anti pattern

Kanye Feel The Love? 

Eat Your Kids Illustration 2017

You're reading too much into that!

At some point in most fandom conversations, someone will leap in and say, “You’re reading too much into that.” I’m sure you’ve all seen it, you may have even done it.

I’m so tired of it.

It’s a really useless argument in the form it’s usually offered in – illogical, intolerant, and ignorant. This post breaks down why it’s a weak argument, just so I can get the rant out of my brain and let it go.

Seeing false patterns

First, it is entirely possible to read too much into a text. Let’s get that out of the way right up front. Human brains are really good at recognising patterns – it’s one of our superpowers, and it’s what allows us to forward-plan for winter, and do science, and create art. But it has a downside, and that is that we can sometimes see false patterns – things which are coincidental, rather than true patterns. It’s because of this very thing that science must be repeatable to be considered valid – one finding, in one small-scale study, could just be a false pattern, or a miss-attributed one.

So this possibility of seeing a false pattern, which is really coincidental rather than a true pattern, is what the argument “You’re reading too much into that” is based on.

The problem is that this argument is rarely used to actually mean that the person is seeing a false pattern. Instead, it’s trotted out as an insult – “You’re reading too much into that, because you’re delusional” is what is usually meant, and it’s often underpinned by misogynist, racist or homophobic thinking. For instance: “Only a crazy slash fangirl would read queerness into the text,” which hits both sexism and homophobia at the same time.

How do I know it’s meant in this insulting way, rather than in the sense that someone is seeing a false pattern? Because the person trotting out this shutdown rarely bothers to give any evidence that the pattern is false. They just assume it must be, because they are sure their own mainstream reading is correct.

It’s lazy thinking, based on unacknowledged assumptions about how the world works, and that really grates on me, just as much as the normalised homophobia, racism, and sexism which underpin that kind of thinking do. But that’s not the only thing wrong with this argument. Oh, no. There’s more!

Texts are constructions, not natural phenomena

Texts are not natural phenomena that “just happen”. They are not schools of fish, or tree rings, or clouds. Texts are constructed. They are deliberate. They are made things, like a bridge, or a dress, or a tube of toothpaste.

Can you imagine someone saying, “You’re reading too much into that,” if someone says, “Hey, that bridge wobbles when it’s windy”? Or “You’re reading too much into that,” when someone says, “This toothpaste tastes different to usual, they must have changed the formula”?

Because that’s basically what people are doing when they say it about texts.

You might think the person is seeing a false pattern in those two hypothetical situations, but in that case you’d probably feel you needed to put forward another plausible explanation, rather than just saying they are wrong. (Although some people might still say, “You’re wrong, and also stupid because you’re a girl,” right up until the bridge falls down or the toothpaste is recalled.)

If you’re a reasonable person, you might argue the bridge is designed to wobble, or it’s just a visual illusion, or maybe the person drank orange juice right before cleaning their teeth and that’s why the toothpaste tastes funny. You won’t just say, “You’re reading too much into that,” as though it’s completely impossible there is a pattern you haven’t noticed yet.

There’s this weird belief in the West that somehow stories aren’t really made things, and don’t follow the same rules as a bridge or toothpaste in terms of how we critique them. It’s based on a long, long history of art criticism, mainly arising from a bunch of privileged white men whining because no-one liked their art. You might think their arguments are valid, and that’s okay (although I don’t agree), but if you have no idea what I’m talking about, you might want to stop and think about why you read texts the way you do. Where did you learn it from? Why do you think it’s right? Why do you think the way other people read is wrong?

Anyway, the history and politics of how we read texts are not the only reasons this argument is weak.

Writers have human brains

This assumption that “You’re reading too much into that” is also based on an anti-intellectual reading position. This is the idea that no writer would go to the bother to seed complex ideas, subtext or patterns into their text, and the corresponding idea that texts aren’t worth reading on this level.

That is such an entirely insulting notion on so many levels.

As a writer, I can tell you we can, and do, put this kind of planning into texts. Not necessarily every text, or all the time. But yes, it’s a thing that happens. What’s more, when you do a close reading of a text with an author present, and point out you noticed those patterns, they are fucking delighted. And will often tell you in great detail why they put it in.

In addition to that, we create these texts with our pattern-recognising brains. We will put patterns in without realising it too, because that’s how our brains work. More than once, I’ve read my first drafts back (or beta read those of others), and realised that there was a major theme in there that I hadn’t been aware of while writing. I usually tease it out further in re-writes, because my storybrain knew what it was doing by putting it in there.

