Non-Monetized Together #svalien

Internet

You can also read this article at https://medium.com/non-monetized-together/why-i-added-svalien-to-the-nonmonetized-together-title-7d7fe230f4ac.

Update: I no longer use the term #svalien to describe this, I use the term “the context that isn’t limited in the same way as the political context.”

Definition of #Svalien

It’s a marker I invented to let everyone know that you don’t need to be constrained by politics when you’re on Nonmonetized Together. The community operates in a social context where you can be free from the limitations that your political role imposes upon you. Other activists are encouraged to make their own #svalien online communities to help restore a sense of hope among viewers.

Why, though?

I’m giving you the opportunity to get away with behaviours that would otherwise be viewed as politically self-destructive. This is one of the strategies I use to keep Nonmonetized Together a place with minimal influence from the outside world’s current unequal power structure. In this article, I’ll start by giving five reasons why #svalien spaces could be valuable and useful. Then, I will explain my strategies for achieving those goals and answer some other questions you may have about #svalien.

Reason 1: So you can work to achieve the same political goal with fewer sacrificial lambs

Politics is all about strategically allocating limited resources to achieve political goals. For a government to invest more in achieving a certain goal, they have to cut funding for other areas of society. Or when the government is changing laws, there are a limited number of people these laws can appeal to. Because of these restrictions, all political ideologies have sacrificial lambs — segments of the population who lose out from these ideologies gaining power.

Image from Jon Tyson/Unsplash

Sacrificial lambs are a necessary but unfortunate component in society. The best you can do to lessen the consequences of sacrificial lambs is to tell the lambs not to take the politics personally. Not only does this interpretation make things easier for everybody but it’s also more accurate — sacrificial lambs are a natural consequence of the democratic system, merely unlucky enough to be on the losing side of society. Yet promoting this reality will be problematic in the real world because of the aforementioned limited resources that political sides compete over. Personal attacks allow political interests to use their resources more efficiently.

This reality extends to most of the Internet, despite the fact that the Internet allows you to send public messages without needing to consider as many risk factors as would the government. But social media is also used as a tool by politicians, organizations, and influencers to extend their political reach, and of course their online messages have to be consistent with the messages they communicate in other formats. This means that the power dynamics of the offline world are replicated onto the online world. To change these norms concerning sacrificial lambs, there needs to be an online place that isolates itself from these power interests, and that’s what Nonmonetized Together promises to achieve.

You can use Nonmonetized Together to support your political orientation’s sacrificial lambs while attacking them outside of Nonmonetized Together. This would not be hypocritical because success through Nonmonetized Together means following different rules than the rules for achieving political success. For once and for all, I’m giving you the chance to interact with sacrificial lambs without feeling threatened by them. This may allow you to learn new things about them. If enough of these interactions occur, we might be able to reduce the fallout caused by political upheaval … by a tiny amount, at least.

Sebastian Herrmann/Unsplash

Reason 2: So you don’t have to group people in categories they don’t belong

Politics only thrives when it places people in broad categories. “Family values” can mean many different things, but when it becomes politicised as “pro-family values,” it typically only means one thing. Same thing with LGBT+ rights and “pro-LGBT+ rights” organizations. Liberal, conservative, and leftist are also broad categories, and a political party will usually identify with one of those three options instead of the subcategories that more accurately reflect people’s beliefs. This way, a political party can get 50% of the votes despite taking firm policy stances on ten different controversial issues.

Categorization benefits politicians because it encourages conformity, even when group members don’t feel like they completely belong. Categorization also allows politicians to pretend that they speak for an entire demographic of people — something that’s good for their public image but obviously untrue. There are variations in every group. For example, on his campaign website, Donald Trump aligns his interests with that of law enforcement, military veterans, and those who feel censored. Joe Biden doesn’t yet have a section on his campaign website where he highlights his plan, but in his recent tweets, he claims he is on same side as immigrants from Muslim countries, those struggling with student debt, and Tribal communities. But what about people in law enforcement who are struggling with student debt, or tribe members who feel censored?

Before Nonmonetized Together, these people would struggle to have their perspectives heard and would be given less support by society. If that sounds like you, your lived experience can now get some recognition from a community centred on finding solutions, inspiration, and knowledge. Another thing is that on Nonmonetized Together, there’s not that dynamic I mentioned earlier about needing to hold on to your resources, so you don’t have much to lose by acknowledging underserved populations on Nonmonetized Together. Compare that to the outside world where it’s usually less risky to pretend that reality is simpler than it is.

Reason 3: So people can feel comfortable sharing subversive views with the community

Some viewpoints, such as socialism or transformative anti-colonialism, don’t sit well with those in power, because they require people to let go of things they have developed a strong attachment to, and because they deal with concepts that are very uncomfortable to address. Because these beliefs are a tough sell to politicians, they are not well-suited to the “rules of the game” of politics. Many people who have subversive views have to tone them down to something more mainstream whenever they participate in the political sphere. Otherwise, they go nowhere.

I try to make Nonmonetized Together a place where people can feel comfortable sharing these ideas, but only if they want to. Really what I’m aiming for is a respectful community with diverse views. By making sure this blog avoids dominant power relations, I can remove the need for Nonmonetized Together users to appease people in power.

Reason 4: So people can present and interpret counterarguments as something to benefit from

It’s problematic to view the personal as political because then you will interact with people like a politician. An example of this is on social media, where counterarguments are used — and generally interpreted — as something that someone deploys to boost their own ego. Politicians behave this way because it’s part of their job, but this is not a socially responsible way for other people to behave. On Nonmonetized Together, I’m trying to create an alternative culture where counterarguments are instead used to benefit the person they are directed to.

