[MUD-Dev] curses and grief players

John Buehler johnbue at email.msn.com
Wed Aug 2 10:01:36 New Zealand Standard Time 2000

> Jon A. Lambert
> Sent: Tuesday, August 01, 2000 7:22 PM

> The key is to never "declare" it.  And yes, you could call it 
> Machiavellian.  However, NO human being declares their intentions or 
> motivations ALL the time and whether they are even consciously aware 
> of them is debateable.  Even so, it is rather "inhuman" and contrary 
> to human nature to be an "open book".  
> Honesty, respect and trustworthiness have little or nothing to do 
> with an open declaration of one's intentions.  Respect, honesty and
> trustworthiness are created out of action and not of thoughts.

  The reason that I keep going back to intentions (thoughts, as I believe
you're taking it) is that your intentions drive your actions.  It's
possible to have terrible thoughts about someone, yet be kind and
attentive to their needs.  But when stress levels get high, the first
thing that goes out the window is the energy that it takes to be kind
and attentive to those that you really don't like.

  So thoughts are the basis of our actions (perceptions are reality,
after all) and if people don't have their thoughts straight, their
actions will never be sincere and, I maintain, will not be sustained.
Truth has a way of coming to the fore over time.

  As to being an 'open book', at no time have I suggested that.  I have
suggested that being respectful to your players involves communicating
with them and treating them as peers (or potential peers).  We're not
limited to the two choices of Machiavellian manipulation or playing the
Victim.  There is a middle ground where you get to use your knowledge
and position of power to encourage others to be more educated, insight-
ful, aware, and so forth.  That's the responsibility of anyone who has
a position of power.

> >   Why?  Aren't you a human being?  Isn't a player a human being?  There
> > was a point of contention between two people and it was worked out by
> > enabling the unhappy party to understand what happened.
> > 
> >   If you think of your players as an alternate type of being and not
> > a peer, then you're doing exactly what I think you're doing: they are
> > a resource to be managed, not people to be supported.
> No, understandings aren't negotiated like that at all.  Revealing all 
> of one's motivations and reasons for an action is horrible policy and
> starting ground for any sort of negotiation between equals.  
> And furthermore this is an absolutely insane way of dealing with problems.
> As a player I would have been far more annoyed by someone repeatedly 
> apologizing for 20 minutes and trying to MAKE me understand why they 
> did something.  I'd call it harassment.  

  In this exchange, I have been treating you as a peer, attempting to
communicate to you the attitudes and beliefs that underpin my theories
on how to interact with others.  I have apologized when I have stated
something that went too far and have tried to concede points that have
been made that seemed true.  Do you feel harassed?

> No, not all problems cannot be solved.  And most problems aren't even 
> worthwhile or compelling for either party to address.  Wise persons 
> accept disagreement (or dislike) and move on.  There are some things 
> that are not open to consensus, and many more where even a simple 
> understanding cannot be achieved.  

  I will agree with most of this, but not the statement about most
problems not being worthwhile or compelling for either party to
address.  To suggest that says that it's okay for people to disagree.
Where there's a disagreement, one or both parties is wrong.  It seems
to me that understanding what is true is of paramount importance in a
world where 'perception is reality'.

  And to concede another point, Matt Mihaly and I had a private
exchange about this topic where I offered to 'agree to disagree'.  I
simply didn't have the energy to try to convince him of the value of
my views in a one-on-one exchange.  This certain supports much of what
you have said.  This public exchange gives me more bang for the buck,
so I continue to espouse my views here.


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