Author: Mattanaw, Christopher Matthew Cavanaugh
Former Chief Architect, Adobe Systems
Current President/Advisor, Social Architects and Economists International.
The purpose of this series was initially to provide various pieces of canned messages used to overcome trolls, censors, and other people who are not really wanting good conversation or mutual friendly development. The initial list of canned responses were created at times I needed actual responses to people who were harassing me, trolling me, shading me, or were writing with bad intent, or ambiguous intent that could be taken for bad intent.
I call people who are unable to engage in reasonable conversation “human cans”, who will receive canned communications primarily. I also call the messages “humancans”.
Feel free to use, modify, or share any of these humancans. Cans for humans who do not deserve your mental processing. Premade goods.
For those who might not know, a “can” is simply a re-usable pre-made thing. Canned emails, canned responses, etc… This is built off of that idea. These are cans for humans, or humancans for responding to things effectively without responding.
I am now beginning canned responses via snippets for dealing with tiresome problem people, and for clarifying intentions.
“Let’s do nothing.” I do think it makes sense on analysis of certain situations, that there isn’t adequate justification for moving forward with anyperson’s specific ideas about what others should be doing. However, some are not even able to explore how beneficial changes might be arrived at. I noticed through my own experience online that certain durable traits exist in people who respond with veiled “Let’s do nothing” comments. These are people I consider blocking or excluding, because as we are learning we do think about what might be better in the world, for ourselves, and if not just for ourselves, for others. For this and other reasons I think people who block thoughts about what might be better are not really trying to mutually benefit in conversation. In my posts in particular, I may provide pointers that there might be better ways, and explore better ways, but very infrequently I’ll make concrete recommendations on societal “next steps”. But even if I did that the infrequency of suggesting societal next steps is not something to immediately thwart when the goal is the invitation of intelligent conversation for mutual growth.
“Please respond only if you think you know the significance of the post. In other words, I’m not interested in visceral, fast reactions. My intent is positive, and such a reaction is not. My thinking is not cold and logical only, even if the delivery is quite logical. The reader would have a better recognition of this if the significance is known. If the significance is not known, it is more likely there would be a visceral reaction.”
“You’ve written a message to me that includes a threat or a veiled threat. Unless you can provide a comment that indicates with good clarity that this truly was not a threat, I will not respond to you any further and may consider blocking or otherwise dealing with your threat, depending on the type of threat you’ve made. This is a canned message, or a humancan, provided to you non-uniquely, because it does not appear mutual development or substantive comments would come from you, and because of that, you do not deserve conversation from me, which would likely be sophisticated and reasonable.”
“Don’t worry about responding to this post, if you intend to do any of the following:
- “Golden Retriever” it, by quickly finding an article to answer the question, instead of using your own mind.
- Provide a comment that is unsubstantive or rude, or trolling, or uninterested. If you are not interested move on, please.
- Plan to use non-unique communication not related to your own uniqueness. I.e. reliance on traditional answers, or cultural recollections without any reflection.
- You are not a subject matter expert, or do not have a creative interest in exploring the topic fallibly with uniqueness.
I am interested in kind, substantive and logically sensible conversation, that is from a human mind with subject matter expertise or willingness to explore fallibly. Fallible exploration and sharing of already existing expertise, in conjunction with some reliable reference resources, is part of the objective of the post. Not any pretense of having useful knowledge due to the post itself.”
Saturday, September 25th, 2021,
I’m noticing a trend in which people who appear quite intelligent in written expression, dodge failure to understand a thesis by engaging in semantic fault-searching. They are unable to see the meaning of the writing and somehow remain interested, apparently for the fun of doing something that still requires smarts–finding what could be considered inexact in the language. Some people seek out typos, misspellings, and grammar issues, that amount to syntactical oversights, while others look for “blemishes” related to meaning and semantics. They often miss creative usages, or usages intended to elucidate, and instead consider them mistakes.
Either way paragraph and document meaning and syntax are missed, because they lost holism and missed the main goal and thesis.