Hector J Rivas/Unsplash

Reason 5: So you can have a non-political discussion about oft-politicized topics *Does not apply to Nonmonetized Together*

I’m not saying that it’s a bad thing for ordinary people to be politically conscious, but sometimes those discussions are not what you’re looking for. Sometimes you just want to talk about transgender people, vaccinations, or an at-war country from a completely innocuous perspective. Now, I don’t think Nonmonetized Together is the right place for that, but I suppose this could be an idea for other #svalien online spaces.

How should I refer to this publication in everyday communication?

This publication should still be referred to as Nonmonetized Together in everyday communication. The hashtag is supposed to be kind of like a verification symbol. I actually wanted to put it in the description but there wasn’t enough space except in the publication’s “notes from the editor.”

Does the word svalien mean anything?

No, I just find it catchy, coming from an English-speaking perspective. It’s just the word “alien” with the rarely-used letter combination “sv” added to it. Same reason why the Nonmonetized Together logo consists only of the colour pink. It’s simple and recognizable.

Strategies I will use to achieve this

If you have any other strategies or any ways of improving this list, please let me know!

· Correct people who use this platform incorrectly. When a commenter uses a tactic that is more appropriate for politics than Nonmonetized Together, I will tell them about Nonmonetized Together’s social context and how it affects their tactic. I will mention their tactic and their goal by name, and say that while their tactic may be suitable for their goal in most social contexts, the tactic would not help them achieve their goal on Nonmonetized Together, and that different strategies may be more useful. If this situation ever happens, being polite will be crucial because I will have to convey to the commenter that I wasn’t expecting them to understand everything about Nonmonetized Together. In fact, the only methods I have for keeping readers updated about Nonmonetized Together are either to answer people’s questions about it, or to respond to comments that get something wrong about Nonmonetized Together.

Edge2Edge Media/Unsplash

· Swearing off politics. In 2020, I decided that everybody would be better off if I didn’t have political beliefs, so I trained my mind to disregard my previous political opinions. Three years later, I’m no longer interested in competing for my political self-interest. I would rather enjoy my life for what it is and give you opportunities for achievement. I also find Christianity more satisfying than politics. Politics and Christianity are like two sides of the same coin. They’re both value systems but are complete opposites otherwise. Politics is all about competition, power, and ego while Christianity is supposed to be about co-operation, wisdom, and humility (there are a lot of people who appropriate religion for political purposes though, but the two are supposed to be separate). So right now, religion is a big goal for me, not politics. Even though most of my articles are not overtly religious, I feel like I’m doing a service to God by presenting a collaborative space that functions as an alternative to politics. That, instead of political competition, is what motivates me and gives me meaning in my life.

· Holding individuals accountable, not groups. This means that when I can, I should describe people in my articles as individuals, not as a member of a group. Depending on what’s appropriate for the situation, I can refer to them by username, real name, fake name, or no name at all, but not as an anonymous member of a group. I should refer to them like I do in this article. With the grown-ups in charge assigning blame to entire groups of people, it’s all too easy to forget that these groups aren’t identical clones of each other. Nonmonetized Together is here to resist this practice and describe people as people. I think presenting stories this way can help people view issues as they are without delving into identity politics. This might also make it easier for the people in these articles to come across Nonmonetized Together’s post on them, which would probably result in a significant positive influence on the issue that was being written about.

· Opening new avenues of thought in the comment section. If someone ever hijacks this community and uses it to fuel the political machine, I can respond to their comments not by discussing the same things everybody else has been arguing in circles about, but by making comments that open the very mental faculties they are trying to close. Since the person I’m talking with would technically be an Internet troll, I wouldn’t be too bothered if I don’t convince them of anything — I would mainly be writing for the readers, not for the trolls. The goal is to prevent readers from getting caught up in unproductive forms of political thought.

Antonio Janeski/Unsplash

· Implementing commenter’s suggestions. Nonmonetized Together isn’t my blog, it’s our blog. If you have any suggestions for Nonmonetized Together, let me know in the comment section so I can implement them. By making it easy to share your suggestions with me, this can help make the hunger of power irrelevant within the community. I haven’t had any suggestions yet (other than one deleted comment), but I will implement your suggestions as long as they are practical and they achieve their purpose. If I don’t think your suggestion will work, I won’t put it in place, but I will respond to your comment and tell you why.

· Researching claims that commenters make. Distributing misinformation can result in gaining huge political power. If I can’t verify user’s claims, I’ll ask them for verification. Until I get some sort of confirmation from the commenter, I will put a warning in the article so the readers are aware that the claims are unverified. An example of this would be my discussion with Turi Sue in the comment section for this article.

· Trying not to write articles from a position of authority. I want the author-reader power dynamic to be equal. In this article, I use the words “might” and “may” to indicate that the suggestions could possibly work, not that they would probably work. The article also gives the reader opportunities to decide for themselves what’s best for them. For example, at one point, I write, “This may not be the best idea, so I hope people who read this article can collaborate so they can make a better one.” I also ask, “Do you have any ideas for techniques to research information outside of AI’s influence?” I have noticed I’m not always great at sounding nonauthoritative in my writing, but that’s something I can improve on.

· Not monetizing the articles. This will bring the focus back to knowledge production, not money production. Trading knowledge for knowledge is more equal than trading money for knowledge.

· Not giving claps. Sometime maybe a few months ago, I decided I will no longer give claps to comments and posts on Nonmonetized Together articles. Other readers can, but as the creator of Nonmonetized Together, it could be a conflict of interest if I clapped.

· Being patient with the commenters. I give them as many chances as they need to explain themselves clearly. I can also start comments with something like, “let me know if I understand correctly.”

