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Conversation: Meltdown Recovery with John

Evidently my Reflections by request video from Febuary 14 wasn't too badly done, as I've received a lot of inquiries about continuing the discussion, especially the topics raised at the end.

John Stephens contributed a lot of thoughts and attention to the development of role-playing, during what some think of as the strongest period of the Forge, when Sorcerer and Trollbabe were still shiny. He later did me a good turn in helping us contact some people in Sweden. Most recently, he spoke up in a G+ thread led by Ramanan S, regarding his experiences with Zak and me. Then he connected by email to discuss some more, thus leading me to think about a possible series of relatively unconstructed conversations.

To summarize the topics I raised originally:

  • Assessing the alleged community to see whether it even was one, then focusing upon and recovering the activity which was supposed to be the topic
  • Regarded rejecting a given person, considering personal severance and group exile, specifically in contrast to shaming and shunning
  • Reflecting upon what one internalized and normalized while interacting with a toxic person, in order to avoid continuing to think those things even after rejecting the specific person

In this conversation, I admit we meandered a bit and became too focused on certain things that cropped up rather than our intended goals, but the result is not too bad, I think.

Part 1 (embedded below) examines the too-simplistic "good ideas, bad person" construct and begins some OSR history talk; the latter was supposed to lead to thoughts on why that online designation led people to be vulnerable to such individuals as Zak, but ...

Part 2 stays on that topic until about halfway through and then veers to focus on Lamentations of the Flame Princess and Jim Raggi, and veers again to get into personal experiences of the Satanic Panic ...

Part 3 dissects Zak's intellectual dishonesty in closer detail, with thoughts and facts that were not in my first video; it's turning out to be pretty important to understand how a person can fabricate intellectual status and stature

Part 4 manages to get back to Jim and our positions thereunto, but never gets back to why we were talking about the OSR in the first place; on the other hand, we finish strongly on one of our original topics, regarding the concept of exile and how it's much better than shaming/shunning

John's blog + his excellent Twisted Tunnels: The Deep Six Delver