So, I’m going to take my own advice from the last past and wake up; get up off the barstool it looks like I was perched on all night; wipe the slobber I left on the bar off with my sleeve; tip my hat to the barkeep to let him know I’m much obliged; say so long to the lowlifes who aren’t still passed out on the floor; and face the impossibly bright daylight beyond the saloon doors with one hell of a hangover. As I walk out, I realize that there’s nothing in there for me that I haven’t already experienced; now it’s time to see the rest of the world. Folks, I’m going cold turkey.
Actually, fuck this analogy; it was already getting old halfway through the first post. The spoiler: I’m not posting to Wikipediocracy anymore. My username has been retired. I’ve said my farewells. It was fun while it lasted. And, it’s not for the reasons that I’ve read in the 20-volume set of advice that has been dropped off at my door courtesy of the Wikipedia community. I still think the Wikipediocracy folk have useful things to say. I still don’t think it’s anybody’s business where I spend my time on- or offline. And I still think that my private life is between me, my partner, and anyone we decide to invite in to it. That’s pretty standard practice, last I checked.
Make no mistake, I listened/read all the advice, but my convictions led me down a different path. Now that path is taking a sharp turn around another conviction of mine. I’ve got better things to do than hang out with beer buddies all day talking shit. Don’t get me wrong; I met some really great folks at Wikipediocracy who have become true friends. I’ve met others who I’m just getting to know and hope will become friends. Of course, those that are interested in getting to know me and think they can see beyond the company I keep at home are always welcome to contact me. You know where I am. Otherwise, I’m not leaving much behind besides an occasional laugh and a load of bullshit.
I know a lot of you are wondering what took me so long. I wasn’t exactly warmly welcomed at Wikipediocracy in the first place. In fact, I was put at the butt end of a steady stream of put downs, admonitions, and unflattering speculation before I even posted there, and, although nice things have been said by pretty much every active member there at one time or another, the stream has never run dry since. That’s the nature of the place and, I guess, mine. In any case, none of it offended me- actually I thought it was pretty hilarious as long as I was the victim- and they brought a lot of relevant issues to my attention backed up with strong secondary sources that were greatly appreciated. Wikipediocrats, I’ve learned a lot from you, and I will be posting more about that soon.
I learned a few other things, too. Like how lame it is to get in to other people’s RL for no good reason, whether folks at Wikipediocracy, Wikipedia, or sesamestreet.org do it. They did convince me that there are sometimes good reasons, but, whether you argue that it doesn’t compromise people’s safety or not (and sometimes it definitely has), you do it to make people uncomfortable. I also learned that people can make themselves look like cowardly asshats with petty, snarky, mean-spirited comments that they thoughtlessly type in to the ether without even bothering to address anyone directly. And if I hear that tired excuse of “They do it, so it’s ok if we do it” one more time, I’m going to vomit myself inside-out.
But there was one thing about Wikipediocracy that made me feel much more comfortable participating there than in forums like wikimedia-l: they couldn’t truly insult me because they didn’t really know anything about me and they never asked me to shut up. And then they did.
Speculations on my motivations have never died down there or on-wiki. I’d like people to know more about me and my motivations. To that end, I’ve mentioned something on both my talk page and today on Wikipediocracy that dramatically affects my life and my personality: I have severe ADHD. If you think you understand it, compare notes with an up-to-date description of the disorder. It’s nothing like what most people think they understand. One thing that seems to be left out of every soccer mom’s and dad’s expertise is that it causes a lot of suffering. But it’s not all doom and gloom. In fact, there are some excellent consolation prizes. There is a very high correlation between ADHD and creativity, for example.
Almost without a thought, I mentioned my ADHD at Wikipediocracy with a short explanation of how it affects motivations. I felt I was among friends, after all. I was then diagnosed by another member of having something called Special Snowflake Syndrome. Hmmm. I thought only depression and anxiety were the common co-morbidities, but this person seemed to know better. At that point, another person stepped in with some insight on how the ADHD brain works different from a more typical brain; I knew immediately he was an ADHDer. He understood. I confirmed later that he is. We had a few wildly off-topic exchanges; I said we should take it elsewhere, he had answers to a few more posts. Whatev’s. People go off topic there all the time, and at most a moderator cleans it up later.
This time things went down a little differently, tho. Some of the people there weren’t just uninterested in this information, but uncomfortable with it. That’s not uncommon; a lot of people don’t like talking about emotions, for example. But they started demanding that nobody talk about it. Meanwhile, others are throwing around opinions about something that has caused me and the other ADHDer great suffering and that they know fuck all about. I suggest they at least look up the affect of severe ADHD on happiness in childhood. But, as far as I could tell, they didn’t give two shits about me, the other guy, or anyone who wasn’t themselves. One guy I’ve never had any interactions with expressed the general sentiment well: “You seem to be a really nice guy. . . but who cares?” Ah. Good question. I care.
And I care enough about my own state of mind to stay out of environments like this. I’m not offended, and I’m not angry. There’s no one there that I dislike. I simply choose not to be around people who can’t or won’t empathize. I’ve got better things to do with my time.