Priscilla Du Preez/Unsplash

· Targeting my responses toward all readers. Even when it seems like I’m responding to one person, I have to remember that there could be other people reading the response. I try to consider how this comment could be useful to them and inspire them to come up with ideas for positive change.

· Not using weaponized trigger words.

· Using straightforward language to avoid unnecessary conflict.

· Free speech with consequences. Yes, people have the legal right to behave unfairly, but that also means that I have the legal right to behave fairly by undoing the damage they caused. There are a few ways I can do this. The simplest option is to warn others about a user’s unacceptable behaviour. There is also the option of not responding to the harmful comments directly, but by responding to the comment as if it was undamaging, whether that be by jumping through obvious mental hoops or by slightly changing the comment’s wording. Yet unlike much of the “political” Internet, this isn’t to cause damage or create drama, but to treat the community fairly. Like I said, I can’t stop everybody online from being an unfair person (restricting their speech doesn’t change anything), but I can reduce the damage by being fair.

· Instead of telling someone their argument is wrong, telling them what is missing from their argument. People spend so much time complaining about the other political side but very little time figuring out how the opposition could be a better version of itself. This is because promoting encouragement is not compatible with the political field. Yet on Nonmonetized Together, it’s normalized to help others develop their arguments, so now everyone can benefit from political discourse. Instead of burning society to the ground, you can phrase your argument in a way that appeals to them.

· Keeping track of unsolved community issues and what needs to be done for them to be solved. This way, I can focus on making sure this community delivers on its mission.

· Allowing anyone an opportunity for redemption, but only if they write an apology piece. For them to be redeemed, this piece MUST show that they understand why their actions are wrong. It also MUST list a specific plan for what they will do in the future for them to not cause the same problems. When people don’t give others a chance to redeem themselves, they are no longer fighting for a cause, they are fighting against others. I don’t want Nonmonetized Together to be a place to attack people. I want it to be a place to attack problems in society.

· Only block users from the community if their behaviour is getting out-of-control. For example if users are actually causing people to feel unsafe or if there is a large-scale trolling attempt. Nonmonetized Together is supposed to be a place to actually find solutions to problems in the world. This sometimes requires some of the ugly parts of society to be shown. But, it does not require sickos to take over the community spreading fear and trauma.

· Not using “mentally ill” as an excuse to shut people down. Also, making sure other people here are not doing so. This article explains how I will create a culture where “mentally ill” refers only to is original meaning.

Helena Lopes/Unsplash

· Being careful where I work. I cannot work at a job that is too political or else I may be coerced into removing its #svalien context. If readers ever find where I work, I want them to feel comfortable with the knowledge so that it won’t create a conflict of interest.

· Only existing on certain websites. Nonmonetized Together is not appropriate for members-only websites because I want anybody to be able to access them. It also has to be on a website where I can create my own environment, so nothing like X or Facebook where all public posts are all tossed together in a “for you” page. What I mean by this is a website where you have to click on an article to read it and it will appear on a new page. This could help keep Nonmonetized Together safe from people who don’t want anything to do with us. And finally, it has to be in a long-form format so people don’t feel the need to distort the truth by condensing it. That being said, you’re free to make your own #svalien community on other websites. I’m just saying there are good reasons Nonmonetized Together is only on Medium and write.as.

· Pointing out the positives of comments that are completely wrong. Even if they’re so wrong that you think, “that person has no hope.” Well, by finding a strength to their comment, I can at least provide some direction in their life. If I only mention everything negative about their posts without saying something good, maybe it will alienate them from Nonmonetized Together, as well as further society, and will cause them to degrade in weirdo onlone echo chambers. If I mention positives, Nonmonetized Together can be the place that breaks this feedback loop. Also, when I point out positive aspects to bad comments, it lets other people know that I’m open to what they say and that I’m not just dismissing whatever they say. This would let people know that all they need to do is fix up their comment.

· Apologizing if a user is giving someone a hard time and reiterating the troublesome comment in a nicer way. Hopefully, this can help kill the toxic discussion and turn the conversation into something valuable for readers and participants.

Tim Mossholder/Unsplash

#Manifesto #Society #Politics #Internet #Svalien

Discuss...

This article is also visible at https://medium.com/non-monetized-together/dear-2088-im-sorry-that-you-re-society-is-doomed-due-to-2023-internet-misusage-9909d150161c.

Mimi Thian/Unsplash

Hello 2088, I’m from 2023. I’m here to apologize for the irresponsible ways my society has used the Internet and how it resulted in social disaster for your society. Anybody from the 2020s who agrees can write their name in a comment on this article. This way, they can let the future know where they stand.

I fail to understand how people can be given a platform that contains almost all the relevant information in the world and that allows them to communicate to almost anybody instantly, and then still manage to screw it up this badly. They’re given the world at a low cost and then waste it on trolling, blocking people, spreading misinformation, and making negative generalizations about groups of people.

I study online social interaction with the same inventive attitude as people who study technology and medicine in 2023. It pains me to say that the vast majority of problems caused by Internet interactions are easily avoidable. Depending on the situation, it can be a matter of just asking people before making assumptions, being willing to be proven wrong, trying to understand someone’s perspective before shutting it down, or not expecting the opposing political side to immediately understand the subtext of your political views without telling them.

Just because I’m from 2023 doesn’t mean I wish to be associated with this online culture. I’m very concerned with how it will affect your lives. And the issue cannot be solved by university researchers because the people who’ll benefit from these changes will not be reading academic publications. It will actually be solved by people who post about the situation on the Internet. This way, they can work from within to cure the affliction.

