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Why use demeaningly sexist language like "attention whore" in response to deliberately shocking/grating, attention-seeking antics (and also, if someone is a professional entertainer? Attention-seeking is sort of their professional life. Just sayin'.) when there exists the simple and evocative "troll"?

If someone positively associates with a known troll, I judge them. I may not say anything to anyone about what I think (obviously, since I'm making commentary here this time, I'm saying something this time, even though in this case it's largely metacontextual and also an example sufficiently detached from my day-to-day life that I can use it as an example), and I may not decide that I must sever my own associations (if any) with them, or make any declaration that they've lost my goodwill (with the linked implication that people who retain them in their goodwill may also be judged), but I think about how much I value them, and my esteem of them will probably drop a fraction if (again in my own estimation) their association with that troll seems to continue in an approval of the troll's trollish tactics, or despite trolling that would be a dealbreaker for me.

Specifics:
I don't know half enough about the Amanda Palmer/Neil Gaiman dynamic to even begin to think about whether under the same interpersonal circumstances I would jump ship entirely or make some sort of public statement of disagreement on the problematic fronts.

Prior to Evelyn-Evelyn, I had started to vaguely think that Amanda Palmer was a person I ought to investigate when I was on a musical-discovery kick the next time. Now, given that it looks as if caring about her music might involve caring about her public face, I don't want to get emotionally invested in an entertainer who will break my heart as she seems to be breaking hearts across my friends/reading pages. I want to maintain that distance, now, so if she says or does something wildly problematic again, as I imagine she inevitably will now that she's under a magnifying glass in addition to the spotlight, that I can look at it from not just the detachment of my privilege, but the detachment of not-being-a-fan, and say "Oh dear, that was problematic, and I should probably continue to avoid that."

Neil Gaiman has been on my radar for a while, because, migod, he's Neil Gaiman, and I'm vaguely fannish about him despite not having sought out very much of his stuff, because most of the geek culture I inhabit is vaguely to immensely fannish of him. Also, Good Omens. Prior to this, I hadn't heard anything about him that persistently lowered him in my estimation. This has placed a tick in the wrong column: there's now an entry under "Disadvantage: Associates with at least one person of problematical public face (troll)". It's not enough to put me off his work, or to make me stop reading him entirely (for some calibration on what makes me unable to read someone, see Piers Anthony for content, Card for public conduct) but it's a tick in the wrong column.

And here's where I jump from commentary on that situation to commentary on how my brain works; if you were just here for the celebrity schadenfreude, you can depart the ride now unless you actually want to hear about how my brain works.

My trust in other people works like that. I have a default trust level for other human beings upon first meeting, with points up and down for general appearance and presentation. (Breathing booze fumes on me in BART and telling me I'm a sexy lady doesn't quite bottom you out on the scale, because there's much worse than that, but it drops you plain out of the default generally-untrusted-except-for-conversation level.)

It's not a straight points scale, because some things "weigh" more than others: having been my friend of 20 years generally overrides a chance tactless comment. And it's not quite as if long-term friendship is worth 100 points, and each tactless comment is worth 1 point, so after 100 tactless comments, this overrides the history of friendship, and there's an upset. Generally, once a pattern gets discerned, things get re-arranged to better account for reality. Advantage: friend of 20 years, 95 points. Disadvantage: Makes tactless comments: 10 points. Advantage: can generally make me laugh: 30 points. Disadvantage: Bit my sister once: 1 point.

There are things that can override other things. Disadvantage: Tasteless: Likes Twilight: 10 points. Advantage: Can explain why and it's reasons that I can find agreeable if not agree with entirely myself: nullifies associated disadvantage.
Advantage: likes painting: 2 points. Advantage: vegetarian: 5 points. Disadvantage: is Hitler: nullifies all possible advantages.
There aren't very many of those that are absolutes. More of them are "retains this advantage in the face of even otherwise-nullifying disadvantages" and "this disadvantage means that this person will never gain minimum trust threshold".
Advantage: is related to me: advantage is retained but weight varies depending on circumstances. (Advantage: is sister sometimes had negative points.)
Disadvantage: enjoys nonconsensually causing the pain of innocents: disadvantage cannot be nullified.

Not everything is an advantage or disadvantage. Some things are just null-value attributes.
The same general attribute isn't always on the same side depending on the situation.
Advantage: loud voice (is actor): 5 points.
Disadvantage: loud voice (is 5-year-old): 15 points.
Advantage: holds my hand a lot (and I like it): 15 points
Disadvantage: holds my hand a lot (and I don't like it): 15 points; Disadvantage: bodily integrity (mine), disrespecting: 50 points.

Some things get more points based on intensity/severity of the particular situation.
Advantage: makes me laugh (occasional snickers): 2 points.
Advantage: makes me laugh (regularly, difficulty breathing): 20 points.
Disadvantage: non-technical (little to no impact on my life): 1 point, sometimes mitigated by Advantage: enjoyable bonding moments teaching technology: 2 points.
Disadvantage: non-technical (makes me scream): 50 points.

Some of them expire as I forget them, leaving only a vague memory of unspecified reputation behind, and adding to the collected reputation of my having known a person for however long. Some of them, and sometimes there's no telling which it will be, linger long after one would otherwise expect the memory to have faded.
Advantage: I think there was this one hilarious conversation?: 5 points.
Advantage: That time in the 6th grade with the "un-scrunch": 5 points.
Disadvantage: You were a jackass in elementary school; I don't imagine I'll like you any better now: 50 points.
Disadvantage: That song glorifying torture, even torture of a terrorist, that you shared with me in 2001? Still not funny. 5 points. (Mitigated to 1 net point disadvantage due to never sharing anything in that general class of "humor" at me again after the ensuing hanging-the-hell-up and the Discussion ensuing from *that*.)

I don't generally enumerate all these advantages and disadvantages; I don't tend to have an actual spreadsheet with these, and would have to actually work pretty hard to come up with the full list of everything that any given person has. If I were a robot, I'd have to have that. If I were an azi, I could probably recall pretty well. I'm not. I just make a habit of attempting to remember the things that could affect my trust level for a person, particularly things that could influence me to adjust it in a downward direction.

I was not raised around very many humans, and my early exposure to large groups of them for extended periods of time when I was expected to interact with them was preschool and first grade. I was unimpressed. (More accurately, I was overwhelmed, the culture clash was pretty bad, and I thought most of the lot of them were morons. However, the alternative was my mother as a teacher, so I put up with the morons.) I learned that trusting your peers without reason to do so was the worst of all bad plans, and trusting anyone with a history of untrustworthy acts was just stupid. It was far better to be aloof and safer than very, very sorry.


Crossposted. comment count unavailable comments.
Gone away, gone ahead,
Echoes roll unanswered.
Empty, open, dusty, dead.
Why have all the Weyrfolk fled?

Where have dragons gone together
Leaving weyrs to wind and weather,
Setting herdbeasts free of tether;
Gone, our safeguards, gone, but whither?

Have they flown to some new weyr
Where cruel Threads some others fear?
Are they worlds away from here?
Why, oh why the empty weyr?

-- "The Question Song", Anne McCaffrey
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