10.6 On Mason Silver and Agency

This topic contains 7 replies, has 5 voices, and was last updated by  Bryan Bishop 11 months, 3 weeks ago.

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  • #25856
     Bryan Bishop 

    So, once again, we are reminded that Mason Silver is a sick fuck, a sadist, and someone that goes out of his way to inflict emotional pain on others.

    He may claim he has a motive. He may say he’s trying to help save people from this or that. And perhaps for him, his actions all make sense; they’re worth the trade-off. As I was saying this morning: we operate in a world that’s shades of grey.

    Shades of grey is also why I found it totally reasonable and rational to suggest that taking matters into our own hands was the only real way to deal with someone like that. I’m only more convinced now. And yes, I know, slippery moral slopes and blahblahblah, but I honestly wonder what any of us expects to happen without going down that road.

    Shit isn’t simply going to just get better. The Mason Silver problem won’t fix itself. And to some of those saying, “Oh, we were screwed either way”: No. We were not. We have agency. We are not simply sheep lining up to be slaughtered, coerced, and manipulated. Not by OSDM, Briarberg, Mason, or anyone else. And the minute you throw up your hands and say “Well, we were screwed anyway” is the moment you surrender that and guarantee your demise.

    I had the chance to save people earlier this week. I took it. Mason Silver murdering people does not change that. Mason Silver murdering people also does not make it cool that some voted people to their deaths. And while I suspect Mason is expecting to get some big emotional rise out of me with his taunts tonight, what’s weird is that I’m not feeling much of all. No table-flipping outrage. Just the quiet, cold certainty of knowing how, eventually, his story will have to end.

    So yes, Mason. You have addresses and names. You can record audio and distribute it with flash drives. You have the ability to show people who you really are, while taunting behind livestreams like a rabid internet troll. And I’ll admit it: I’m impressed by the complete lack of fucks you give. But you’re also the guy that tracks down people that have actually gotten out of the organization you claim to hate, and you kill them. You simply destroy. Not change minds. Not deprogram. You just break things and throw the pieces in the air. No wonder Joyce couldn’t stand you by the end.

    So I’ll say what you said to me earlier tonight: Thank you, Mason. Thank you for making it crystal clear what I need to do. If you ever want to actually talk, feel free to visit. You have the address.

  • #25862

    Bryan I met you a year ago (according to Facebook) and you’ve become one of my closest friends during one of the worst, most difficult years of my life. But I wasn’t kidding when I said to you earlier this week that I was the opposite of your conscience. And sometimes you write things like this, and I’m pretty sure you’re going to figure out you really don’t like who I actually am before this whole thing is over.

  • #25864
     Lawrence Meyers 

    First it seemed like Al Swearengen was the villain.
    That was before George Hearst came to town.

    In calling forth our own darkness to “burn down OSDM”, we gave birth to Mason.


    @bcbishop is right. We all have agency. All of us are responsible for our participation. All of us are in a cult, stayed in a cult, and reap the whirlwind.

    You know who was doing something? Sabrina. Seems like she got derailed, though. It’s too bad, because I would’ve liked to have seen what she had going. And it’s too bad because BoS had noble intent, and I can’t fault @111error for that at all. Sorry if I was hard on you, bud.

    Problems do not fix themselves. Cancers like George Hearst must be cut out if society is to thrive.

    So when Mason comes by, Bryan, I’ll be in the shadows. Don’t worry. He’s yours. I’ll just be there to make sure it all goes right.

    …I haven’t given my Louisville Slugger to Chelsea yet.

    • #25869

      Verbal contract, @larry.

    • #25872

      I’m confused Larry.

      What exactly was it that Sabrina was doing?
      What exactly was BoS doing?
      Why do you think that what they were doing, or are doing, is somehow better, worse, or different than what Mason is doing?

      I think there are big pieces to this puzzle we are either missing or willfully ignoring.

      Also, because I’m really picky about these things – in talking about “agency” in this context what we are talking about is the extent to which we are able to affect the narrative. In game design, programmatically speaking, this means that choice A leads to result B every time while choice C leads to result D every time. Agency became a huge buzzword in gaming because of video games about 6-7 years ago which is why I’m relating it directly to video games.

      The fact is we don’t know and will likely never know if we have ANY agency in Tension or Lust. What we have here is much more a debate about the illusion of free will, an entirely separate concept. There is a narrative happening. It’s being run by people who know some of us uncomfortably, surprisingly well, and so it’s designed for us. We can’t win. The choices have been planned and even if there are decisions we can ostensibly make we don’t know if the outcomes are actually different for either choice. It’s not a computer program, it’s being run by TPTB who can change their minds and do what they want with us because the story is what’s important, not our agency.

  • #25870
     Lawrence Meyers 

    All good things to those who wait @chelsea

  • #25871
     Mustafa Said 

    I believe we do have agency, @bcbishop. But I do wonder just how much of it we have.

    How far can we go in pushing the boundaries? Sure, when placed in a box of their own design we can choose as to which path we take or which button we press or whatever. But now that we know what our choice caused, what can we do about it? Do we wait until another carefully designed “decision” drops into one of our laps?

    Or do we take the initiative and do something, anything, whatever we can think of in order to push what we want forward?

  • #25873
     Bryan Bishop 

    @mumumusings Really good question that we don’t know the answer to right now — and I suspect we may never have it. I obviously can’t run out there and take unilateral action against Mason, despite how I feel, because I don’t know where he is. But despite that, there’s agency in our emotional commitments and points of view, and I think that’s actually the most important part of all of it. Those choices can never be taken away from us, and we carry the ramifications of them with us forever.

    Simple example: The first poll. People voted in various categories; others abstained; some didn’t comment at all. But when we found out what happened, everyone who participated and invested had some sort of emotional reaction. Maybe it was “Shit, I voted wrong.” Maybe it was “I should have argued stronger for people to not vote,” as it was in my case. Maybe it was “Fuck yeah, I voted this way and those OSDM bastards took a hit.”

    I suspect that given OSDM policies, MyChild’s actions were always going to result in the (inferred) massacre. Yet exercising agency to determine how we each wanted to interact with that moment definitively determined how he felt about it. It defined each of our individual emotional stories.

    Simpler example: What to do right now. Even though I can’t chase down Mason Silver, I can still figure out how I feel about him. Take an emotional stand. Speak out with the words I say and the posts I write. And those actions will end up shaping this world along with the actions of everyone else’s. We may not see the correlations, and sometimes it may only be a matter of determining our own emotional outcomes. But that’s how real life works, too. We can’t stop a hurricane or a natural disaster, but we can determine how we respond — and that often determines how we feel about it.

    The thing I was trying to push back against was the idea that “this was going to happen away” so our decisions don’t matter. They do matter. I think forgetting that can sometimes be a way to avoid emotional investment, or to own the consequences of our actions.

    I don’t want to avoid any of that. That’s not why I’m here. I want to feel it all. Especially when it hurts.

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