Tim Marshall/Unsplash

Yet the problem is too widespread for any one person to make any large-scale changes, so I took the initiative to carve a small corner of the Internet where people have no incentive to display such careless behaviour to the masses. The final result is Nonmonetized Together, a social hub where anybody is free to suggest, develop, and receive feedback on ideas for making the Internet a better place. Well, not just the Internet, I mean the physical world as well, but the solution to a lot of physical world problems starts with considering how Internet communication plays a role in the problem. Accessible through Medium and the Fediverse, Nonmonetized Together takes advantage of the idea that people’s decisions and beliefs can be influenced by what they read on the Internet, and that we have the power of making a positive or negative influence.

How can I be certain that people on Nonmonetized Together will not benefit from deliberately causing trouble? Well, every word I write and every decision I make for this community is made with the intention for avoiding side effects that generally come with social media. Maybe founders of some other online communities do the same, but what’s unique about Nonmonetized Together is that this is its main purpose. It’s not to share memes, discuss a fandom, repost articles, or anything else.

This means that Nonmonetized Together will also attract people who want to see positive change on Internet communities. These people will focus on being compassionate, articulate, inspirational, and patient.

I believe that even if anyone tries to provoke outrage within the community, they will be unsuccessful because their approach will stand in opposition to the motivations of the community members and their contagious positivity. Many other communities let their emotions get the best of them and try to “defeat” the troll, giving into their toxicity and the rest of the Internet’s negative atmosphere. Instead, I’m counting on the community to provide peaceful and logical responses that will instead frustrate their attempts at rage bait instead of getting sucked into them. Perhaps this could be done by focusing on their unnecessary nature of the junk comments, not their shortcomings.

Brooke Cagle/Unsplash

On the other hand, people who flat-out ignore small-scale trolls are just as toxic as the trolls themselves. I get that large-scale attacks can go out of control and needs to be shut down in those cases, but I’m talking about small-scale trolling.

It’s frustrating to see so many people fall for the advice to “ignore the trolls” without making the link between that and the social unrest in 2023. People keep saying they wish society wasn’t so paranoid and hostile, yet it seems like they want to do everything BUT directly respond to the causes. Websites in 2023 either remove inflammatory comments or encourage them. Nonmonetized Together is the only online space I can think of that aims to hold people responsible, turn these incidents into positive learning opportunities, and provide a better world for our children and grandchildren.

In 2023, people really seem to think that ignoring Internet trolls takes away their power, but ignoring them would likely mean the troll would just move on to someone who would give them exactly what they want anyway. So, ignoring them does nothing at all.

To make authentic social progress, people must react in a way that will not satisfy the disruptors, and that is what I am hoping to do here. As Bishop Robert Barron wrote, “[t]o turn the other cheek is to prevent [one] from hitting you the same way again. It is not to run or to acquiesce, but rather to signal to the aggressor that you refuse to accept the set of assumptions that have made his aggression possible” (50).

Another feature about Nonmonetized Together is that it aims to have a level playing field. Now, competition over resources, power, and influence is great from a social justice standpoint, but I hope people will be discouraged from it on Nonmonetized Together (I’ve never seen anybody attempt it on here before). I just feel that there should be at least one online community where people can share knowledge without worrying about running into those who care more about attacking them than anything they have to say. Imagine coming up with a great idea on Nonmonetized Together, being able to run it through a noncompetitive community, test it out in an environment with a level playing field, and only then taking it out into the wider world and using it as an ideological weapon. The opposition’s ideas wouldn’t stand a chance because they wouldn’t have the same screening process.

This requires the users and me to have an awareness of the inequalities present in the outside world, be careful that they do not take over Nonmonetized Together, and be willing to learn about the existence of inequalities they were previously unaware of. If people do attempt domination tactics on this community, hopefully they will be devalued by the wisdom in other members’ ideas and responses.

Nghia Le/Unsplash

For a couple reasons, I feel like I’m a great candidate for making sure Nonmonetized Together doesn’t fail. First, because I’m extremely honest but try to be sensitive to other people’s feelings at the same time. I’m motivated to be honest because it is socially rewarding, because I struggle to lie convincingly, and because I don’t like feeling guilty.

The second reason is because I have realized I don’t need any more political power than I already am given. Because of this, I trained my brain to stop affiliating with any political sides. This way, I could leave it up to the readers to take ownership of their own political activity on Nonmonetized Together, instead of being under my political control and influence. I also chose to seek meaning from Catholicism instead of politics, and the result is that I’m more willing to inspire others than bring down people I disagree with.

Inspiring others is what Nonmonetized Together is all about. I’m that sure the left, centre, and right all have their own ways of being inspired by what they read on here, but all that matters is that they are inspired positively and productively. If you feel that this does a better job at supporting future generations than the current state of the Internet in 2023, sign your name in the comments section, but be honest! Historians may look back at this post and trace your name to your online activity.

References

Barron, Robert. Catholicism: A Journey to the Heart of the Faith. Image, 2011.

#Future #Power #Internet #Sociology #Activism

Discuss...

Photo from Kajetan Sumila/Unsplash

I am aware that Non-Monetized Together’s patient approach to online discussion isn’t exactly fashionable. A lot of people on the Internet seem to think “you can’t fix stupid” and use that as a justification to mock, provoke, and troll anybody who doesn’t understand their morals.

But I don’t see why we should treat these people any different than people who have been diagnosed with a mental disability. What’s the difference between idiot and a mentally challenged person? Well, for one thing, the latter has gotten a seal of distinction from a professional. But the second difference is that the words mental disability indicate some level of respect and understanding. When not used in a way that suggests otherwise, those words do not express the contempt that is conveyed by calling someone a moron. They instead suggest that the subject is not to blame for the way their mind works and that neurotypicals have no choice to tolerate the fact that this is the way they are.

