Update: RSA's Big Forum Adventure

What happened?

On Thursday June 24, 2004, the uneducated troll RSA created his own forums, obviously in an attempt to compete with mine (but of course, they would be vastly superior in every way). He no doubt expected his imaginary hordes of well-educated allies to sign up and produce a superior, elevated erudite level of intellectual discourse that the evil, rabid foul-mouthed Warsie denizens of my forums are incapable of.

Amusingly, he locked them down after just two days (basically, he effectively banned everyone by taking away the ability of anyone but himself to post). He initally blamed people for bad "behaviour", then wrote a long-winded "Failure Analysis" which blamed bandwidth (apparently, the influx of people from my forums visiting his forums drove his opening-day bandwidth to 930MB; his previous record was only half that, and even then only because he was linked from another major site). By way of comparison, my site currently (as of June 2004) pulls 750MB on an average day not including the forums, which pull more than 1.5GB per day. This is not at all unusual for a website, and mine would be considered a fairly small one compared to the well-known major sites. So either he's got a very small webhosting account (and accordingly small traffic) or he's exaggerating the problem.

His bandwidth issues are amusingly hypocritical in light of the way he defended his theft of my bandwidth a while ago (linking directly from his site to large AVI files on my server without permission) by dismissing the idea that bandwidth was a real commodity and derisively mocking the complaint with this picture. But they are not as interesting as his list of "major causes" for the so-called "failure" of his forums:

And he listed some "minor causes" as well:

Honestly, all of this would be funny enough on its own, but he then tried to pretend that he expected this all along and that this was actually a sociological experiment to see if we would confirm his expectations by being a tenth as unreasonable and rude to him as he was to us. He finished by saying "this experiment is a success, but the forum itself is a failure". So he expected this to happen, even considered it an experiment from the beginning, yet had done no planning for it whatsoever, hence his "zero-prep" excuse? As the druggies say, that is some good shit. And at the end, there's that "failure" term again, which leads to the question: what did it fail to do? Function? No, it functioned OK, albeit slowly. Generate discussion? It did that. Produce debate on the issues? It did that too. So by "failure", we can surmise that he actually means "didn't turn out the way I wanted".

So Why Did He Take It Down?

When someone tries that hard to justify an action, it can be fun to speculate on the real reasons. One possibility comes to mind from Rogue 9's quote at the top of this page: even those who think he's insane will agree that he is a talented user of rhetorical methods. But there's a catch: while a master rhetorician can make the absurd sound almost reasonable, the idea itself is still absurd, and if anyone but a master rhetorician tries to promote it, this will be embarrassingly obvious. So while he may have imagined a forum full of his allies masterfully smiting the "stupid Warsies", what he got was a forum full of his allies being humiliated on his own turf and making his arguments look foolish by stating them in plain English, without the full Darkstar Rhetorical Treatment.

This is not just idle speculation; beneath his stardestroyer.net-bashing, his comments on the "failure" of his forums mask an undercurrent of disappointment at the conduct of his allies. He will no doubt say that it was because they didn't meet his high standards, but here's a question for you to ponder: why should it require a representative of high rhetorical ability in order to present an idea without making it look ridiculous? Could it not be a problem with the idea itself?

Another possibility is that he simply wanted some kind of online companionship. He had posted a cry for help on his website shortly after being booted from SpaceBattles.Com, and it's fairly obvious that he lacks companionship in real-life, so this is a strong possibility.

In the end, I suppose we'll never know what he really expected or wanted, and maybe he doesn't entirely understand his own motivations himself. But it's still fun to speculate :)

Naturally ...

... he pre-emptively warns that "Wong and his cronies will now begin a profound spin-doctoring campaign on the matter." (yes, he hurled an accusation of spin-doctoring after trying to sell that "the experiment was a success" malarkey). All I can say is that you should go to his forums (if they're still up), do a search on all of the posts made by me (or any of the well-known members of my board, for that matter) and draw your own conclusions on whether we were "flaming, trolling tards".

And there you have it! RSA's big forum adventure. Who else could start a forum, take it down in confusion, and then pretend this was yet another great victory in the war against the Evil Warsie Conspiracy?

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