Conlang YouTube, Metal Music, Emotions, Etc. [Split]

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Conlang YouTube, Metal Music, Emotions, Etc. [Split]

Post by Vlürch »

Edit: Split from (EE) Q&A Thread

Not sure if this is the right thread to ask this, but it's something I've been wondering about for a while.

Considering conlangers/conworlders/whatever at least seemingly tend to be more progressive and left-wing rather than conservative or right-wing, why is it that Youtubers who make videos about conlanging/conworlding/whatever often at least seem somewhat right-wing and conservative (or at least centrist or "classical liberals"), etc. and especially the commenters on such videos? I mean, it's like every big video about conlanging/worldbuilding/whatever has comments saying nationalistic/racist/whatever shit (in addition to some simply using alt-right vocabulary even if what they're saying isn't nationalistic/racist/whatever) even on videos by Youtubers who at least seem progressive and left-wing. It seems to be getting more and more common recently, too?

Like, I know there's always been controversy regarding racist tropes and whatnot, but recently at least on Youtube it seems to be veering into some kind of "embrace the racist tropes because fuck leftists" mentality becoming more and more widespread. Am I just being paranoid about it increasing, or has it always been a problem and I'm just paying more attention to it now because I'm becoming more and more sensitive myself and am almost certainly also depressed again?

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Re: (EE) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by VaptuantaDoi »

Vlürch wrote:
11 Jan 2020 00:16
Not sure if this is the right thread to ask this, but it's something I've been wondering about for a while.

Considering conlangers/conworlders/whatever at least seemingly tend to be more progressive and left-wing rather than conservative or right-wing, why is it that Youtubers who make videos about conlanging/conworlding/whatever often at least seem somewhat right-wing and conservative (or at least centrist or "classical liberals"), etc. and especially the commenters on such videos? I mean, it's like every big video about conlanging/worldbuilding/whatever has comments saying nationalistic/racist/whatever shit (in addition to some simply using alt-right vocabulary even if what they're saying isn't nationalistic/racist/whatever) even on videos by Youtubers who at least seem progressive and left-wing. It seems to be getting more and more common recently, too?

Like, I know there's always been controversy regarding racist tropes and whatnot, but recently at least on Youtube it seems to be veering into some kind of "embrace the racist tropes because fuck leftists" mentality becoming more and more widespread. Am I just being paranoid about it increasing, or has it always been a problem and I'm just paying more attention to it now because I'm becoming more and more sensitive myself and am almost certainly also depressed again?
Can you give some examples of this? I've had a look through the first ones which come up on Youtube and I can't really find any strong political views.

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Re: (EE) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by Pabappa »

Im a conservative, so youve at least got one counterexample. I dont make Youtube videos about my work, but you can probably see my political biases come through in the things I write about. Im also a big fan of satire, though, so the political philosophies of the political parties on planet Teppala are all grossly distorted from their ideals, except for those of Dreamland ,and Dreamland never wins.

I cant really help more because I am not familiar with any of those videos youre talking about, though I definitely agree on this board and the ZBB as well that the clientele leans to the left.

As a wild guess, maybe the conservative ideas youre seeing are mostly in medieval and prehistoric settings because of the belief that people back then were all like conservatives are today? Again thats just a wild guess though, I dont use that stereotype in my own work.
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Re: (EE) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by Dormouse559 »

Vlürch wrote:
11 Jan 2020 00:16
Not sure if this is the right thread to ask this, but it's something I've been wondering about for a while.
The CBB isn't the right forum for this topic. Remember that discussions of politics are largely discouraged except in the context of people's conworlds.

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Re: (EE) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by sangi39 »

I'd second what Dormouse has said, in that this is the sort of topic it would be worth treading lightly around (since they tend to get personal and heated and could end up in a flamewar).

However, I'm not sure I've ever really noticed any political bias one way or the other in conworlds presented on YouTube per se. Then again, I mostly follow people who analyse world-building in general, rather than present their own work (except maybe snippets, where it seems relevant to the topic).

What I have seen is a fair amount of stereotyping and "planet of hats", wherein "people from country X are A, B, and C, and value M, and N, while people from country Y are D, E, and F, and value O, and P", which I don't think is necessarily "racist", but definitely reductive, and probably stems a lot from the sorts of concultures that stem from works based on Tolkien's stuff (as well as being quite common on sci-fi).

Conworlding, especially where there's a heavy focus on medieval aesthetics, as Pabappa suggests, might also tend to borrow from what we think they thought back then (at least what might be the mainstream view of what they might have thought), which seems to be very "you're not from round here" as far as I can tell, which, again, isn't necessarily espousing anything racist in and of itself, it's just based on a very shallow look at the time their actually drawing inspiration from.

Sure, there will be people developing concultures where those biases come into play, and I think it's difficult to get rid of them (conworlds are, for the most part, their to tell a story, and the stories we tell are informed by our culture and our biases), but without specific examples of "blatantly racist" conworlders vs. the larger forum of conworlding in general, I wouldn't be able to say one way or the other whether there is a trend or not of those sorts of conworlders having a larger platform for presentation.

My one thought right now is that it's more likely to just be poor presentation and/or a lack of in-depth research that makes something appear "right wing" and "racist" than it actually being that (unless, of course, they're explicitly writing racism and things like nationalism or social conservatism into their conworlds, but then that could be for any number of reasons).



One YouTuber (James Tullos), for example, recently posted a video on how fantasy (in literature mainly) tends towards being pro-monarchy (likely stemming from Tolkien, but also through placing their works within the medieval period), so even when they're trying to present a "progressive win" it still ends up looking like the same monarchy that was in place before, but now the new King or Queen is "nice because they overthrew the old, oppressive monarch", despite the fact that they are now (most often) absolute monarchs with near unchecked power (they just happen to be "the right person" for that level of power). You only know that they're "good" because they're presented as such early on, but they still tend to work within the old framework of the world once they gain power (they might feed more people, relax a few laws, but they haven't actually changed much). That's not a limitation of fantasy (their are examples where this doesn't happen), but it shows off just how much people seem to rely on tropes and shallow representation for their settings which can come off as being counter to their own personal views, regardless of whether they intended that or not.
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Re: (EE) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by Salmoneus »

I don't frequent youtubing conworlding channels (and didn't really think of them existing, to be honest), so I can't answer the narrow questions.