These are the only two differences I can think of. One, idiots are not recognized as such by our institutions, and two, they are not respected for who they are. So, I decided to take inspiration from the disability rights movement and understand that maybe Internet morons are not deficient but are differently abled, that they require special needs, that they need patience and understanding. In fact, the terms idiot and moron were originally used to describe those who have a mental disability. If society can outgrow that dismissive, derogatory attitude towards the neurodivergent, I’m sure Non-Monetized Together can do the same with some of its more difficult participants.

#DisabilityRights #Internet #Communication #Respect #Stupidity #Kindness

This article was originally published to Medium on June 27, 2023 (https://medium.com/non-monetized-together/whats-the-difference-between-being-an-idiot-and-having-a-mental-disability-55ac496ed241?source=friends_link&sk=308ed3328e79b572547cd4217168b304)

Medium comments:

great commentary. These labels, informally derogatory or clinical, are often subjective based on personal experience, cultural norms, or fads.

Even the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders changes their classifications over time. I say their as it's still a publication by a group of academics from the American Psychiatric Association alleged to be influenced by the very powerful pharmaceutics industry.

In France for example, ASD (Autism) is frequently diagnosed as NPD (Narcissistic Personality Disorder).

Here in N.America, NPD can only be diagnosed in adolescence. NPD doesn't require medication to my knowledge, but ASD could (Intuniv).

Labels are false reassurance but are inclusive (in their own communities) unlike moron which isolates, socially.

What do you think?

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DSM-5

Turi Sue

I think this might be the first comment I received (for articles in this publication) that added something new to the discussion, which is great. That means you're using the community the way it's supposed to be (though, I recently decided I won't clap for comments on my own articles to challenge the idea of “author as authority”).

In the real world, you need a diagnosis to get the treatment you need to function. The treatment can also be expensive. In Non-Monetized Together, my goal is to communicate with people in a way that leads to the best result, every time. Even if it means being more patient with them than elsewhere on the Internet. I want them to be heard!

For those on the losing side in society, labels can sometimes be false reassurance, but I hope Non-Monetized Together will not only be inclusive, but equitable. Then it can fulfill the ideals promised by medical labels but only offered to a few – giving people the support they need to succeed.

Kevin the Nonmonetized

Thank Kevin.

I'm actually new to Medium. I set up my account years ago but have only started using it recently. Right now I'm trying to get a “feel” for what works and what doesn't. I'm not a member yet and haven't applied for any monetization. Is there any benefit to remaining like this other than ideological? If I understand it, you have created a group that resists the money-making incentive for folks to interact.

Is this right?

Turi Sue

Yeah, there are many positives to not monetizing. I wouldn't call them ideology-related, they are more about trying to make the blog operate differently and achieve things that other blogs can't. But there's also personal benefits like not being pressured to earn enough money.

Good luck with your Medium articles.

Kevin the Nonmonetized

I almost forgot to ask you, could you please provide some evidence for the statement you made about how France and North America diagnose people? I have to make sure all posts on Non-Monetized Together back up their claims.

Kevin the Nonmonetized

Kevin, I reached out to Sam Vaknin to get his opinion on your links:

https://vaknin-talks.com/

BTW it was him that alerted me to the possible misdiagnosis of ASD as NPD and vica versa, I forgot to mention this to you.

Although Vaknin is a physicist (I believe), he has written numerous books on NPD. He also lists himself as a WHO consultant (?)

Hopefully, he'll answer me, but many times these “experts” don't reply directly, but rather indirectly through a YT lecture.

Stay tuned....

S.T.

Turi Sue

Thank you for letting me know.

Kevin the Nonmonetized


Hi Kevin. Personal experience and available literature.

My daughter was diagnosed with NPD in France at the age of 6. When we moved to North America, the diagnostic experts at McGill University (Dr Guile) and Dr Klein of the Douglas Institute who are experts in their field, told me that NPD is only diagnosed in adolescence in North America, and that she possibly has Asperger's rather than NPD as her brother was born with Asperger's.

https://psychcentral.com/disorders/narcissistic-personality-disorder

https://www.mcgill.ca/psychiatry/clinical-care/dmhui

https://www.quebecmedecin.com/medecin/medecin-guile-jean-marc-14347.htm

I don't remember the name of the doctor in France that performed the two day evaluation. To find out it has to be officially requested through government medial portals.

-S.T

Turi Sue

It looks like the ICD no longer lists NPD as a diagnosis, so the French medical industry has likely moved on from that.

https://bpded.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s40479-022-00182-0

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6206910/

Kevin the Nonmonetized

ps. am testing out this membership thing to see if it really makes a difference. I checked my stats as a non-member last week and there were 50 suspicious claps on each of 3 posts. Who or what is putting exactly 50 claps. Not 59 nor 51 but 50. Fishy.

Turi Sue

By the way, I'm a member and I still get very suspicious stats. I had one article get about 100 views in one day and zero reads. This came out of nowhere. Ever since then, the article has gotten exactly one view almost every day.

Kevin the Nonmonetized

hmm. So being a member will not clear that up.

Turi Sue

Tell me if these links work. They should hopefully contain evidence that the stats are wonky.

![](https://i.snap.as/kpvYUHWg.png)

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Kevin the Nonmonetized


Isn't 50 claps the maximum that one person can give?

Kevin the Nonmonetized

a posted poem got 91, so I don't know about that. But you said something interesting.: “that one person can give”

Turi Sue

Were those 91 claps from one person?

Kevin the Nonmonetized


They may not have, Kevin. Moving on may not happen as fast as that.

Cultural biases or tendencies of a country towards a condition or PD diagnosis don't evaporate as soon as the literature is modified esp. by the WHO. It takes a while for the population to catch up incl. the front-line medical practitioners.

