Opinion meme; analysis thereof - Omnia mutantur, nihil interit.
Opinion meme; analysis thereof|
Comment here if you would like me to tell you, without
reservation, what I think about you. Then post this meme in your own journal
if you wish.
This meme gives the immediate impression of being backwards.
“Wouldn't it be more natural for a person to ask others to tell him
unreservedly what they think of him?”, I immediately think upon reading
it. However, on further thought, I think this backwardness makes it more
efficient as a meme. Making a post asking people to tell you about yourself
is essentially asking people for a favor without offering anything in return,
whereas this meme is making an offer without asking anything in return.
Thus, people respond, asking to hear about themselves, because the cost is
low (mostly just the risk of hearing something you'd rather not) and then
later on feel guilty about “taking advantage of” the original
offerer without extending the same offer. (At least, that's how it worked for me.)
Thus, the transaction structure of this meme (note, only direct
benefits of a step are listed with that step) is:
- Initiate / propagate: low-cost (copy the meme to your journal), low
benefit to sender, low benefit to recipient
- Respond: low-cost (post comment asking for opinion), low benefit to sender,
low benefit to recipient
- Follow-up: high-cost (give evaluation), low benefit to sender, high
benefit to recipient
I think I prefer the interview meme, where the structure is more like:
- Propagate (read interview, request interview): low-cost, high benefit to sender (they got
to read the other person's interview answers first), low benefit to
- Respond (send interview questions): medium-cost, low benefit to sender,
medium benefit to recipient
- Follow-up (complete interview, give interviews to others if requested):
high-cost, low benefit to sender, high benefit to recipient
Actually, what I find surprising is that the opinion meme seems so well
suited to propagation given how little benefit it has to the person who
becomes infected by it. Unless they enjoy spreading their opinions more than
they value their time. Maybe that's it.
It seems like this type of analysis could be extended. For example, one
implicit factor that I could have made explicit is how large of an audience a
particular step reaches—many people would value reaching a larger audience
with their content, which the opinion meme seems particularly poor at, since
in order to even see the results you have to either be the requestor or keep
reloading an entry to see what changed.
Anyway, after all that stuff, yes, I am actually participating in the
opinion meme, not just propagating it, if you're interested. :-)
|Date:||September 3rd, 2004 10:50 am (UTC)|| |
"I want to know what love is...
I want you to show me."
|Date:||September 3rd, 2004 05:22 pm (UTC)|| |
Re: "I want to know what love is...
Laura, the first thing one notices about you is that you are
charismatic. And not in a pretentious, “I'm better than you and I
know it” way. You certainly seem to have the ability to captivate
men (myself not excluded), sometimes in defiance of all logic or reason (I
hope I don't fall into that category ;-).
You aren't the most intelligent person I know in terms of processing
large amounts of data in a mechanical manner, but you nevertheless have a
confidence in your abilities which I find admirable. As far as I can tell
you have well-defined but not rigid goals which give lots of room for
partial success, particularly as regards your relationship with children.
You are absolutely trustworthy, not in the sense that you never hurt anyone but in the sense that you never mean to, and anyone who doesn't think so clearly
doesn't know you at all.
(This next part is a little hard to articulate, so I hope it comes out
the way I mean it.)
You seem to be damaged, scarred if you will, in a very deep way. But
somehow instead of making you weaker, these scars make you far stronger,
are in fact the main source of your strength. You go extremely deep,
although you don't always (in fact, pretty rarely) expose this depth.
Your strategy for helping people (at least, the one you've used for me)
seems to key off of finding out what that person wants, then encouraging
him or her to do it and offering concrete steps to move in that direction.
This has usually worked well for me, but occasionally it fails when I
really don't know what I want to do, and it seems to have problems when a
person has deep internal conflicts. Maybe the solution would be to be
more tolerant that some people aren't ready to fix their problems yet
(even though if they chose to, they could). Then again, maybe it's worth
taking the risk that this time, a kick in the butt is just what
Related to this, you can sometimes be unintentionally insensitive. I
noticed this a few times with Ratha—you would be your usual bouncy
self, or use techniques to attempt to help her that would have worked on
me, but for her they only made things worse. Also, being as charismatic
as you are, you tend to inspire jealousy and some degree of animosity,
particularly among women. This seems like an almost unavoidable result of
being widely well-liked for any reason other than abject selflessness, so
I'm not sure what you can do about it, or whether you'd want to.
I'm almost certain that you have had the most positive effect on my
life per unit of time spent dealing with me of anyone that I've known.
|Date:||September 4th, 2004 06:16 pm (UTC)|| |
You have a lot of internal conflict. You allow yourself to be swept up by
new ideas constantly, even though you find this process very painful and
frequently complain about it. You seem to have an incredible case of
grass-is-greener syndrome. You have a serious problem with making any
You are extremely intelligent and quite creative (not in the literal sense
of creating things—perhaps “artsy” would be a better
word, but without the negative connotation). Your actual progress in
your endeavors is hampered by your extreme perfectionism, which you seem
either unable or unwilling to ignore. You have a great deal of difficulty
understanding that sometimes the “wrong way” to do something
is also the required way and with getting anything done on time if it
requires any decisions. (For example, your perfectionism is not
manifested in folding laundry, but it is in writing of any kind, which is
where I've mostly observed it.)