I think sangi's points are worthwhile, although I wouldn't draw the line he does between 'right-wing' and 'lack of research'. It's entirely possible to be right-wing as a result of being ignorant, and indeed without meaning to be. Right-wing doesn't mean "evil", so there doesn't have to be any active malice in it.

That said, I'd also say that the seemingly-now-prevailing view that fantasy should always end with the overthrow of monarchy and the advent of peaceful, liberal representative democracy in 1300AD also shows a lack of understanding of the time period, and of the nature of politics, economics and sociology (although, of course, assuming that monarchies are all absolute is similarly ill-informed). Right-wing people in the past weren't just right-wing because they were evil, or stupid. There were reasons why states used to work like that. [It's also naive when it's automatically assumed that democracy means an end to the evil dictatorship. For most of the European middle ages (as in the classical period), democracy was terrifying, because it generally meant mass killings. Reading Commynes last year (a 15th century politician), his ideological interest in popular sovereignty, representation, and the will of the people were balanced by an underlying fear driven by the real historical events he witnessed (both at a distance, regarding the low countries, and in person in Italy): in the 15th century, a tyrannical monarch could convict you in a lengthy unfair trial and strip you of your lands... but when there were popular uprisings, it generally lead to people being dragged through the streets and publically eaten, and their family members being lynched from the church towers by lunchtime.

It was, of course, as philosophers are fond of remembering, the democrats who killed Socrates.

---------


But on the general issue, I'd draw your attention to two basic rules of the internet:

- the Have Your Say rule: whenever you let ordinary people comment on things directly (i.e. not through a long-term membership system or the like), at least 50% of the commenters will be fascists. There will also be a number of Trotskyites, but mostly it'll be fascists. This emerges out of the economics of who has internet access, who has free time, who cares passionately about things, and who believes arguing with people on the internet is a good idea.

- the bubble-popping rule: most people insulate themselves within bubbles of like-minded opinions. This creates, as it were, an intellectual clean room. As a result, when they encounter alien and inimical opinions, they tend to have an allergic reaction. In other words: if you read 10 comments, and 5 of them are neutral, 3 of them agree with you and 2 of them disagree with you, you're likely to come away believing that the comments were dominated by fascists. The things you agree with or don't care about don't draw your attention, while those you disagree with blaze out uncomfortingly.

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Re: (EE) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by Vlürch »

VaptuantaDoi wrote:
11 Jan 2020 01:16
Can you give some examples of this? I've had a look through the first ones which come up on Youtube and I can't really find any strong political views.
Off the top of my head, I know I've seen some racist comments on some videos by Artifexian and there seem to be tons on the videos by Stoneworks World Building (which is a channel I got in my recommendations just today and subscribed to even though I get a kind of iffy feeling about the guy), and although it's not a worldbuilding channel (but I feel like althistory is related enough), every(?) AlternateHistoryHub video has loads of them. Also, for some reason I get a weird vibe from Worldbuilding Notes but I can't really put my finger on it, something about the way she describes things?
Pabappa wrote:
11 Jan 2020 01:23
As a wild guess, maybe the conservative ideas youre seeing are mostly in medieval and prehistoric settings because of the belief that people back then were all like conservatives are today?
Although I mostly didn't mean in conworlds/concultures since those are fictional (I don't make assumptions based on fiction since that's something I strongly disagree with being worthwhile or reflective in like 99% of cases), if it's in the presentation of fiction... hmm, maybe it extends to that as well and isn't meant at face value even if it seems so? So you could have a point.
Dormouse559 wrote:
11 Jan 2020 01:52
The CBB isn't the right forum for this topic. Remember that discussions of politics are largely discouraged except in the context of people's conworlds.
Ok, sorry. I didn't think it was a political question itself, but I guess it inherently is since it's a question that involves politics...? I'll try to make sure replying to the replies remains as un-political as possible and hopefully won't accidentally end up starting yet another flamewar... at this point I see politics everywhere even when there isn't anything political, but then I don't see them in some contexts where they actually are... [>_<]
sangi39 wrote:
11 Jan 2020 02:15
What I have seen is a fair amount of stereotyping and "planet of hats", wherein "people from country X are A, B, and C, and value M, and N, while people from country Y are D, E, and F, and value O, and P", which I don't think is necessarily "racist", but definitely reductive, and probably stems a lot from the sorts of concultures that stem from works based on Tolkien's stuff (as well as being quite common on sci-fi).
That's part of what I meant, and most of the time it doesn't seem like the intention is racism or anything, but in some cases... I mean, the type of words used to describe aspects of the conlangs/conworlds/concultures sometimes give off a kind of "imperialist" vibe or whatever, I know it doesn't really make sense since the languages/cultures in question aren't real but I can't help but feel like if someone matter-of-factly uses words like "primitive" or whatever to describe a conlang/conculture or whatever, they'd do the same about natlangs and real cultures that share the same qualities. Like, the difference between "these people are primitive" and "in-world, these people are considered primitive", if that makes sense? Maybe there's an implication of the latter even when it seems to be missing, though, and I'm just paranoid...
sangi39 wrote:
11 Jan 2020 02:15
My one thought right now is that it's more likely to just be poor presentation and/or a lack of in-depth research that makes something appear "right wing" and "racist" than it actually being that (unless, of course, they're explicitly writing racism and things like nationalism or social conservatism into their conworlds, but then that could be for any number of reasons).
I hope so, and I also agree that there could always be different reasons for even explicitly racist, etc. conworlds/concultures/whatnot since my own concultures tend to incorporate at least some negative aspects for realism and whatnot, sometimes being dystopian as fuck... but I can't really think of a justification for things like clearly making correspondences between the Europeanness of conlangs and the level of civilisation of the conpeoples, for example.
Salmoneus wrote:
11 Jan 2020 02:40
- the bubble-popping rule: most people insulate themselves within bubbles of like-minded opinions. This creates, as it were, an intellectual clean room. As a result, when they encounter alien and inimical opinions, they tend to have an allergic reaction. In other words: if you read 10 comments, and 5 of them are neutral, 3 of them agree with you and 2 of them disagree with you, you're likely to come away believing that the comments were dominated by fascists. The things you agree with or don't care about don't draw your attention, while those you disagree with blaze out uncomfortingly.
Hmmm, maybe this could actually explain most of it. I do always feel like negativity outweighs positivity. Especially nowadays I wonder if even people who seem to be anti-racist or whatever could be racist or whatever and I'm just blind to it; I recently mistook someone who turned out to agree with me on like 80% of things for an alt-righter because he used a certain word that I'd only ever seen alt-righters use before, so like, who's to say the opposite can't happen as well? [D:]