I didn't see any reference to the question of age in the links you sent, unless I missed it.

But it appears the WHO dictates the international criteria for the diagnosis regardless of cultural biases. What did come across is the importance of self-perception in the diagnosis of \ PD.

As a 6-year-old's personality is not fully developed, they cannot be given this diagnosis.

Interesting debate although the tip of the iceberg.

Turi Sue

Fair enough. I guess at that point it’s not something that can be proven as much as perceived.

Kevin the Nonmonetized

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[NASA/Unsplash]

Take a look at this discussion thread started by a librarian who has been requested a book that is so elusive that it can’t be found anywhere.

Now I can tell that this mystery isn’t going to go viral like some other examples because it wasn’t posted to a mainstream website and because it’s not a memorable example. Despite this, nine other people have replied with suggestions. The linked thread is an example of someone forming an equal power dynamic with the people who respond to them instead of trying to post something that interests a lot of people.

There are many discussions online that are just like this, where somebody posts something that will be significant to very few people but puts the respondents in a position where they can lead the discussion. However, this approach to discussion is usually limited to contexts where the initial poster is looking for help from respondents. The initial poster feels stuck solving a mystery on their own, so they make a post about it. Their mystery lacks viral qualities such as nostalgia, suspiciousness, familiarity, or strangeness, but usually other people will help them out anyways.

Compared to the discussions on the rest of the public Web, these interactions are built on a more equal relationship between initial poster and respondent. Yet they are almost always carried out in cases when the conversation starter needs help from others and so has no choice but to put commenters in a more powerful position.

If you think about Medium or Instagram or Twitter, most of the public initial posts are people doing something to grab people’s attention or to get some sort of emotional response from viewers. They are putting the spotlight on themselves. There’s nothing wrong with this, but a lot of people forget that social media can also be used to highlight the repliers’ contributions to the discussion.

I feel like Nonmonetized Together stands out from other blogs for this reason. The posts on NMT aren’t the author’s posts, they are discussions for the community. This makes the comment section become less about the initial poster (like most of social media) and more about the community (like the librarian forum).

I encourage people to expand on the information in the blog’s initial posts, place it in a new context, make tangentially related replies, and respond with a different purpose than the article (but not with a different purpose than NMT). If people respond with these comments, they will make it so the comment section is not just responding to NMT but contributing to it.

Hopefully Nonmonetized Together will help you feel less invisible.

#Discussion #OnlineDiscussion #InternetComments #SocialMedia #Internet

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This article was originally published to Medium on August 7, 2022 (https://medium.com/@non-monetized_together/clearing-up-misinformation-about-the-director-of-strawinsky-and-the-mysterious-house-9e5c8bc6aeca?source=friends_link&sk=3bda83deab9443a7c9789a0a7b2b529c)

#Misconceptions #Film #Internet #Copyright #YouTube

How’s it going, everybody? Just wanted to let you know about this gentleman I came across online named David Hutter. He created his own independent Christian children’s movie called Strawinsky and the Mysterious House. It got some attention online, but it also resulted in him being on the receiving end of some popular misconceptions, so I thought I would clear them up because I felt sorry for him.

For instance, a lot of people thought the movie was made to discourage kids from reading books, but this is not true. Hutter has stated on his website that the movie was about the dangers of consuming secular media to the point where it replaces spiritual media. The misconception was reported on TVTropesAwful Movies Wiki, and some IMDb reviews. If you have seen the film yourself, I would love to hear your comments on these claims and how they relate to the movie.

The other misleading piece of information is often referenced in YouTube comments sections, even if you sort by new. Basically, many folks still believe that a copyright claim Hutter placed on a YouTuber named SaberSpark happened because Hutter didn’t like the criticism. Actually, the reason Hutter reported the claim was because he believed SaberSpark’s video used too much footage from his movie to fall under fair use.

Now, you can debate whether it was fair use or not, but even if you disagree with Hutter, you have to remember that he is a self-taught director and that Strawinsky was his first movie, so he might not have had the same understanding of copyright law as industry professionals with traditional film education and experience.

He explained in an email exchange with SaberSpark that he doesn’t have enough of a problem with negative reviews to take them down, which is why he didn’t take down any other bad reviews. A couple years later, he added that he could have handled the situation better by being “a lot more gracious and patient,” and that he wasn’t sure about how YouTube and copyright strikes worked at the time. The only problem is that I was only able to find the email exchange through a Google search as it doesn’t appear to be accessible from the main page of his website.

SaberSpark ended up making a video that reported on the copyright strike and the eventual agreement between him and Hutter, but he failed to mention that Hutter doesn’t have anything against free speech or negative coverage. That’s why it is still widely and falsely accepted that Hutter was upset about SaberSpark’s comments as opposed to his use of the movie.

At one point in the email discussion, Hutter explains how he had to make this movie while working a full-time job, and that it took him over five years and cost £6,000. Considering all the effort he put towards the film, I don’t think he deserves these stories to show up whenever anybody searches his name. I am glad I am able to use Medium to inform people on what really went down.

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This article was originally published on Medium on May 8, 2022 (https://medium.com/@non-monetized_together/internet-snowflakes-a-breakdown-a9860568f235?source=friends_link&sk=e2bec48ff207a4e511db8e6b9e482313).

#Language #Internet #Slang #OnlineDiscussions

What is a snowflake, in Internet terms? Well, it’s a broad category, so I’ll start from the top and narrow it down until we get to the most important examples.

Someone can be called a snowflake for acting overly sensitive and entitled online, but that is not the best example of snowflake behaviour. The term “snowflake” implies that they believe themselves to be special, but there is nothing special about frivolous calls to action on their own. In fact, it’s really easy to act like that — anyone can do it!