In my experience, it’s mainly people who don’t write who think this kind of deep structure is accidental or unimportant. They are speaking from ignorance, or perhaps a belief that stories magically appear fully formed in a Word document while the author is off somewhere else, wearing a smoking jacket and brooding.

If only, my friend. If only that were true.

How do I avoid this fallacy?

It’s really simple. Give your reasons for disagreeing instead of just lazily dismissing arguments out of hand. If you think someone is seeing a false pattern, show some evidence that it might be a false pattern.

Alternatively, if it’s not an argument you want to get into right now, agree to disagree – “That’s an interesting take on it, but I read the text differently” – and then move on to the aspect you want to discuss.

If you can’t be bothered doing either of those things, and decide to dismiss their argument out of hand in favour of your own, recognise that you’re being an intolerant troll.

And if you can’t find any evidence that the person is seeing a false pattern… Guess what?

They might actually be right about the pattern being there, and their pattern recognition skills are better, or better educated, than yours.

I've noticed a pattern

The anti-roadrat people have really taken a big step back.

Like they were all about calling it pedophilia, and predatory. But that argument was so obviously wrong and stupid that they had to change their tone

“Oh well pedophilia didn’t stick, but we still need a reason to hate it and call out fans!.. wait! What if we say its grooming?!?”

This argument is entirely new, I have never seen it brought up in the months I have been in the fan base. Like calling it pedophilia didn’t work, their claims were easily disproven just by knowing Junkrats age. So it’s no longer pedophilia, just grooming. What a joke.

Also its ok to dislike a ship for whatever reason, but you can’t just call anything you dislike pedophilia or grooming, you don’t need some huge moral reason to dislike somthing! I don’t like Meihem, I don’t call Mei a pedophile!

Same goes for ‘its abusive’ it doesn’t have to be abusive for it to not be your cup of tea, you can just not like somthing just cause it’s not your personal preference. It can be a perfectly healthy happy relationship and you can still say 'its just not for me’
You dont have to think 'well I dislike it so I need a good reason..hmm seems abusive’

anonymous asked:

Oh boy it was, jack was doing a power hour with like board games or something? And all of a sudden Anti started freaking out and breaking everything. But yeah, i also wondered if it's gonna be a theme now during horror games or is something big actually going to happen?

That does sound like Anti! It would be funny if they were playing a board game and Anti just started to get upset because he was losing and didn’t want to admit defeat. Grumpy glitch bitch is my fav.

You know what, I really don’t know if it’s just going to be a horror theme or if he’ll show up at any given moment. In October it started out as only being a horror theme thing but he ended up showing up briefly in other games as well like Cluster Truck. Unless Jack finds another horror game to play or something even remotely creepy, we may be seeing Anti in just about any game. Though there seems to be a pattern in Anti’s appearances in the sense where he’s shown up in order to deliver some sort of message. Like in Detention, he shows up when Jack reads the words ‘forgotten or just too afraid to remember’, right? He seems to enjoy doing that. So maybe it won’t just be any game, but in a game where he’s able to deliver a message to Jack or the viewers indirectly.

I really don’t know! It’s just a theory but I guess we’ll have to wait to find out!

On the side note, I saw an interesting pattern: 

Antis: Ichigo is only interested in Rukia. The only person that will ever make him blush is his Queen, because he loves her and only her.

But then what about this: Especially Ichigo’s “But…”

Antis: Ichigo is ignoring Orihime, she needs to get over him. He is not interested, she should be with Ishida he cares more about her.

But ignore this: Him reassuring her two times.

Antis: Look Orihime being useless again, why does she always do nothing? She is so weak and shouldn’t be there, Ichigo had to rescue her stupid ass. And IH fans are getting happy over such a trivial thing? 

Nothing compared to this scene, directed by Tite Kubo; where Rukia is saved by her hubby and he holds her head!

So it doesn’t count huh: Let’s even forget this. Because it’s not canon if Ichigo is not ignoring her.

Antis: Ichigo is going to pair up with Rukia and be a tag-team! They depend on each other too much, and can fight together. Orihime can’t do anything she is useless, and should be by Ishida.

Yet here are Ichigo & Orihime: He counts on her abilities.

Antis: How pathetic, Ichigo doesn’t listen to Orihime. That shows how they understand each other, she looks so desperate.

Yet the next chapter: One single look, is all it took.