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Re: (EE) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by Zekoslav »

Youtube comments seem to attract maliciousness and stupidity like rotten meat attracts flies (I tried to stop reading them but my unhealthy curiosity still draws me to them...). I wouldn't assume any relation between the political views of those who make videos and those who comment them, it's just that certain topics tend to attract a certain type of comments.

I'm personally most upset by comments of the type "We don't have recordings of the ancient language X so any attempt to reconstruct its pronunciation is useless and don't even try to persuade me otherwise".

In the end I think places like the CBB are one of better places for an intelligent discussion about linguistics, even better than natlang forums.
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Re: (EE) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by sangi39 »

I mean, this is one of the discussions we had (sort of) when we were re-working the House Rules, especially the final part of Rule 4. To what extent does someone's conworld reflect their actual beliefs?

As for Stoneworks World Building, I think most of that comes down to most of his videos being between 5 and 10 minutes long, which isn't a huge amount of time to cover "Island Civilisations" or "Nomads" without having to massively simplify the topic. Consider that "nomad" can refer the hunter-gatherers, nomadic pastoralists, and even to traders, with nomadic cultures existing all across the world, interacting with more settled cultures that are equally as diverse. He's also, I think, writing as someone providing advice for fantasy writers based in the west, so in a video like "Fantasy Character Names", you're going to get advice that's meant to play off of what he thinks your audience might expect and what their preconceptions might be.

Either way, this is certainly more complex than "seems right-wing means they are right-wing" (I mean, they could be, but who knows without asking them?), so maybe don't "worry" about it or read that into their actual beliefs.

As for the comments of users that aren't the creators, some videos attract viewers from across the political spectrum, and on a platform that lets them put across their thoughts, some of them will, regardless of whether they agree with the content creator or not (if you did that, then a recent video looking into the demographics of the latest UK general election would be "seriously right-wing and extremely anti-Corbyn, despite the actual video being nothing of the sort). So, again, I wouldn't read too much into that if you can help it, because it's probably just loud people being loud on the internet, which, go figure.
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Re: (EE) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by Vlürch »

Zekoslav wrote:
11 Jan 2020 18:13
Youtube comments seem to attract maliciousness and stupidity like rotten meat attracts flies (I tried to stop reading them but my unhealthy curiosity still draws me to them...).
Hmm, true... I don't exactly know why I assume that there's some correlation between the views of the Youtuber and those of the commenters since I know that probably at least half of the (two or three lololol) people who like my music and shit are the opposite of me politically, but I guess I tend to assume that others have more control over their "audiences".
Zekoslav wrote:
11 Jan 2020 18:13
I'm personally most upset by comments of the type "We don't have recordings of the ancient language X so any attempt to reconstruct its pronunciation is useless and don't even try to persuade me otherwise".
Oh, yeah, those are some of the worst! [>_<] I find it especially annoying with language families where the divergence began relatively recently, and claims that languages that are confirmed to be related are not related because "reconstructions are just made up" or whatever. It's like the opposite of lumping, and since I'm a total crackpot lumper, that just hurts...
sangi39 wrote:
11 Jan 2020 18:42
He's also, I think, writing as someone providing advice for fantasy writers based in the west, so in a video like "Fantasy Character Names", you're going to get advice that's meant to play off of what he thinks your audience might expect and what their preconceptions might be.
Hmm, that's a good point... I suppose there's nothing malicious to it, even though I feel like things like "guttural = evil" can get racist if extended to natlangs. You're probably right that it's probably not the intention for it to be racist or anything and it's probably not even meant to be extended to natlangs, though, and of course I'd be a hypocrite if I said things like "guttural = evil" are inherently racist since it's something I go for myself sometimes, or if I tried to argue that it isn't effective... but like, I doubt speakers of "guttural" natlangs consider their languages to sound "evil" or whatever, or at least I know the opposite is sometimes true, so one-to-one mapping phonology to morality or whatever seems kinda fucky, especially since it's ultimately subjective even more than it's cultural.
sangi39 wrote:
11 Jan 2020 18:42
Either way, this is certainly more complex than "seems right-wing means they are right-wing" (I mean, they could be, but who knows without asking them?), so maybe don't "worry" about it or read that into their actual beliefs.
Thanks, I'll keep that in mind. And at the end of the day, I guess it's not that big a deal even if they are... I mean, I'm still subscribed to a handful of Youtubers who even make political videos that I disagree with because they also make non-political videos that I like and/or political videos that I sometimes agree with, but don't "like" the videos because I don't want to actively support them. It's probably not even a real distinction, but...
sangi39 wrote:
11 Jan 2020 18:42
As for the comments of users that aren't the creators
So it just means the norm is to not delete offensive comments, then? I mean, I know none of the huge youtubers delete any comments, but at least it seemed like in the past deleting negative comments of any kind was a lot more common than it is nowadays, especially offensive ones... so if that's changed (or it was never the norm and I just happened to like youtubers who do it?), that makes sense.