Oh, but what if their proposals are self-centred and illogical? Well, maybe it’s just their opinion! If you don’t like it, you don’t need to live by it! Or you can revise their statement so it becomes more reasonable. A third solution is to respond by explaining the problems with the comment.

But perhaps the snowflake is phrasing their comments as demands. Wait, are you sure that’s what they meant? How would demand even work on the Internet, where most people are hundreds of kilometres away from each other? Online, it’s very easy to misread an innocuous suggestion as a demand. I believe that this is because terms that explicitly express a demand (“you have to,” “I beg you,”) are often used to exaggerate. In these cases, the writer has hope, and they know that it is not urgent, and they don’t want readers to be legitimately concerned about it, but they will phrase it like a demand anyways. This makes it a lot harder to point out a genuine snowflake comment.

Image from Elisa Ventur/Unsplash

So, it is even worth it to be concerned about snowflakes at all?

Well, in my opinion, there are at least two snowflake behaviours that are real problems.

First, when they form a group with like-minded people and work together to make their complaint look more widespread than it really is. They can achieve this through group coordination skills and using multiple accounts. This makes it difficult for PR companies to gauge the true extent of the problem, which increases the odds they will make a bad decision.

And second, when the snowflake can’t deal with criticism, for obvious reasons.

In those cases, there is not much you can do about their behaviour. Though if you want, you can make a comment directed to other readers about the trouble and drama this person is creating.

In other circumstances, you can always try to guide the conversation down a co-operative path. I don’t think calling someone a snowflake is a good way to achieve that, though.

I had trouble finding a related article to give a shout-out to, so I’ll do it for Gregory Russell Benedikt and his article “I Finally Understand Why I Can’t Please Everyone.”

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Medium comments:

I don’t think calling someone a snowflake is a good way to achieve that, though.

Lol yeah probably not the best way to resolve a conflict

Great read!

Sara Larca


Interesting article, Kevin. Very keen to know what your definition of “snowflake” is? Keep writing, I realy enjoyed this story.

robert porter

Glad you enjoy it. “Snowflake” is a term that is used to insult someone for being irrational, entitled, or easily offended online

Nonmonetized Together

Thanks Kevin. I kind of knew that but I guess it would have been nice if you had used that definition in your story so we could all have been sure we were talking about the same thing. Call me a snowflake-:)

robert porter


Such a wonderful new concept I learned from your article. I had no idea about snowflakes behavior and how they operate. Appreciate and happy to understand snowflake behavior pattern.

Dr. Preeti Singh

No problem, glad you enjoyed it!

Kevin the Nonmonetized

#Sociology #Internet #Atheism #Reddit #Acceptance

This article was originally published to Medium on August 14, 2022. (https://medium.com/@non-monetized_together/people-on-the-internet-are-assuming-the-worst-of-one-another-80f52cad14f3?source=friends_link&sk=dfec150cec99e26c246633942eca4235)

Back in 2013, Reddit user Aalewis posted this to the atheism subreddit, going viral, prompting ridicule, and becoming a meme:

“Just to be clear, I’m not a professional ‘quote maker’. I’m just an atheist teenager who greatly values his intelligence and scientific fact over any silly fiction book written 3,500 years ago. This being said, I am open to any and all criticism.

‘In this moment, I am euphoric. Not because of any phony god’s blessing. But because, I am enlightened by my intelligence.’” — Aalewis (source: https://knowyourmeme.com/memes/in-this-moment-i-am-euphoric)

I will admit this quote certainly isn’t perfect. It reads like a teenager trying too hard to sound adult. As well as having punctuation errors, what does Aalewis even mean by “professional quote maker?” Yet they aren’t actually saying anything wrong for an atheist. I’m religious myself, and even I find it hard to interpret this post as meaning anything other than “atheism and human knowledge have been so useful for me that I have achieved a state of fulfillment equivalent to what spirituality promises to offer.” Tell me how you can be an atheist without agreeing with this.

Well, let’s see what others have to say. I’ll start with responses from the original thread, which is now only viewable on the Internet Archive. (source: https://web.archive.org/web/20130109064934/http://www.reddit.com/r/atheism/comments/15xwij/i_came_up_with_this_quote_just_a_few_minutes_ago/)

Image from Brett Jordan/Unsplash

“Hey, Aalewis.

If I’m right, you’re probably feeling pretty damn awful right now. If I were you then for the next few years you might cringe at night at the thought of having once posted this.

It’s one of the inevitable mistakes of that phase between youth and maturity. Every single person who posted in this thread has them too; I’ve got five I could name right now. There’s that one quote, “If I could do my life over, I would make the same mistakes, only sooner”; to that I say, bollocks to that. These kinds of things just suck like a black hole. But at the very least, we’ve all had them at some point.

I’ll point out the immediate things I want to get across. For a start, atheism doesn’t mean belittling theists or going out of your way to humiliate or disprove them. It means just not believing in divinity of any form. Neither does atheism immediately equal intelligence.

Secondly, it’s all well and good to be a smart bloke but without a healthy does of wisdom and humility you’re not going to be someone anybody could be happy to talk to.” — Priderage

Ridiculous. Priderage started off putting the blame on Aalewis for other people making fun of them, but then started promoting respect and humility, as if Aalewis wasn’t already doing so in the first place! Aalewis didn’t even mention theists in their post, let alone belittle them. Plus, they were humble — they just mentioned they were open to criticism. Also, atheism equals intelligence the same way that theism equals intelligence. Everybody has an intelligence, save for the comatose, the brain-dead, and the newborn.