Tuesday, August 17th, 2021,
“On reading this comment it appears the reader has a view they believe to be complete. However regarding this topic it appears the writer is a layperson. An expert in this topic would be someone who is called a”“, or someone who has researched to become approximately an”“, with the added constraint that learnings relate directly to the problem. An alternative, or in addition to this, one can gain the expertise necessary given talents, other related experience, and research that is suitable for a mind to bring the topic to completion. Just these do not imply the mind has arrived at completion. One must show that analysis and sophistication that would first indicate profundity is adequate. This is a rarity; but even apart from the rarity, it is a stark contrast it seems to what the reader is showing. A quality analysis would show some understanding of math although mathematization of topics are long and torturous; so there is some recognition that mathematization would not be shared, but an awareness of applicable principles might be adequate. Completeness would require that it is finished. “Intuition backed on the mathematical method that would apply but has not been rigorously applied” would be akin to “Leadership Judgment” that is still better than leaderships who are available usually apply. Lastly, complete views finalizing topics would stand up to reconsideration and time. However, these responses seem haphazard and reactionary, and not cool and well considered. Single links to posts that are not themselves complete by the above criteria are not bolstered into completeness. If you shared a link, I may look at the link and believe.
Tuesday, August 17th, 2021,
“This comment appears to fail to acknowledge that writing that is performing a function of social criticism is attempting, quite often, to reach a solution by first identifying a problem. That is the case here as well with this posting, even if this is not obvious. The intention may go unrecognized but this is a key intention. Critical postings arouse various reactions in an audience. Some will find it a challenge and will via cognitive dissonance attempt to reinforce their views. Some will feel the same but instead of offering a reasonable response, or a non response, will react with emotions to create damage as if the emotions were founded on valid thinking. Some will simply want to consider it “negative” and create distance or do the same, even without knowing the meaning. This might be called “cognitive dissonance of the type: mismatching emotional preference for topic.” This would be cognitive dissonance where the reader has a conclusion they believe to be “positive” and if it appears different, it is still a challenge even if the content is ignored. These people will respond reinforcing their view by attacking without even understanding, or with understanding but the content out of view (preferring to attend to the cognitive dissonance issue resulting from social attitude. Additionally comments like those above generalize. A confined act of criticism is about the topic and not about all topics. The dissonance can elicit a range of errored responses, and I have no desire to identify which applies, because the reader is already required to make sense in responses. This requires an understanding about which emotions are appropriate when, what rules of collaborative argumentation are when there are disagreements, and what is logical or illogical. The last requirement can have some forgiveness because our cultures failed to teach logic. Logic is nothing special and uses regular language but is not easy to independently discover. However, if too illogical I will consider communication with the reader impossible (permanently depending on the severity). It is easy for the experienced logical of natural language to see the issues, but they cannot be communicated to those who merely assume they make sense with no experience, who in fact can’t make sense.”
Sunday, August 8th, 2021,
“I post as anyone else would who is a writer, and share with those who might be interested. Particularly, I share with those in communities that seem to be intelligent enough to appreciate it, and I feel I’m excluding too many people by not sharing elsewhere too. But then there are people who get in the mix, thinking they don’t have FB controls to determine what they see and don’t see. I invite criticism for mutual growth. What you offer is trolling I assure you.”
Sunday, August 8th, 2021,
“It is not entirely easy to determine who is trolling and who is not because we have not found a clear definition of the term and have not seen clear examples for identification. Here are a few examples of trolling that lead me to believe that this is what you are doing: Sharing a meme or video that is irrelevant but has the effect of provocation, or goal of leading others to censure and discount a message without additional thought, with hopes of gaining a following of commenters taking interest in the comment over the actual posting. Goal is to create a subthread that dominates and shadows the main thread. Comments that are verbal and short that simply stab at the author on grammar, on spelling errors, on typos, and other issues where the meaning is apparent, and the intent of the writer ignored. When the intent of my writing which is positive, clarifying, or otherwise educational in intent is discarded on grounds that it is critical, or other grounds that are within the normal methods of teaching and artful thinking. This comment isn’t to expand on the conversation of what is trolling and what isn’t. It’s merely to show how I reasonably think you are in here as a troll. Sometimes trolling activities are ‘covered up’ by pretense of ‘genuine or honesty in reaction’, whereas in my experience this is used to exculpate the troll and for the troll to pretend suddenly they are not a troll, and are really trying to contribute. Trolling in fishing is a method of catching fish and stringing them along another direction. It’s related to ‘red herring’ too, and often has hopes of guiding more than one person off track.”
“This is not a substantive response. I’m not sure why you would be interested in responding if not to share and mutually grow in a meaningful way. It is understood you may not agree with what is said or how it is said, but this is meant positively, and there is reasonable expectation that you should provide a reasonable response, if you provide one.”
“You need not respond if you don’t have much time (observing that perhaps a one word response is all that you need to commit too, but I still thought I should add some notes in response. In other words, not trying to put you on the spot, or require that you defend an initial reaction).”