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Re: (EE) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by sangi39 »

Vlürch wrote:
11 Jan 2020 19:59
sangi39 wrote:
11 Jan 2020 18:42
He's also, I think, writing as someone providing advice for fantasy writers based in the west, so in a video like "Fantasy Character Names", you're going to get advice that's meant to play off of what he thinks your audience might expect and what their preconceptions might be.
Hmm, that's a good point... I suppose there's nothing malicious to it, even though I feel like things like "guttural = evil" can get racist if extended to natlangs. You're probably right that it's probably not the intention for it to be racist or anything and it's probably not even meant to be extended to natlangs, though, and of course I'd be a hypocrite if I said things like "guttural = evil" are inherently racist since it's something I go for myself sometimes, or if I tried to argue that it isn't effective... but like, I doubt speakers of "guttural" natlangs consider their languages to sound "evil" or whatever, or at least I know the opposite is sometimes true, so one-to-one mapping phonology to morality or whatever seems kinda fucky, especially since it's ultimately subjective even more than it's cultural.
There's probably some sort of coding going on there (as far as the USA goes, for example, the languages of the last three "big threats" to the states have spoken German, Russian, and Arabic, which all contain at least the velar fricative /x/), but it probably extends a fair bit from "ugly = bad" and there's a strong trend for finding certain sounds, especially /x/, "ugly" amongst English speakers (I'm not sure why, it's probably a mix of "it's not a sound we have" and probably over-annunciation when trying to teach new learners, and describing it as "phlegmy"). For some people, then, it's probably a bit of an unintentional bias more than anything else that they just haven't picked up on (obviously, on the other hand, some people might be using it intentionally precisely because they associate with people they consider "evil").

As for people with "guttural" languages consider their own languages "evil", well, of course they probably don't (it would be a bit odd if they did), but there are probably features of language they consider "ugly" and they might employ them in the same way that English-speaking writers employ /x/. But then that's a question of audience, and playing off what you think their expectations and assumptions are. If you're trying to reach, say, a predominantly English-speaking audience today, then you're going to write for them in a way that plays off of the cultural context and norms that they are familiar with, not the ones that might be familiar to, say, an East African audience, and vice versa.


Vlürch wrote:
11 Jan 2020 19:59
sangi39 wrote:
11 Jan 2020 18:42
Either way, this is certainly more complex than "seems right-wing means they are right-wing" (I mean, they could be, but who knows without asking them?), so maybe don't "worry" about it or read that into their actual beliefs.
Thanks, I'll keep that in mind. And at the end of the day, I guess it's not that big a deal even if they are... I mean, I'm still subscribed to a handful of Youtubers who even make political videos that I disagree with because they also make non-political videos that I like and/or political videos that I sometimes agree with, but don't "like" the videos because I don't want to actively support them. It's probably not even a real distinction, but...
Which is fine. You don't have to share the same political ideas, without fault, with every single human being you interact with, either actively or passively. You certainly don't have to support them if you don't want to, financially or in terms of visibility or whatever, but that's a personal choice. You make the decision as to how far you're willing to support someone whose opinions you consider to be unhelpful or harmful

It's one of the big debates that surrounded, for example, Ender's Game, because the author holds some views regarding homosexuality and religion's place in state matters that some people consider too "extreme" for them to support by actually reading his books or watching the film, no matter how entertaining those might be or how detached they are from the beliefs of the author (IIRC, there aren't any homosexual characters in the books, but there's also no part where he shows off any anti-homosexual views in those books, at least not explicitly).


Vlürch wrote:
11 Jan 2020 19:59
sangi39 wrote:
11 Jan 2020 18:42
As for the comments of users that aren't the creators
So it just means the norm is to not delete offensive comments, then? I mean, I know none of the huge youtubers delete any comments, but at least it seemed like in the past deleting negative comments of any kind was a lot more common than it is nowadays, especially offensive ones... so if that's changed (or it was never the norm and I just happened to like youtubers who do it?), that makes sense.
As far as I know, yeah, it was more common earlier on for some YouTubers to delete comments they disagreed with, but as far as I can tell now, the trend is to keep them as open as seems sensible (shutting comments down if they start suggesting anything illegal or violent, etc.), but generally leaving it up to users to remain civil. I don't know how much comments play into The Algorithm though (and I doubt anyone really does) so there's a chance that might have developed out of "chasing the algorithm", e.g. keep comments open and free, thinking "oo, maybe more comments will mean my video moves further up the list", so who knows how much of this has come from a genuine ideology shift and how much of it has come from wanting to establish a more open base for discussion.
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Re: (EE) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by Khemehekis »

Vlürch wrote:
11 Jan 2020 19:59
So it just means the norm is to not delete offensive comments, then? I mean, I know none of the huge youtubers delete any comments, but at least it seemed like in the past deleting negative comments of any kind was a lot more common than it is nowadays, especially offensive ones... so if that's changed (or it was never the norm and I just happened to like youtubers who do it?), that makes sense.
I put up a music video of me singing at YouTube over a decade ago (it's a song from my rock musical), and in my early years I got a comment that really hurt me. The commenter said he was "laughing" at me "looking like a queer". I don't know if he knew that I actually, literally am bisexual. He also used the phrase "na mean?", and I had to ask one of my African-American friends what it meant (she said it was like "you know what I'm saying?") Although I gave this YouTube user's comment a thumbs-down, I did not delete it. For some reason, that comment no longer shows up.

A few years later, I got a comment from someone with a German name that read:
du bist ein hurensohn
und ich sage net wo ich wohne du hurensohn ficker fuck dich
For those who cannot speak German, it means:

"You are a son of a whore.
And I'm not saying where I live, you son-of-a-whore-fucker fuck you."

I haven't deleted that one either, and it's still up there.

I think "the more comments, the better", even if the comments are hurtful. A lot of comments will show that you have notability on YouTube. Sadly, only two comments are left on my video. (It shows me singing in my old San Pablo home. And Elemtilas, you will notice that like a good beatnik, I am wearing a turtleneck in the video, as I have worn every day for the past 20+ years.)
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Post by sangi39 »

The fact that YouTube will be 15 years old next month shocks me. It wasn't a thing until I got to college (hell, it wasn't even a big thing until I started university) and now it's where I spend a huge chunk of my time online. That just seems so weird. There are kids nor who are in their last year of high school in the UK who will finish high school next year, who are post-YouTube [O.O]
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But it never gets any more true,
So close your eyes once more and once more believe
That they all still believe in you.
Just one time.

