood wrote:The article you linked had no information about the success rates of the troop,

Success on what metric exactly? They're still around, apparently, and I consider that to be pretty successful as animal communities go.

And, I still wonder if an aggressive alpha male coming in would undo the whole thing.

Where would an aggressive alpha male come from exactly? Only adolescents are adopted, and they have the aggressive alpha behaviour trained out of them.

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Re: A message to violent smegwads everywhere:

Postby frezik » Tue Mar 24, 2009 8:11 pm UTC

I'm with the pessimists in this thread. What's the incentive not to suddenly switch back to douchebaggery?
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Re: A message to violent smegwads everywhere:

Postby Belial » Tue Mar 24, 2009 8:13 pm UTC

Not sure. There apparently is one, however, or the incoming males would've done it already.

If I had to guess, I'd say ostracism.
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Re: A message to violent smegwads everywhere:

Postby Ixtellor » Tue Mar 24, 2009 8:19 pm UTC

I think a another study might suggest this isn't true.

In certain species that attract hunters: like deer, elk, elephants, lions, rams, etc.

They are finding that because hunters always go after the biggest, strongest, most dominate males, that some of these species are running into the problem of the weaker males are getting the chance to procreate, and its causing potential long term consequences for the species as their gene pool gravitates towards ever weaker and sickly males. (Hunters tend to leave these alone)

In terms of natural selection, there seems to be strong indicators that aggression, strength, and fighting prowess have better long term results for the continuation for the species.

Ixtellor

P.S. Link to article http://www.newsweek.com/id/177709
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Re: A message to violent smegwads everywhere:

Postby Izawwlgood » Tue Mar 24, 2009 8:21 pm UTC

Belial wrote:It's been 20 years. Which is a good while for a baboon troop. Or, for that matter, for most human communes.


The pervasive culture of non-aggression has continued, but how has the troop population changed? Has their total 'range' diminished? A 20 year long cultural phenomenon in a Baboon troop is what, 3, maybe 4 generations, which IS long (I guess anyway?), but is continuation isn't the only metric for measuring stuff. Which is my next:

Belial wrote:Success on what metric exactly? They're still around, apparently, and I consider that to be pretty successful as animal communities go.


Is the current troop actually descended from the original troop of mellowed out males? The metrics I would use to qualitatively judge the success of this troop would be, in no particular order: Chance 'non-aggressive' male successfully reproduces, chance 'non-aggressive' male selecting female successfully reproduces, chance incoming 'aggressive' male who 'adopts non-aggression' successfully reproduces vs. chance incoming 'aggressive' male who doesn't adopt 'non-aggression' reproduces. (I'm going to stop quoting qualitative phenotypes now) What about chance offspring from non-aggressive pair will survive? What about chance foreign troop will encroach upon mild troops territory?

There are all kinds of unknowns in this observation, which is why, I think, the article likely didn't state that many data points (I think male-male grooming and rate of pair-pair grooming was the only hard fact?). I'm not saying it isn't a crazy interesting, or that there isn't some sort of fascinating cultural change that occurred when the aggression paradigm changed, but to call my notions 'male centric thinking' seems to be a rather hasty and unfair perspective on the matter. Furthermore, to attempt to transpose this phenomenon on humans is... I mean, isn't there a recently closed thread that was decidedly against such a projection?
Belial wrote:If I had to guess, I'd say ostracism.


Exactly. The behavior may have continued because of the sexy-son hypothesis, that is, females chose males that they felt would best give them sons that best exhibited behavior that would increase the sons chances of scoring a female, under the social/cultural/behavioral reproduction pressures. The pressures are to be mellow and social. Thus, males that are mellow and social have a better chance of reproducing, a phenomenon which awesomely enough, is reinforced by female selection.
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Re: A message to violent smegwads everywhere:

Postby Belial » Tue Mar 24, 2009 8:25 pm UTC

Ixtellor wrote:I think a another study might suggest this isn't true.


If studies of primates are pretty inapplicable to human communities (which they often are, including in this case*), studies of largely non-social, non-primate animals are going to be inapplicable to both.

*Why do I mention it then? Because I find it amusing to find a monkey study that makes a conclusion that doesn't support the patriarchy and the general way we do things™, even if its conclusion is equally as useless to our society as the others.
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Re: A message to violent smegwads everywhere:

Postby Silas » Tue Mar 24, 2009 8:30 pm UTC

I'm curious: what happens to the males that, having grown up in this troop, migrate to another? Do they adapt to 'normal' baboon troops as well as 'normal' baboons? If they find themselves at a persistent disadvantage, this troop's genes will be diluted out with every generation.
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Re: A message to violent smegwads everywhere:

Postby Belial » Tue Mar 24, 2009 8:33 pm UTC

Izawwlgood wrote:Is the current troop actually descended from the original troop of mellowed out males?


