AHWW and other small islands
The recent posts on AHWW have convinced me that it is an island. A lot of people there have no concept of the rest of the community and in many cases (though not all) seem to have little will to explore it.
This worries me, not only does it leave these people wide open to the influence of wannabe Grey Muzzles like Kamatu, it is restricting the possibilities before them and the knowledge they could gain. Yes I realise this does only apply to a minority, but it still applies.
There is already way to much emphasis placed on the Internet by many 'Weres', who use it for more than just a meeting place but a reality to live their so called 'different life styles'.
The main failing of AHWW though is it that it is not a community at all, it is a lot of people who go and 'hang around' together. Some suck up to those they feel are some how better than them, some talk privately amongst themselves and others just stand around and watch the proceedings.
I have seen AHWW pre and post meow now, and I really don't think anything has changed.
It struck me with quite some surprise how the re:AHWW project, which I initially offered to help with (this is long before Pinky had even heard of it), got such a negative response. Essentially "this is our patch, we don't want you messing with it" was the reply. I will come on to the idea of ownership of the group a little later on.
Anyway all this wasn't helped by the gross amount of misinterpretation that went on. Re:AHWW was formed when the meowers almost totally dominated AHWW, the prime aim was to get rid of them. Of course people have now taken this message and used it to insinuate it is for getting certain people off the list. Now while I won't hide my view that there are one or two people who I think should leave the list, either for their own good or everyone else's, this certainly was never intended to be the aim of the project.
Now I mentioned ownership. Kamatu and some others have a nasty habit of replying to posts as if they are some higher authority, which of course know better than everyone else. I have spoken to several people about this and they all agree, so this is not based purely on my personal interpretation.
The way of doings this is often to twist the words of the poster, often turning actual meanings on their head and at other times making up facts purely to make their arguments appear valid to the casual reader. Some even go as far as to use a simple tactic of reversing or follow the leader. The first involves turning the blame around so it becomes the fault of the poster; the second essentially leads around in circles until either party grows bored.
Both these methods are very immature and are the sort of thing you see children doing when they are picking on each other. Its perhaps also worthy of pointing out, neither require any real thought or intelligence on the part of the person attacking the other for questioning his/her views. They are both used to compensate for the fact that the person is simply incapable of defending himself or herself in any other way.
The idea of 'real Weres' has been bounced around a lot, the concept anyone who makes a challenge to someone else's beliefs is doing so because they believe they are real, while the people they are replying to are not.
This is largely to do with ego. The idea of AHWW as my island, not yours so follow my line of belief or push off. How people rank themselves (notice this is different from a publicly acknowledged hierarchy, which would form naturally over time) seems to depend on how long they have been a member of the group and how much they think they know about the community they associate with.
So what conclusions can we draw from this? Is a divided community (i.e. a series of islands) a bad thing? I would say so. Smaller communities tend to be far more vulnerable from those who wish to manipulate them for there own ends, AHWW being the prime example. Is AHWW that small? In terms of the people who frequently post to it, yes it is very limited in its representation of the community. Of course misuse of a group and/or its members can happen in any size group, it is something more frequently seen in smaller ones. Take for examples the many crazy cults that have formed and died out over the years.
I do not think we need one huge community, that would not work either, what is needed is a series of medium sized sub communities that can all cooperate with each other, despite each having differing views and content.
While little five people 'packs' are fine at a friendship level, trying to push them as the building blocks of the community will not work. Without a sufficient number of people a place can stagnate, this has been seen all to frequently on IRC. Without a constant expanding horizon and search for new ideas we are forced to stop moving forward. Only by challenging our own and others' beliefs can we hope to learn.
Ok you can say that I am being hypocritical in some of these arguments, I'm sure anyone who has read AHWW will see that I have responded angrily to several of Kamatu's posts. My reasons for doing so are purely personal, I have had images stolen from my web site, I have been associated with lies, have been accused of being against individualism and have had my ideas ripped off in a manner designed to try and upset me. My reasons for posting these things publicly has been to show anyone who still can't believe that man is a fake the kind of person he really is.
Sadly it appears no amount of public shaming has any effect, which is why I have stopped responding to his worthless messages.
Now let me say I am in no way trying to push upon members of AHWW alternatives I am merely attempting to share my experiences of the were community. Whether or not you believe they are better is your own choice but I ask you not to reject them first hand without seeing them with your own eyes.
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by "Lone Wolf" unless otherwise stated