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Re: (EE) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by Khemehekis »

I first heard of YouTube in 2006, when I was reading a Wikipedia article on the LEN song "Steal My Sunshine", and it linked to the music video on YouTube. I started looking for other songs I liked, and by the end of 2006, YouTube was a household word and "You" were the Time's Person of the Year for 2006.
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Re: (EE) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by sangi39 »

Khemehekis wrote:
11 Jan 2020 23:01
I first heard of YouTube in 2006, when I was reading a Wikipedia article on the LEN song "Steal My Sunshine", and it linked to the music video on YouTube. I started looking for other songs I liked, and by the end of 2006, YouTube was a household word and "You" were the Time's Person of the Year for 2006.
YouTube didn't really get to me until 2007, when I started looking for music more widely. Before that it was mostly Kerrang and Scuzz, followed by checking Wikipedia articles. "Oo, that song by Lamb of God sounded good. I wonder what else they have?" would lead to YouTube, and then asking for the physical albums for my birthday or Christmas. My list grew very, very slowly during that time (I think I listened to a dozen or so bands), then it absolutely exploded because of YouTube and the alternative music club where I went to university (but mostly YouTube. It's hard to find out names when you can't really hear [:P] )
You can tell the same lie a thousand times,
But it never gets any more true,
So close your eyes once more and once more believe
That they all still believe in you.
Just one time.

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Re: (EE) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by Vlürch »

sangi39 wrote:
11 Jan 2020 21:44
it probably extends a fair bit from "ugly = bad" and there's a strong trend for finding certain sounds, especially /x/, "ugly" amongst English speakers (I'm not sure why, it's probably a mix of "it's not a sound we have" and probably over-annunciation when trying to teach new learners, and describing it as "phlegmy").
You just made me realise one of my own subconscious biases that I'd never realised existed before. [:O] That is, finding the velar [x] kinda ugly adjacent to vowels other than /u y/ and finding the uvular [χ] kinda ugly adjacent to vowels other than /ɑ o/, but finding both nice adjacent to those vowels, which is obviously bias from Finnish... or at least Finnish as I speak it, which consists of borderline imperceptible things sometimes considered speech impediments that are shared by ??% of the population and that only occur maybe around half of the time. [:P]

Although technically I guess the /h/ [x] adjacent to /y/ is [x̟] or whatever, but eh.
sangi39 wrote:
11 Jan 2020 21:44
but there are probably features of language they consider "ugly" and they might employ them in the same way that English-speaking writers employ /x/. But then that's a question of audience, and playing off what you think their expectations and assumptions are. If you're trying to reach, say, a predominantly English-speaking audience today, then you're going to write for them in a way that plays off of the cultural context and norms that they are familiar with, not the ones that might be familiar to, say, an East African audience, and vice versa.
That makes sense, and it'd be interesting to know what kind of "ugliness" or "beauty" perceptions/conventions exist in other languages around the world.
sangi39 wrote:
11 Jan 2020 21:44
It's one of the big debates that surrounded, for example, Ender's Game
Huh... I didn't know there had been any controversy around it, but I remember thinking the film was pretty cool (but not great or anything).
sangi39 wrote:
11 Jan 2020 21:44
I don't know how much comments play into The Algorithm though (and I doubt anyone really does) so there's a chance that might have developed out of "chasing the algorithm", e.g. keep comments open and free, thinking "oo, maybe more comments will mean my video moves further up the list", so who knows how much of this has come from a genuine ideology shift and how much of it has come from wanting to establish a more open base for discussion.
Makes sense, the algorithm works in mysterious ways so obviously some people will do everything they can to milk it.
Khemehekis wrote:
11 Jan 2020 22:27
in my early years I got a comment that really hurt me
If it's not too personal to ask, how did you deal with it emotionally and practically? Like, I used to get a lot of negative comments and dislikes on my songs (and still do occasionally, but thankfully not nearly as much) and for years I got depressed as hell over every single one of them (and still feel like "wtf WHY"), and I almost always delete the comments unless they're just funny. How do you not let it get to you? Is there some mental trick to it, other than just repeating "people are entitled to their opinion" over and over again or something?

Related to this, something I've noticed is that if there's one negative comment, there will usually be more. What really drives me up the wall is that if there comes one dislike, after that there will rarely be any more likes but only dislikes and the number of views drops very drastically; my most recent upload on my main channel is my latest full-length album, and before the first dislike there were exactly 40 views in a short span of time but after the first dislike there have only been 5 views altogether in almost half a year... it's like the algorithm decides to either stop recommending videos with a dislike altogether, or even starts recommending them to people who're not going to like them??? :wat:
Khemehekis wrote:
11 Jan 2020 22:27
For some reason, that comment no longer shows up.
Maybe someone flagged it as harassment, or it was automatically flagged when the AI improved?
Khemehekis wrote:
11 Jan 2020 22:27
I think "the more comments, the better", even if the comments are hurtful.
I wish I could think like that...

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Re: (EE) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by Khemehekis »

Vlürch wrote:
12 Jan 2020 00:12
sangi39 wrote:
11 Jan 2020 21:44
it probably extends a fair bit from "ugly = bad" and there's a strong trend for finding certain sounds, especially /x/, "ugly" amongst English speakers (I'm not sure why, it's probably a mix of "it's not a sound we have" and probably over-annunciation when trying to teach new learners, and describing it as "phlegmy").
You just made me realise one of my own subconscious biases that I'd never realised existed before. [:O] That is, finding the velar [x] kinda ugly adjacent to vowels other than /u y/ and finding the uvular [χ] kinda ugly adjacent to vowels other than /ɑ o/, but finding both nice adjacent to those vowels, which is obviously bias from Finnish... or at least Finnish as I speak it, which consists of borderline imperceptible things sometimes considered speech impediments that are shared by ??% of the population and that only occur maybe around half of the time. [:P]
I've always liked /x/. I'm Jewish, and I know Hebrew and German and am studying Arabic and Ancient Egyptian, so maybe that has something to do with it.