Ummm...yes? The original mellowed out males, and incoming males from other troops. Like the article says.

The metrics I would use to qualitatively judge the success of this troop would be, in no particular order: Chance 'non-aggressive' male successfully reproduces, chance 'non-aggressive' male selecting female successfully reproduces, chance incoming 'aggressive' male who 'adopts non-aggression' successfully reproduces vs. chance incoming 'aggressive' male who doesn't adopt 'non-aggression' reproduces. (I'm going to stop quoting qualitative phenotypes now)


All of which are better now, from the sound of it.

What about chance offspring from non-aggressive pair will survive? What about chance foreign troop will encroach upon mild troops territory?


Unknown. I would suggest that the latter won't be known until it happens.

There are all kinds of unknowns in this observation, which is why, I think, the article likely didn't state that many data points (I think male-male grooming and rate of pair-pair grooming was the only hard fact?).


Also, the time of first mating in the troop.

Exactly. The behavior may have continued because of the sexy-son hypothesis, that is, females chose males that they felt would best give them sons that best exhibited behavior that would increase the sons chances of scoring a female


Which would explain the change in mate selection, but not the change in overall behaviour.

Furthermore, to attempt to transpose this phenomenon on humans is... I mean, isn't there a recently closed thread that was decidedly against such a projection?


Of course. Thus the asterisk, above.
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Re: A message to violent smegwads everywhere:

Postby Jahoclave » Tue Mar 24, 2009 8:47 pm UTC

Well that was certainly an interesting read. When can we start handing out tainted meat to hyper-aggressive assholes? I assume we can start at the High School level since it's easy to identify who these jerk-offs are.


Ixetellor: For one thing, primates are much closer to us behaviorally than deer are. Second, we really don't have a problem of a more advanced species or a hunter species trying to blow us away to mount our heads on the wall. We already have that evolutionary problem of sickly people breeding. Modern Medicine has done some wonders with life expectancy and we're now seeing genetic issues that most likely would never have been passed on before (albeit for awhile they'd have been seen as a sign of witchcraft).

But also, there's nothing that says these male baboons in this tribe are weaker than the original alpha males. They are simply less dominant and have a higher degree of cooperation, which in turn can actually mean a much stronger tribe in general. It reminds me a lot more of how the !Kung tribes operate. So there could be a theory that it's a turn like this towards a more general cooperation rather than fighting for dominance within the tribe that help the evolution of early humans.

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Re: A message to violent smegwads everywhere:

Postby Izawwlgood » Tue Mar 24, 2009 9:02 pm UTC

Belial wrote:Ummm...yes? The original mellowed out males, and incoming males from other troops. Like the article says.


The article has no genetic analysis of the troop. For all we know, the entire troop could be raising the offspring of one, relatively more aggressive male. For all we know, the entire troops females could be ranging to another baboon troop and sexing up the alpha males over there. I'm just tossing out possibilities. I'd be curious to see what %'age of mellowed out males were the fathers of the troops young.

Belial wrote:All of which are better now, from the sound of it.


Maybe I misread the article then. I didn't see any claims about troop size, troop range, pair selection habits, etc. I don't even know if baboons are promiscuous like Bonobo's and simply sex up everything that looks like a baboon, or if they pair up.

Belial wrote:I would suggest that the latter won't be known until it happens.


How do emigrating males fare in this troop? Are they able to adapt to normal, aggressive baboon troops? If not, I would wager that this is a rather poor reproductive tactic for the males living under it.

Belial wrote:Which would explain the change in mate selection, but not the change in overall behaviour.


I disagree, the reduction in aggression that occurred was a fluke event (removal of the alpha males), that had a secondary effect of mellowing the males (why didn't one step up? That's curious), perhaps due to females selecting non-aggressive males. This changed the paradigm for male behavior, and via change in mate selection, enforced a change in overall behavior.
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Re: A message to violent smegwads everywhere:

Postby Heisenberg » Tue Mar 24, 2009 9:05 pm UTC

Maybe I missed it, but has the female:male ratio returned to normal? I would point out that the radical shift in culture may be more associated with the scarcity of males rather than their aggressiveness. Still, eliminating aggressive males can apparently have a dramatic impact.