Antis: What’s the big deal, Orihime is still afraid of Ichigo. That shows how much she doesn’t love him. Omg, it’s obvious she still loves Ulquiorra. She wasn’t afraid of him in his dying moment.

We’re in the middle of a battle but: “I’m still me.”

Antis: Orihime being useless as always, she’s already down. Ichihime sucks, we saw it coming! She won’t heal his sword!

Ichigo– oh, he’s going into despair!  Yes you know what that means, Ichiruki reunion! 

Lol, IH was only shown how they fail in everything, and IR will be superior! Rukia will come and dash toward Ichigo and clear his rain, just like the FB arc! 

Next Chapter: His nakama & former-enemies help him to get up.

And now I’m seeing:

Antis spouting:

  • “Omg, IH fans are so disgusting for being happy of this asspull chapter.”
  • “IH getting cocky over nothing, their ship never existed.”
  • “It’s either Bleach is ending with Ichiruki, or nothing.”

While I’m thinking:

  • There’s a battle going on, with only a few chapters left. What do you expect, 100+ pages on your ship as the end?
  • How are we the only ones cocky when less than a week ago, they were spreading that our ship sucks and this new chapter was going to show Ichigo being rescued by Rukia and they were going to get a huge reunion “dried rain” bullshit?
  • If Bleach is ending I would want it to end with everyone being happy & alive. If there is a chance of a ship becoming canon, you can bet Ichihime is included. Especially if IR is “apparently” going to be canon, lol.
Some thoughts, after the fact, about Jewish Fashion Week

1. I think mod-e-boteh meant well. This doesn’t mean they were in any way qualified to try to do what they were doing, or that they responded in any way well once they were called out over the anti-Semitic qualities the whole thing began to take on, but I don’t think they had any malign intent.

2. I’m not so sure about the anonymous asker who started the whole wretched mess that followed. What I do know is that both that anonymous person and mod-eh-boteh fell effortlessly into a particular pattern of anti-Semitic behavior that’s pretty common to this website in general, and a lot of progressive circles outside of it. They both prioritized what they saw as the urgency of clarifying their political attitude toward the state of Israel over any concern for Jewish culture or Jewish survival.

3. Which is a little more of an issue when you’re hosting a whole week of posts about Jewish culture.

4. Mod-e-boteh’s attempts to clarify what they meant didn’t go well. They made it clear they would not ‘tolerate’ magen david kaffiyehs (designed by an American Jew, and I’ve never seen an Israeli in one) or appropriation of Palestinian clothing (I’m still recovering from the confident assertion  that went round Tumblr that A-WA’s Balochi dresses were just that). The fact that this, rather than a Moroccan Israeli bride’s dress, or an Israeli Chasid’s bekishe, or an Ethiopian Israeli fashion designer’s use of traditional embroidery patterns was what mod-e-boteh assumed Israeli folk fashion must look like speaks volumes.

5. When it was pointed out that there are many Jewish cultures that now mostly survive through Israeli descendants, they didn’t deal with that really well.

6. They clarified that they were focusing on ‘the diaspora’—and they did—to the extent that a huge percentage of what was posted was vintage photographs from decimated or destroyed Jewish communities.

7. Also, Hedy Lamarr.

8. Look, your guess is as good as mine.

9. Also they blocked me. And a lot of other people.

10. The thing about ‘Palestinian Jews’ was particularly choice. I’m not going to get into the various odd ways this term is used by people who don’t seem to understand what they mean by it. I just appreciated the way a Jew in Jerusalem was legitimate to be shown in his Shabbat clothes right up to May 14, 1948, but no later. As long as his potential agency in the creation of Israel is carefully ignored.

11. Look, this is what happens when Israel is attributed this kind of hyperbolic evil and importance by so many people. Dealing with Jewish realities, and Jewish history becomes potentially offensive. It’s easier, and safer to glorify the pretty folkways of dead Jews than to grapple with the living ones. It’s easier to post photographs of the hundred Jews remaining in Yemen than to deal with the fact that nearly all Yemeni Jews these days are Israelis.

12. There was no particular reason for this to be political. I wouldn’t expect a series of posts about Chinese fashion to carefully delineate the blogger’s exact stance on China’s occupation of Tibet, treatment of religious and ethnic minorities within China, massive overuse of the death penalty, imperialist meddling in Africa…and neither would anyone else. Because it would be understood that this was about culture, and about Chinese people, not a glorification of China’s political existence.

13. This distinction is explicitly made impossible when speaking of Israel and of Jews. The only way to handle it is to vanish, or euphemize, forty percent of the world’s Jews.