I have /x/ in Kankonian, Shaleyan, Hapoish, Epselet, Ciladian, Txabao, and perhaps some other languages I can't think of right now.
Khemehekis wrote:
11 Jan 2020 22:27
in my early years I got a comment that really hurt me
If it's not too personal to ask, how did you deal with it emotionally and practically?
First of all, I should mention that the comment was identical to one a poster on Student Zone (a now-defunct forum for teens and twentysomethings), where I shared my rock musical, posted. That poster had a "tag team" partner who was really into a few certain sports teams. A few weeks after one of the two posters made his "looking like a queer" comment on Student Zone, he and his friend were both banned (maybe they were sockpuppets of each other?), so knowing that that kind of "looking like a queer" idiocy led someone to get banned was good release.

I bit my hands and wrists, as I am prone to do, and called this poster out on his homophobic language, and that was pretty much all I did. I decided to keep his message up, because that would indicate more interest from the public in my videos than if I took it down.
Like, I used to get a lot of negative comments and dislikes on my songs (and still do occasionally, but thankfully not nearly as much) and for years I got depressed as hell over every single one of them (and still feel like "wtf WHY"), and I almost always delete the comments unless they're just funny. How do you not let it get to you? Is there some mental trick to it, other than just repeating "people are entitled to their opinion" over and over again or something?
I probably get a different audience from you. Rather than the "metalhead/nerd/edgy" demographic, my audience is the "typical Millennial/pop-rock fan/Youth Culturalist/rebel against social norms/anarchist" demographic. As I post The Bittersweet Generation to some general fora, though, I get a number of people who wouldn't normally be fans of my rock musical reading or watching it and commenting. (The "looking like a queer" fellow I mentioned, for instance, spoke in some kind of "ghetto" talk.) I do get positive comments (one that has now disappeared was from a girl named Robin who said, "Love the look too, man") as well as negative, so those keep my spirits boosted. Other comments like the "hurensohn" comment are just generic abuse that doesn't actually comment on any aspect of my song nor my singing, nor even my dress nor the way I carry myself, so they don't really bother me.
Related to this, something I've noticed is that if there's one negative comment, there will usually be more. What really drives me up the wall is that if there comes one dislike, after that there will rarely be any more likes but only dislikes and the number of views drops very drastically; my most recent upload on my main channel is my latest full-length album, and before the first dislike there were exactly 40 views in a short span of time but after the first dislike there have only been 5 views altogether in almost half a year... it's like the algorithm decides to either stop recommending videos with a dislike altogether, or even starts recommending them to people who're not going to like them??? :wat:
That's such a shame. Doesn't happen with my videos. The comments on mine are more haphazardly scattergrammed.
Khemehekis wrote:
11 Jan 2020 22:27
For some reason, that comment no longer shows up.
Maybe someone flagged it as harassment, or it was automatically flagged when the AI improved?
Yeah, I was thinking maybe a third party flagged it for harassment.
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Re: (EE) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by Salmoneus »

Vlürch wrote:
12 Jan 2020 00:12
Huh... I didn't know there had been any controversy around it, but I remember thinking the film was pretty cool (but not great or anything).
'Controversy' is understating it. There were large-scale boycotts (at least, as large-scale as "boycotting a niche SF film because of LGBTQ issues regarding the author") gets.
Khemehekis wrote:
11 Jan 2020 22:27
in my early years I got a comment that really hurt me
If it's not too personal to ask, how did you deal with it emotionally and practically? Like, I used to get a lot of negative comments and dislikes on my songs (and still do occasionally, but thankfully not nearly as much) and for years I got depressed as hell over every single one of them (and still feel like "wtf WHY"), and I almost always delete the comments unless they're just funny. How do you not let it get to you? Is there some mental trick to it, other than just repeating "people are entitled to their opinion" over and over again or something?
With respect, I think the first thing to say is that you probably can't just take this issue by itself and expect to flip a switch to change who you are; it's part of a wider sense of how you look at the world.

And then I think you might want to ask yourself why you get upset. I don't mean that in a provocative "why so serious" way, I mean that literally - what is it about negative comments that makes you upset? Because there are several possibilities. Maybe you don't like knowing that people see you in such a disrespectful light (so it's an issue with social status). Maybe you feel bad about yourself when people criticise you (so it's an issue with insecurity and self-worth). Maybe you just don't like people being rude and hostile to you (so it's an issue with confrontation). Maybe you don't like people messing up your channel with comments that don't fit what you want it to be (so it's an issue with control). What sort of comment upsets you? What doesn't? Because in each of these cases, there's a broader issue underpinning this particular one. Based on our previous interactions, I'm suspecting that negative comments trigger issues around self-worth for you, but I could be totally misreading you, only you really know. (and of course, these are just questions you might want to ask yourself, it's none of my business)

[And me? When I get pissed off at people online, as perhaps you may have noticed me be now and then, it's usually triggered by social status issues. I don't mind confrontation, but I hate being patronised, and I hate being bossed around, particularly by people who set themselves up as better than me and look down on me. In real life, I'm too polite to stand up for myself in many situations, so sometimes I overcompensate online, rather than just seeing the humour of the situation. But in my case, because my issue is around interpersonal status - that is, about how the people I'm interacting with are treating me as we persue a common goal together - I only really get wound up when I'm talking to someone, as it were, face-to-face, and anonymous snipes from people I don't know at all don't bother me too much. But other people, with other issues, are different...]

All that said, there are some things I think it's worth bearing in mind in general when faced with annoying people - not in lieu of a deeper examination of your own broader issues that you might want to develop over time, but as a healthy nudge in the right direction...

a) people can be annoying. But objectively, of all the problems in your life, whatever they may be, the opinion of random strangers on the internet is among the least pressing for you. My point here isn't that those comments shouldn't be a problem, but that you probably have more important problems to worry about. How do you ignore those comments? Well, if you'd just smashed your thumb with a hammer, or you'd just had a heart-attack or learnt that your dog/cat/child/parent/etc had been rushed to hospital or your house was flooding, then ignoring those comments would come pretty easily to you, wouldn't it? Most people, unless they have a serious problem in this area, would barely even notice a negative comment at a time like that. Of course they wouldn't - they'd barely notice it because they were concentrating far more on the urgent crisis at hand. Or, indeed, an urgent celebration - would you still even care about youtube comments if your child had just been born, you'd just won the lottery, your marriage proposal had just been accepted, you'd just been given the job of your dreams?