“Occasionally someone will read what I’ve written, clearly with the objective of sharing something of quality, that it could have been written more simply. Readers sometimes will, in a short statement, claim they’ve said all that I’ve said. I’m not sure if there has ever really been a case in which that’s been true, and think it likely not. In other words, it has never happened. If I’ve written something lengthy, and someone has found something of a theme, or a way to summarize much in it simply, then I think that perceptive and acute, and maybe helpful. But if by that one thinks they have already stated all that I think regarding the topic, or all that I’ve already written, they would be mistaken. In this case, I think what may be happening, is the respondent may be wanting to pretend that my article or posting is of less value because something of it could be summarized quickly, but that is very far from saying, that the person has shared it themselves, and that by summarizing, somehow some superiority is demonstrated. There is in this kind of response some indication that what was read was determined to be of quality, and perhaps is intimidating, and to remove any feeling of intimidation, one can show that one already had a thought that was the point of the whole writing, to recover from the intimidation by thinking oneself greater, for not having learned anything new.”
“I think you would agree your asking how it might be different from what I wrote, is like saying what I wrote doesn’t include anything your sentence didn’t that’s of value.”
Somewhat often, because of my recognizability and stature, I encounter harassers. The harassers behave somewhat like fans who are hostile to various famous people. Like famous people bothered by harassers, I will not always be patient and kind, or creative. Since most are stupid, and all have bad intentions, I do not think there is any need to provide them courtesy, or tailored treatment. Instead I’ll uncreatively mock and insult them, in a way that I can see applies, but done in similar ways to everyone who harasses. An objective in my life is preserving and expanding on rationality. One way to expand on rationality is to automate certain unwanted tasks which ought not occupy too much thought. One really janitorial task, is simply treating people poorly when it’s necessary in an automatic, unreflective way. If one gets hit, it is useful to automatically hit back in effective ways, with less reflection and not more. If patience and normal discourse is healthful, then there may not be a need to use these humancans. I would prefer to use the items in the first list than items in the second list, but will use both. The second list need not be funny and can be as offensive as you like.
It becomes like warfare if others are sufficiently rude and childish. All the items below are examples. Utility depends on how and when said. All is obtuse and that adds value since it requires less thinking.
There truly is a moral justification to this behavior too, and if anyone really has standards enough to think of or say the items above, then one may really need to automate using the items below, for not wanting to use them at all. However, historically many of these methods were employed, and all can be roughly found with some similarity in entertainment.
Much more needs to be said on this topic, but a few additional points might be made briefly:
Some will claim this process is wit, but I really consider it primitive.
- “You look lazy even when you’re doing your best. I think it’s permanent.”
- “I can’t see what you’re good at.”
- “You don’t look valuable.”
- “I exhibit differences and talents.”
- “You look dysmorphic” (acting like you don’t know what that is)
- “Why are you malformed?”
- “You Look like a cauliflower?”
- “You’re a high contrast, pale moron?”
- “I can only see your bad teeth.”
- “I heard you got your life savings.”
- “Even your face just looks dumb.”
- “You’re skinny like cerebral palsey.”
- “You’re way too old for no fitness.”
- “You’re not on vacation here?”
- “You’re really going to stay here?”
- “You look slums.”
- “Everyone here is a geek.”
- “You’re handicapped on travel clearly.”
- “You have a car but you haven’t left?”
- “This place is dirty; is there any good real estate?”
- “You always know what you’re going to get here.”
- “You need a life savings right?”
- “You’re a real life saver?” (historical)
- “You’re really in a tribe?”
- “Judaism is in the middle east.”
- “You’re unprotected false.”
- “You’re ethnicity is like the others.”
- “You’re religion has the same recipe.”
- “You’re so social, I can tell you’re popular.” (sarcastically).
- “I hear your progress.”
- “I control your environment.”
I am a semi-retired social architect and consultant, with professional/academic experience in the fields of computer science, psychology, philosophy, and more recently, economics.
Articles on this site are eclectic, and draw from content prepared between 1980 and 2022. Topics include ethics, art, fitness, finances, health, psychology, and vegetarianism. The common theme connecting all articles is moral philosophy, even if that is not immediately apparent. Any of my articles that touch on "the good and virtuous life" will be published here. These articles interrelate with my upcoming theory of ethics, two decades in preparation.
I welcome and appreciate constructive feedback and conversation with readers. You can reach me at email@example.com (site related), firstname.lastname@example.org (academic related), or email@example.com (intelligence related), or via the other social media channels listed at the bottom of the site.