Priderage’s response continues for a while but basically the entire gist of their comment is contained in the excerpt above (check the link for yourself to see their full comment). So no, their comment really does mean what it looks like it means. But what’s even crazier is that the comments were practically worshipping Priderage for making such a deep and meaningful response.

“But I am an atheist forum, I’m just gushing over a user who called someone out for expressing their atheism in a normal way!” — r/atheism

I really should at least compliment Priderage on the sympathetic nature of their reply, but the way it was paired with a message of mockery makes me question their true intentions.

Priderage may not be aware of the subconscious messages they communicated: making a tribute to atheism is an “inevitable mistake,” openly disagreeing with theism equals mocking it, some atheists lack intelligence, being content with earthly knowledge is not humble, and publicly supporting atheism means “you’re not going to be someone anybody could be happy to talk to.” The popularity of Priderage’s response really speaks to how fragile religious structures were in 2013 as well as how uncomfortable people were towards pro-atheist comments, even among atheists.

Or does it?

ammar sabaa/Unsplash

Could it be possible that I misread their response? Totally. Remember, I created this blog with the intention of writing not from a position of authority, but as an equal to my readers. I’m just one guy.

But if that’s so, then Priderage didn’t bother to consider the possibility that Aalewis’s comment may have just been an innocent shout-out to atheism. This shows that they nonetheless assumed the worst in people. As you will see, this is a pattern that got repeated through many of the other comments. If one of these commenters considered that maybe not everyone online is a jerk, this story could have gone very differently.

This next response is an example of a greater problem with the Internet that is so ubiquitous and unaddressed that I’m surprised that I haven’t written an article about it yet.

“Wow, that is so pretentious, poorly written and self indulgent.

I can just imagine how “deep” OP probably thought that was. He probably spent at least a little bit of time crafting that “quote” into what he thought was a concise and introspective nugget of genius. Now he deletes the post running away with his tail between his legs.” — ****ty-analogy

You should keep track of whenever you see someone online complaining that someone else thinks they are so smart. Nine times out of ten, they are talking about someone who never even hinted about such a thing. It’s a cop-out people use whenever they don’t have any actual arguments, yet I don’t see people point this issue out.

This case was no different. That’s ****ty-analogy’s entire comment right there, so you can see that they didn’t actually have anything to support their claim, and it’s at 208 points.

Karim MANJRA/Unsplash

XenoRenseller posted a response that backed up the conclusions I made earlier about what Priderage’s subconscious messages meant to society. It reads, “[Aalewis] has to attack the image of god to help justify his stance; he’s definitely not comfortable.” But when your definition of “attack” is wide enough to apply to Aalewis’s comment, you’re putting huge limitations on how you expect “comfortable” atheists to behave. So, XenoRenseller was strongly opposing freedom of atheist speech.

Same with Zlatanista, who responded with “[i]f someone asked me to provide one quote that summed up r/atheism, this would be it. It literally has everything: arrogance, naivety and bizarrely misplaced egotism.” This is especially ironic because by putting down an entire subreddit, Zlatanista was displaying the same traits that they were baselessly accusing Aalewis of.

Many other users in the thread accused Aalewis of being egotistical or insulting. They include DrSexNugget, shodanx, HarlanEllisonIsGod, DefenestratorOfSouls, HeresWhyYouSuck, and attaxx. And this is just going off the comments that have enough upvotes to be visible in the archived version. None of the points they made were valid.

In the midst of all of this outrage, I’ve found a comment on a different thread, except this one has the potential to guide us to a more positive future (thank you, double-happiness, for sharing it with us) (source: https://www.reddit.com/r/SubredditDrama/comments/15yjpi/comment/c7ro4en/?utm_source=reddit&utm_medium=web2x&context=3). It shows two copy-pasted comments, one of which appears to be an Aalewis comment that appeared in the original thread, but did not receive enough upvotes to appear in the linked archive version. This doesn’t prove that the comment is legit, but if it is (and it likely is), it confirms my suspicions about Aalewis’s intentions.

“[deleted] -232 points 1 day ago

At no point did I say I was “special”. I don’t think myself better than anyone because of my atheism. I did not insult anyone by saying I don’t feel euphoria at a phony blessing.”

Then, if this is real, not only did people make quick negative assumptions about Aalewis, but when Aalewis explained that the mob was wrong, they got downvoted. Not only does this mean Internet atheists were insecure about being open about their lack of faith, but it shows that they were not willing to learn from Aalewis when they challenged everyone else’s insecurities. If this doesn’t point to the authoritarian capabilities of groupthink, I don’t know what does.

But that was almost 10 years ago.

And also 11 months ago. (https://www.reddit.com/r/21stCenturyQuotes/comments/pp8dnm/in_this_moment_i_am_euphoric_not_because_of_any/?sort=confidence)

Johnny Cohen/Unsplash

I’ve been trying to make this obvious, but in case you haven’t noticed, the purpose of this post (and all my posts on Non-Monetized Together) isn’t to unleash frustration or to create drama with others. It’s to look back at an unfortunate incident and ask, “what went wrong?” If we are more honest about our worldviews, which include religion, we can have more substantial discussions and learn from each other more easily. How do we make that our reality?

It would require theists to develop some thicker skin so they avoid mislabelling opposing ideas as attacks. It would require atheists to go into more detail about their beliefs so others can understand their positive intentions. We all must challenge ourselves to work towards a resolution when chatting with strangers online. The future of our humanity lies in these interactions.

Resilience, openness, and solutions — these are also three of the goals that Non-Monetized Together is working to achieve. I know it’s cliché, but the impact of these virtues extend far beyond yourself. By connecting with each other and believing in our goals, we can be a part of something incredibly powerful.

Something more than just an unremarkable quote from an unidentified Redditor.

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