Of course, most of us, most of the time, aren't given that sort of really obviously urgent, obviously important distraction. But objectively, we are continually offered experiences in our lives which can have much more importance than a rogue online comment. So I'd turn your question around: rather than ask, "how do I ignore this thing?", I'd ask "why am I not paying more attention to these other things?" - if you throw yourself into your life with passion, then these minor irritations cease even being able to grab your attention.


b) most of the reasons we care about the opinions of random strangers are fallacious. If they're about our standing in a community - well, those people aren't a real community for you anyway, you're just lulled into imagining that they are (caring about the opinions of semi-strangers you do actually have an ongoing relationship, like forum co-members, with is a different and more complicated issue). If they're about what people think about you and the fear that they might be right - well, they don't know anything about you, so their opinions are meaningless anyway, they might as well be about somebody else. If they mess up a little happy space you've created for yourself - well, you didn't create a space for yourself, you claimed a little piece of the public plaza, so it's silly to act like you own the room (even though, of course, that's what the real landlords try to make you think...) - if that's what matters, you can go curate your own website, for example, rather than operate a public channel. And so on. Our emotions aren't directly rational... but most of our emotional responses are built upon beliefs, and if we regularly confront the accuracy and rationality of those beliefs, then the emotions built on them can be undermined.


c) in particular, to react in an informed way to a remark, you really need to understand the context in which it was made - why was it made? What was the commenter's meaning, and what was their intent? Were they joking, and in what way? Were they conveying a serious message to you? Were they trying to say one thing and it came out sounding like another? Were they putting on a performance to create an image in the eyes of a third party - or in their own? But we can never really understand the reasons and contexts of the things other people say. We can, through extensive interaction with a person, gradually approach (but never reach) a place of understanding, but with total strangers? We're lucky if we can understand their directions to the bus stop, let alone anything more meaningful. So it's generally unwise to place too much weight on what people say, and best to approach their comments in a spirit of charity and ambiguity, at least when you don't know them well. If, as you say above, you're in the habit of assuming that people are mouth-frothing fascists on the basis of their using a single word that you just think is statistically associated with being right-wing even though there's nothing inherently right-wing about it, then... well, you're kind of making problems for yourself for no reason...


d) specifically, most people, when you look at them in detail, have good, sensible reasons for their actions, from their point of view. They are mostly benign. If they seem to be otherwise, and it's not simply a matter of you misunderstanding their intent, then this is usually due either to colossal ignorance, or to a terrible situation they're in, in which emotions of fear and pain and powerlessness are driving them to act in ways that seem necessary to them, but that will almost always prove to be contrary to their own interests in the long-run, unless they're able to escape from their situation and the mind-set it has forced upon them. If you're not in that sort of situation, then you're privileged. And why would a privileged person be personally hurt and offended by seeing the lengths that a lack of that privilege has driven someone else to? Isn't that rather ungrateful? And unempathetic?


e) maybe they're right. Being confronted with truths can be uncomfortable, but it's more painful to reject them than it is to accept them and move on. Sometimes of course accepting the truth of a criticism means trying to improve yourself; sometimes, it means accepting your flaws; sometimes, it means appropriating the criticism and recontextualising what they see as a flaw as, instead, a virtue. And sometimes you have to conclude that, no, the criticism is just unfounded. But one way or another, it's usually more painful in the long-run to instinctively reject criticism than it would be to actually analyse its content.


Anyway, that's just a few things to maybe bear in mind.

Related to this, something I've noticed is that if there's one negative comment, there will usually be more. What really drives me up the wall is that if there comes one dislike, after that there will rarely be any more likes but only dislikes and the number of views drops very drastically; my most recent upload on my main channel is my latest full-length album, and before the first dislike there were exactly 40 views in a short span of time but after the first dislike there have only been 5 views altogether in almost half a year... it's like the algorithm decides to either stop recommending videos with a dislike altogether
There's probably a threefold thing - direct and doubly indirect.

In terms of the direct: I expect the algorithm weighs both currency (total views and recent frequency of views) and popularity (percentage of likes to dislikes) (as well as, of course, indirect network properties like how many other links a video leads people to click on). I suspect it's strongly weighted toward currency over popularity, because dank viral memes are the core of their business model, much more so than "videos about chocolate bar wrapper folding patterns with 100% of their five total viewers giving likes". What that means is that the more views you're getting, the higher the percentage of dislikes you can carry and still hit a certain level of promotion by the algorithm (they're OK with promoting videos that divide opinion, so long as they provoke a LOT of opinion). And conversely, that means that the fewer views you're getting, the less you can afford getting any dislikes.

Basically, I suspect that if you have a video with so few views that it would normally be too obscure to recommend, you can still get it recommended occasionally if its percentage popularity is very high, because that makes them think 'if it can stay this popular as it gets more views, it could be massive!' ...but once your percentage drops even a little, it stops being able to overcome its disadvantage in raw views. And there's also probably an inherent bias in this respect, because they know that the fewer views a video has, the more popular it SHOULD be, because its viewership is more self-selecting and hence more likely to like the video.


And then indirect. First, there's a knowledge question. The algorithm starts off not knowing who to show your video to, so it shows it to everyone (I mean, hardly anyone, but from every 'category' of viewer). But once people start disliking your video, it learns who NOT to show your video to. And in particular, if it learns NOT to show your video to the sort of people who are its natural audience, then you won't get many views at all... the algorithm is effectively conducting a random survey, and yes, in surveys even very small numbers of voters can be statistically informative guides.

And finally, the algorithm doesn't care if people like your video, only whether they stay on the website. It may well be that when people encounter dislikes, and in particular unpleasant comments, that disheartens them and encourages them to log off. This would lead to a disproportionate negative affect for videos with arguments in the comments. [And, ironically, for popular videos that encourage people to stop wasting their lives watching youtube...]

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Re: (EE) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by Vlürch »

Khemehekis wrote:
12 Jan 2020 01:06
I've always liked /x/. I'm Jewish, and I know Hebrew and German and am studying Arabic and Ancient Egyptian, so maybe that has something to do with it.