This makes me think that war was better when it was just a few big guys with swords who met on a battlefield.

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Re: A message to violent smegwads everywhere:

Postby Bakemaster » Tue Mar 24, 2009 9:09 pm UTC

And when was that? I think you're taking some pretty big liberties with both the definition and history of war.
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Re: A message to violent smegwads everywhere:

Postby Jahoclave » Tue Mar 24, 2009 9:15 pm UTC

Heisenberg wrote:Maybe I missed it, but has the female:male ratio returned to normal? I would point out that the radical shift in culture may be more associated with the scarcity of males rather than their aggressiveness. Still, eliminating aggressive males can apparently have a dramatic impact.

This makes me think that war was better when it was just a few big guys with swords who met on a battlefield.

This unique social milieu did not arise merely as a function of the skewed sex ratio (with half the males having died); other primatologists have occasionally reported on troops with similar ratios but without a comparable social atmosphere. What was key was not just the predominance of females but the type of male who remained. The demographic disaster—what evolutionary biologists term a “selective bottleneck”—had produced a savanna baboon troop quite different from what most experts would have anticipated.


Helps to read the actual article rather than the blog post. I figured some more shit would get answered.

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Re: A message to violent smegwads everywhere:

Postby Clumpy » Tue Mar 24, 2009 11:50 pm UTC

I like how the "tainted meat" angle allows us to make some very in-cheek, yet very ominous and bitter proposals. No, seriously - it's very funny.

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Re: A message to violent smegwads everywhere:

Postby Indon » Wed Mar 25, 2009 12:21 am UTC

This is pretty unsurprising in terms of game theory.

If I recall, both aggressive and nonaggressive strategies can generally remain dominant after becoming dominant.

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Re: A message to violent smegwads everywhere:

Postby Jahoclave » Wed Mar 25, 2009 1:29 am UTC

Clumpy wrote:I like how the "tainted meat" angle allows us to make some very in-cheek, yet very ominous and bitter proposals. No, seriously - it's very funny.


Tainted Baby Meat?

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Re: A message to violent smegwads everywhere:

Postby JoshuaZ » Wed Mar 25, 2009 1:34 am UTC

Indon wrote:
If I recall, both aggressive and nonaggressive strategies can generally remain dominant after becoming dominant.



It depends on the model. There are many models where one gets an equilibrium between what strategies work best. In the classic dove-hawk model for example, hawks or doves will only do very well when the other one is very common.

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Re: A message to violent smegwads everywhere:

Postby TheStranger » Wed Mar 25, 2009 2:00 am UTC

I can think of a few interesting tests that could be done to test the viability of the strategy...

1) introduce a large number of aggressive male baboons into the same area

2) move the band into an area where they have to compete for resources with other bands.
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Re: A message to violent smegwads everywhere:

Postby Clumpy » Wed Mar 25, 2009 2:08 am UTC

Jahoclave wrote:
Clumpy wrote:I like how the "tainted meat" angle allows us to make some very in-cheek, yet very ominous and bitter proposals. No, seriously - it's very funny.


Tainted Baby Meat?


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Re: A message to violent smegwads everywhere:

Postby Exotria » Wed Mar 25, 2009 2:09 am UTC

In Death Note, Light says that he'll kill all the bad people in the world with the Death Note. Ryuk then comments that then Light will be the only bad person left. Killing all the smegtards would rid the world of a lot of social ills, but it taints that by making those who did the killings the new smegtards. This is why such ideas as poisoning the douchebags are unsettling.

Of course, I'd probably support it in a real life situation... cessation of assholery in society is extraordinarily tempting.
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Re: A message to violent smegwads everywhere:

Postby Indon » Wed Mar 25, 2009 2:11 am UTC

The sole problem I have is that if we kill all the assholes, the standard for what it takes to be an asshole will adjust - bringing me that much closer to Death By Righteous Cleansing myself.
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Re: A message to violent smegwads everywhere:

Postby Gears » Wed Mar 25, 2009 3:25 am UTC

If we don't have douchebags who will manage fast food restaurants?
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Re: A message to violent smegwads everywhere:

Postby el_loco_avs » Wed Mar 25, 2009 11:32 am UTC

Ixtellor wrote:I think a another study might suggest this isn't true.

In certain species that attract hunters: like deer, elk, elephants, lions, rams, etc.