You seem to find what I would describe as deep relationships uncomfortable
and prefer to artificially maintain a certain amount of distance. You are
extremely kind and pleasant towards others, but your reasons for being so
are divided. On the one hand, you do seem to take genuine delight in
others' being happy, and have claimed (I have no reason to dispute this
claim, I simply don't have the evidence to support it) that you like to be
the cause of their happiness. On the other, your pleasantness is a
defense mechanism to keep people from getting too close to you. You have
recently received very strong evidence that this strategy is ineffective,
but you still seem unwilling to renounce it. Your strategy seems to be to
retreat into a small portion of the world where people don't ask for more
than you're willing to give, rather than develop a thicker skin and learn
to reject requests.
You hold the belief that you might be forced into a situation of material
dependence on any person with whom you ever interact, which makes you
terrified of displeasing them. This assessment may or may not be
accurate, but the results for you are crippling. As much as I find your
kindness and pleasantness to be enjoyable qualities, I think they will be
an enormous detriment to you until you learn to turn them off when they
aren't appropriate. A rule I've found useful is that any proposition
which, if accepted, would leave one unable to act, must be rejected
regardless of the evidence for it.
You look extremely cute, and you can act extremely cute when you want to.
You are a fascinating conversation partner partly because we share many of
the same interests (but have different opinions on some of them), but
mostly because you are actually interested, whereas most people seem
pretty apathetic about abstract, abstruse or overly complex ideas. I've
seen you demonstrate an extremely strong will a few times, which I think
means that you do have the ability to (painfully, with great difficulty)
overcome your problems, if you choose to. You have good taste and a good
sense of style.
(In case the last paragraph seems artificial, this is my official
acknowledgement that it is. My attitude was biased by the negativity of
your post about me and I found it difficult to think about non-negative
things about you without forcing myself to do so—but, at the same
time, I know this is a temporary distortion of my attitude not
directly related to you, so I wanted to try to make my evaluation a little
more balanced. I do believe you are a basically good person, and that you
have the potential for greatness should you admit and face your problems
instead of hiding from or ignoring them. (This description could be
applied to me, as well, in my opinion.))
|Date:||September 11th, 2004 12:52 pm (UTC)|| |
"Find me sitting by myself, no excuses that I know"
I so comment; do one on me.
|Date:||September 12th, 2004 09:45 pm (UTC)|| |
Re: "Find me sitting by myself, no excuses that I know"
Our relationship was hampered by power games which I now realize probably
existed almost entirely inside of my head. I tried in fumbling ways to make
you aware of them, and I think you may have gotten some small inkling of them
towards the end, but I regret that they reduced the degree of transparency
between us to the degree that they did.
You hold many views which are controversial to say the least. I find myself
in strong agreement with many of them (even, or perhaps especially, some of
the more unpopular ones) and in strong disagreement with some of them. You
have a certain style in asserting these viewpoints and in confidently fending
off any attack on them which I interpreted as an extreme lack of tolerance
for dissent, but I now think that that assessment was wrong, or at least very
incomplete, as you also have an amazing ability to compartmentalize and not
allow your violent disagreement on one subject to affect your opinion of
someone on any unrelated subject.
I have often suspected dishonesty or insincerity of you, but every time that
I can remember I have found those suspicions to be mistaken. You hold some
beliefs that I find it difficult to understand how any sane person could
hold, but I find myself compelled by the weight of evidence nonetheless to
believe that you do sincerely hold them.
I find you a very admirable person in that you act in a way which is very
closely in accordance with your codified values. I think this is likely a
result of viewing things atemporally, of a strong will, and of having values
which happen to correspond rather closely with what you're inclined to do
anyway. In regard to this last factor, you represent sort of a difficult
case for me in that it often seems to me that your mind is a magnificent
resource which is being largely wasted. I often wish you would be more
productive, and especially that you would write more. I think that to some
degree this reflects my own insecurity over the disparity between the value I
ostensibly place on creation and the amount of it I actually do in my own
life, which causes me to try to convince others to create in an attempt to
validate my own value system.
I have also appreciated the opportunity (no offense intended) to analyze
someone who's fucked up in sort of a similar way to me. Almost everyone is
fucked up, it seems, but most of them are fucked up in ways from which I can
learn very little about myself.
I think you and I have more in common than I ever suspected. I think I was
unable to see this because of my self-denial which resulted in my attempting
to mimic you rather than allowing my own personality (which, as it turns out,
does ultimately seem to be astonishingly similar to yours) to come
out. This denial also resulted in an inability to see those important
differences which do exist between us.
You have a certain æsthetic—one of a “very powerful
person”—which I like and would like to emulate, and which I think
mostly serves you well, although it does also lead to a certain amount of
(largely unvoiced, at least in your presence) resentment and jealousy. You
have a surprising soft side towards these reactions once in a while, although
I've only seen it maybe three or four times. That seems to be a fairly
consistent feature of Great people, actually.
I hope that wasn't too focused on me. I haven't been interacting with you a
huge amount lately (although more than the time when Ratha and I were living
together) and I've been pretty introspective lately.