Tl;dr: if you're entering a new community, you're going to have to learn local etiquette. It's going to be a haphazard mix of actual safety rules, tests to see if you're a suitable candidate to join, and power games, "and god help you if you mix the last up with the first." In the event of "this is not a drill!", do as the locals do. When in doubt, shut up and watch, but remember that being silent is an act of speech in itself.

Who can force whom to shoulder the burden of staying still, watching, absorbing, and learning shows who has the power. A fear of "them imposing their values" is a fear of having to do the same at some point. It (usually) has nothing to do with the actual content of said values, which normally aren't even a subject in such conversations.

On a macro scale, this mechanism is where all the rhetoric of "immigrants need to adhere to our values" comes from: it's a straightforward demand to devote time and attention to learning the local security system rather than using a middle-ground protocol, such as adherence to a particular legal code. The difference is, you can read a legal code, while you can't read a system of values; it's not codified. That's a feature, not a bug.

Some systems are intentionally opaque: the test is how well you can catch hidden cues. On a micro scale, this is the mechanism used in groups which want slavish devotion: you have to devote all your time and attention to watching the leader and what the proper behavior is today, exhausting resources normaly allocated for other tasks.

Bad news is? Yes, stumbling across one of these can ruin your life in a particular community. It's a feature, not a bug. The point of a security system is to make life as hard as possible for an intruder, within reason. "Reason" depends on context, and can range from being literally murdered to being kicked out from your gaming group. Saying "it's not fair" is, outside of being a bid in that same game, about as pointless as saying electricity isn't fair.

Good news is: these things aren't new. It doesn't matter complexity-wise if the system of etiquette is "did you think to provide vegan food" or "which fork are you using", they're about equally complex. People have been adopting, discarding, and changing these systems for ages. If you wound up outside of the most common one right now, it's not a problem; people learn new systems all the time. The main principle of learning them is shutting up and watching what people react to.

Conversely, as a vector of attack, this is the recipe for a social DDOS: someone recently got through a major scandal? They're gonna be distractable about that topic for a while.This is what people are afraid of when confronted with systems of complex social warnings; how do you keep the system from giving you false positives? Do you even care about false positives at this point in time? How about in five years?

"Don't talk about rope in a hanged man's house" - if an alarm was just triggered, give the subject a wider berth than usual while people are sorting out the aftermath.

This applies to all the harassment scandals. If an entire community is running a system-wide security check, it is not a good time to express your opinion about the matter. Sorry, folks: nobody cares about your opinion and won't for a few years or decades, deal. People who wave toy guns at border guards win Darwin awards.

Examples? From Slavic cultures: "if you need to explain something, then you don't need to explain at all." (If someone doesn't get what check they failed, that's a failure in itself, one that is severe enough to make them completely ineligible for the task in question). Addendum: "but if it's worth explaining, then it costs nothing to explain." (If the reason for failure isn't incompetence but non-familiarity with a given test, they will grasp the check quickly; a re-test is possible)

Standard cultural algorithms are often found in stories we tell and in proverbs, as ways of transmission. If you ever wondered what purpose horrible day-time TV serves, you're welcome. The more cliches there are, the more gets transmitted.

Do you need to say in that environment? What are you willing to sacrifice? Is the security check there to fleece unsuspecting passersby ('this here's a toll bridge') or are there really wolves in the woods? Are you one of those wolves and can you afford to fight right now? Is "lay down your weapons" a trick or a warning people will shoot if you don't?

There's no single answer to these questions, and not even one algorithm to solve them, really.

a) is obvious. b) is more subtle. Did you run for the hills? Did you hide? Did you draw a knife and say "fite me111!" People will look for types of reactions desirable to them. In some cases, they will try to change your reaction to one more suitable for their purposes. Whether it's wise to change depends on whether those purposes align with your own.

So... How important is it to actually fail a security check? In many cases, it isn't directly, but may have consequences down the line anyway, in completely unrelated situations. Because there's just so many of them out there, most people will recognize that failing some is pretty much mandatory. What people will look for, then, is a) whether you failed a security check that's relevant to them personally, b) how exactly you reacted when you failed it.

My heuristic for dealing with statements such as "I am outraged", "this is terribly rude", "you do not understand our values", "you are horribly entitled", "who taught you manners", "I am offended" and similar statements isn't to interpret them as statements about someone's emotional state or someone's competence.

What people are usually saying is: you failed a security check, and I am thinking of whether to fight you myself or to call for backup. Levels of possible hostilities vary.

0300 hours humanities musings ahead. :P

Etiquette is probably one of the most interesting aspects of human behavior to me, because what constitutes proper practice in one context might be metaphoric or literal suicide in another. It's a complex system of passwords and filters, whose purpose is essentially one giant security check.

Gaming geekery: my main campaign NPC list has almost 500 words.

Just the NPC list.

I was wondering why I was getting a sinking feeling when I tried thinking about that campaign without writing stuff down immediately.

Now I need to make a proper timeline for NPC interests. But not today.

How Scandinavia is seen from the outside.

Ukrainian roleplayer friend of mine: we need a genre of roleplaying "non-games", for people who don't have the time to take a rest for themselves. [ Couple of other examples] Winter version: we're all playing Danish clerks who decided to take a slow rest amongst a group of friends they haven't seen in a while after a hard work week. The GMs must provide fuzzy socks and colorful blankets. :P

Well, this lasted a good 10 years. :P Also, first power supply I ever opened. Dead transformator, I think, and a charred spot on the board itself; I managed to start up the mobo again, but no guarantee it's going to last. Replacement it is.

So yeah, I got home for the holidays and really immediately went into full fieldwork mode coupled with "create full system backups" mode. Doing that intermittently has been fun; I managed to kill my SUSE installation while at it. Snapper hadn't been too much help, interestingly. Tumbleweed > Leap in terms of stability, weirdly.

Now let's see if I can reinstall the thing without killing all my stuff :P Backed up, of course, but eh, always nice not to kill things by accident.

I am back out in the field these days, listening to informants tell me about the symbolic castration of dark overlords and of live bats placed in anthills as part of love spells. Good times!

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