They are finding that because hunters always go after the biggest, strongest, most dominate males, that some of these species are running into the problem of the weaker males are getting the chance to procreate, and its causing potential long term consequences for the species as their gene pool gravitates towards ever weaker and sickly males. (Hunters tend to leave these alone)

In terms of natural selection, there seems to be strong indicators that aggression, strength, and fighting prowess have better long term results for the continuation for the species.

Ixtellor

P.S. Link to article http://www.newsweek.com/id/177709



Considering young males leave troops and join other troops, their genes would be no different than if those young males joined a regular troop I think. But more research into who's genes are being passed on should be conducted.


Apart from that. FUCK YEAH! HIPPY BABOON COMMUNE!!!
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Re: A message to violent smegwads everywhere:

Postby King of Frogs » Wed Mar 25, 2009 12:04 pm UTC

Tempting to go all out celebrating about how we don't need the douchebags at all (oh yes, their deaths will be quick, but painful), but I'd withhold judgement until further findings are published.

And I would like to second that above me - Baboons can be hippies! Woo! Vindication five anyone?
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Re: A message to violent smegwads everywhere:

Postby Kizyr » Wed Mar 25, 2009 1:49 pm UTC

frezik wrote:I'm with the pessimists in this thread. What's the incentive not to suddenly switch back to douchebaggery?

I do agree with Belial's counterpoint. But I had to add, this is probably the best contextual citation of the Nash comic I've ever seen.

...I have an affinity for that one, since it was the one that originally introduced me to xkcd. KF
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Re: A message to violent smegwads everywhere:

Postby Clumpy » Wed Mar 25, 2009 2:48 pm UTC

Exotria wrote:In Death Note, Light says that he'll kill all the bad people in the world with the Death Note. Ryuk then comments that then Light will be the only bad person left. Killing all the smegtards would rid the world of a lot of social ills, but it taints that by making those who did the killings the new smegtards. This is why such ideas as poisoning the douchebags are unsettling.

Of course, I'd probably support it in a real life situation... cessation of assholery in society is extraordinarily tempting.


That's why the person who carries out the plan must make the supreme sacrifice and save the lion's share of Tainted Baby Meat for him/herself. Oh, grand murderous cleansing douchebag, how we will miss you!

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Re: A message to violent smegwads everywhere:

Postby Bakemaster » Wed Mar 25, 2009 3:09 pm UTC

Gears wrote:If we don't have douchebags who will manage fast food restaurants?

So you're saying we could save two birds with one bird-saving apparatus?
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Belial
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Re: A message to violent smegwads everywhere:

Postby Belial » Wed Mar 25, 2009 4:30 pm UTC

Clumpy wrote:
Exotria wrote:In Death Note, Light says that he'll kill all the bad people in the world with the Death Note. Ryuk then comments that then Light will be the only bad person left. Killing all the smegtards would rid the world of a lot of social ills, but it taints that by making those who did the killings the new smegtards. This is why such ideas as poisoning the douchebags are unsettling.

Of course, I'd probably support it in a real life situation... cessation of assholery in society is extraordinarily tempting.


That's why the person who carries out the plan must make the supreme sacrifice and save the lion's share of Tainted Baby Meat for him/herself. Oh, grand murderous cleansing douchebag, how we will miss you!


You realize it's possible to quietly kill a whole bunch of people without having a dominant, aggressive, or violent social behaviour pattern, right?

Which is not to say this is a good idea, I'm just saying, your conclusion doesn't follow unless you change the plan from "kill all the violent, dominant, aggressive people" to "kill all the evil people" (not even getting into how subjective "evil" is or isn't).
addams wrote:A drunk neighbor is better than a sober Belial.


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Moo
Oh man! I'm going to be so rebellious! I'm gonna...
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Re: A message to violent smegwads everywhere:

Postby Moo » Wed Mar 25, 2009 4:46 pm UTC

I am reminded of the dynamic in this very fora. Aggressive, abusive posters - for the most part - either get ostracised into leaving, or they adapt to the more relaxed and accepting social atmosphere. Thus we end up far less aggressive and all round annoying as fuck than most online communities. We even probably have a higher female:male. More e-grooming for everyone!

Also, I keep reading "smegwad" as "smegma". Eeuw.
Last edited by Moo on Wed Mar 25, 2009 4:51 pm UTC, edited 1 time in total.
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King of Frogs
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Re: A message to violent smegwads everywhere:

Postby King of Frogs » Wed Mar 25, 2009 4:49 pm UTC

Hmm, so what you're saying Moo, is that xkcdans are basically the internet version of hippie baboons? I could get used to that.

And hey, the glomping thread could be our version of grooming! Getting rid of our emotional lice!
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