I have /x/ in Kankonian, Shaleyan, Hapoish, Epselet, Ciladian, Txabao, and perhaps some other languages I can't think of right now.
Oh yeah, I like it too, but prefer the uvular ones at least adjacent to non-high back vowels (both the voiceless and voiced ones). I'm not too big a fan of the uvular trill, though, because so many of the languages that have it have it as the only rhotic... that's one of the reasons I like Amdo Tibetan, although I guess technically speaking it has /ʁ/ [ʀ] and it's not considered a rhotic, but meh.
Khemehekis wrote:
12 Jan 2020 01:06
First of all, I should mention that the comment was identical to one a poster on Student Zone (a now-defunct forum for teens and twentysomethings), where I shared my rock musical, posted. That poster had a "tag team" partner who was really into a few certain sports teams. A few weeks after one of the two posters made his "looking like a queer" comment on Student Zone, he and his friend were both banned (maybe they were sockpuppets of each other?), so knowing that that kind of "looking like a queer" idiocy led someone to get banned was good release.
Ah, I see. And yeah, that sounds like they may have been sockpuppets...
Khemehekis wrote:
12 Jan 2020 01:06
I bit my hands and wrists, as I am prone to do, and called this poster out on his homophobic language, and that was pretty much all I did.
Ouch, biting wrists sounds painful and dangerous, but I feel like I can kind of relate because I used to cut my arms (nowadays I only hit myself in the head and am trying to stop doing that too). Anyway, props to you for calling him out! [:)] I don't think I've ever had the balls to do that... I mean, nowadays I don't care if someone calls me homophobic slurs or whatever since I've fully accepted that I'm bi and that the only ones who can give me shit for it are LGBT people, but like, I still marvel at people being brave enough to actually confront bullies and assholes, especially without resorting to being assholes themselves. So often it's like, one person acts like an asshole and then the person they were assholy towards reacts by acting like an asshole too... it has to take real strength to not stoop to their level.
Khemehekis wrote:
12 Jan 2020 01:06
I decided to keep his message up, because that would indicate more interest from the public in my videos than if I took it down.
That's a nice and practical way to look at it.
Khemehekis wrote:
12 Jan 2020 01:06
I probably get a different audience from you. Rather than the "metalhead/nerd/edgy" demographic, my audience is the "typical Millennial/pop-rock fan/Youth Culturalist/rebel against social norms/anarchist" demographic.
Mmh, yeah, that of course has something to do with it. A lot of metalheads tend to be pretty assholy, especially ones who just listen to metal but don't make music themselves...
Khemehekis wrote:
12 Jan 2020 01:06
I do get positive comments (one that has now disappeared was from a girl named Robin who said, "Love the look too, man") as well as negative, so those keep my spirits boosted.
Of course, yeah, positive comments are always nice and can counter the negative ones. It's funny how nowadays the vast majority of comments even on Deformed Elephant Surgery stuff are positive, when in the past the negativity sometimes escalated pretty far. I'm not sure why, but I'd like to think that maybe in part it could mean that metalheads in general are starting to not be as turned off by random happy electronic shit and autotuned vocals and whatnot... but more likely it's just that the ones that hate that type of stuff don't go out of their way to find any just to call it shit anymore due to reduced attention spans or something like that.
Khemehekis wrote:
12 Jan 2020 01:06
Other comments like the "hurensohn" comment are just generic abuse that doesn't actually comment on any aspect of my song nor my singing, nor even my dress nor the way I carry myself, so they don't really bother me.
Hmm, makes sense but does that mean it wouldn't bother you just as much if someone vehemently accuses you of being something you're not? [:O]
Salmoneus wrote:
12 Jan 2020 19:48
'Controversy' is understating it. There were large-scale boycotts (at least, as large-scale as "boycotting a niche SF film because of LGBTQ issues regarding the author") gets.
Huh... it's not that weird that I hadn't heard of it since back then I didn't care about anything that was in any way "political" at all, but learning about that now kind of makes me wonder what other similar cases there have been.
Salmoneus wrote:
12 Jan 2020 19:48
With respect, I think the first thing to say is that you probably can't just take this issue by itself and expect to flip a switch to change who you are; it's part of a wider sense of how you look at the world.
That's probably true.
Salmoneus wrote:
12 Jan 2020 19:48
Based on our previous interactions, I'm suspecting that negative comments trigger issues around self-worth for you
Yeah, that's definitely a big part of it. There's also that often (when it comes to music) people don't understand or even believe that something is intentionally "weird" or whatever, and a couple of times that's even been an issue with people I've collabed with. It's no big deal, obviously, but it's pretty annoying if someone will insist that something about a song that's finished "needs to be fixed" when it's an important part of that song... :roll:
Salmoneus wrote:
12 Jan 2020 19:48
In real life, I'm too polite to stand up for myself in many situations
Same, not that there are many situations where I'd have to since I rarely even go outside, but...
Salmoneus wrote:
12 Jan 2020 19:48
But objectively, of all the problems in your life, whatever they may be, the opinion of random strangers on the internet is among the least pressing for you. My point here isn't that those comments shouldn't be a problem, but that you probably have more important problems to worry about.
Mmh, true... thankfully I rarely get negative comments on my own stuff, but like my first question started, even if it's pretty ridiculous, I do sometimes get upset by negative comments on others' stuff too (but usually only if it's due to some kind of bigotry), which is a big part of why I haven't made any conlanging or language-related videos myself. But yeah, of course negative comments aren't high on any kind of negativity list... I just tend to worry about everything, even the tiniest things, sometimes as much as the big things. [>_<]

(Sorry, I'd reply to everything more at length but I've already typed too much of this post to not post it and I have to restart my laptop, so... not trying to be an asshole, I truly appreciate your long reply and it gave me stuff to think about and already made me feel better about several things! [:)] )

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Re: (EE) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by Reyzadren »

I have never received a dislike or negative comment on any of my videos on my youtube channel before, but as I do also post on other forums to link back to my upload, there has been a troll reply filled with negativity against me.

My response? Nothing. As much as I know that these hateful posts usually come from highly respected members of a community or even from a person who has said nice things about me previously, such troll comments are irrelevant and hence a waste of my time even thinking about them. They neither state any actual technical flaw in the content itself nor offer suggestions to improve future projects.
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