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3.04.2014

Casual vs. Hardcore vs. Elitist: An Allegory




Today's post was inspired by Faid's post Not that there's anything wrong with that . . . over on Clockwork Riot.

The idea of "casual" vs. "hardcore" gold-making as well as "casual" vs. "hardcore" gold-makers is a subject that I've been dealing with ever since I was ashamed that I had "only" made 250K gold in the game.

Read on past the jump for some of my own ideas about "casual" vs. "hardcore" as well as why the number of people involved in the designation matters.

Disclaimer


I'll start with a disclaimer that no matter whom you are it is likely that you will identify with something you read in this post.

It is also likely that you will not agree with some of the things in this post.

The concepts I'm talking about in this post are not targeted or based off any specific person but rather my experiences interacting with the variety of gold-makers I have over the last few years.

If you find yourself thinking "He's clearly writing about me." then just know I'm not.

That said, I am deciding to write this post because I feel it is a topic that, with the right illumination, can help other feel better about themselves. That is a very important thing to me.

Designations, It's All About The Numbers


The designations that I will be focusing on in this post are the following:

  • Casual
  • Hardcore
  • Elitist

What I realized while pondering this topic in preparation for writing this article is that there are two realms where these designations exist: in a realm of one and in a realm of many.

Meaning the same designation can mean something completely different if a person is applying it in a vacuum vs. applying it a realm of multiple people.

It may sound a bit confusing but stick with me here.

A Realm Of One


If you were to sit down right now and ask yourself if you were a "casual" or "hardcore" gold-maker, and you weren't planning on telling anyone else, which would you choose?

If you were to sit down right now and ask yourself if you were a "casual" or "hardcore" about gold-making, and you weren't planning on telling anyone else, which would you choose?

See, the important part of the above statement is "and you weren't planning to tell anyone else" part.

This is what I'm calling "a realm of one" or, to put it another way, what someone would think absent the observation by anyone else.

I think it important to make this designation because the number of people involved in the realm where the designation is applied makes a huge difference as we'll see going forward.

So, I'm stranded on a desert island. No one else is around and I'm talking to my imaginary friend Wilson. If Wilson (who may be a volleyball but is clearly a figment of my own imagination) asked me if I was a "casual" or a "hardcore" gold maker I'd have to answer that I was probably a bit closer to the hardcore side of the scale.

If Wilson asked me if I was a casual or hardcore in my gold-making I'd have to admit to him (myself) that I was fairly close to the casual side of the spectrum.

Did you see that? How can I be a "somewhat hardcore" gold-maker but also be "fairly close to casual" as far as gold-making goes?

It depends.

It's a Matter Of Time


The second revelation I had about "casual" vs "hardcore" is that time is on a completely different scale then what one might call "knowledge".

Someone can consider themselves a hardcore gold-maker while at the same time consider the amount of time they are currently spending making gold to be casual.

Conversely I would say that you could likely find someone who would consider themselves a "casual" gold-maker (in the "knowledge" sense) that would also say that they are a bit "hardcore" about the amount of time they spend on gold-making.

Gold-Making Knowledge


So, along with the "realm of one" vs. "realm of many" designation that we mentioned earlier there is also the division of what you could generically call gold-making "knowledge".

We'll call this spectrum the "Gold-Making Knowledge" scale. It represents what someone considers their own level of gold-making interest, knowledge, and/or experience.

This scale goes from "casual", where someone may be new to gold-making, not interested in learning gold-making and/or unfamiliar with gold-making knowledge in general, to "hardcore" where someone considers themselves of veteran-level knowledge where it comes to gold-making, and have an intense interest in gold-making.

This scale isn't perfect because people's interest for gold-making can wane while there knowledge remains but it's good enough for the purposes of this post.

Basically "gold-making knowledge" is about how you see yourself intellectually as well as your interest in the workings of gold-making.

Gold-Making Intensity


The other spectrum involves the amount of time one spends on the gold-making itself.

(Again, we are still in the "realm of one" which is why I've been using phrases like "considers themselves". This is all still happening in a vacuum.)

This scale goes from "casual", where someone considers themselves spending little-to-no time making gold, to "hardcore", where the person considers themselves spending an inordinate amount of time making gold.

Now I'll admit that, viewed in a vacuum (our "realm of one"), this spectrum breaks down a bit because: who are them spending more or less time than? What makes them feel they are spending "too much" or "too little" time doing something?

Well, in a vacuum perhaps they are comparing it to what else they do in the game. Perhaps they spend a "hardcore" amount of time raiding but only a "casual" amount of time making gold.

Comparing themselves to others is not allowed in our "realm of one" though so we'll save that for later.

Casual vs. Hardcore 


Suffice it to say that we now realize that there are two major areas where people could consider themselves "casual" and/or "hardcore when it comes to gold-making: gold-making knowledge and gold-making intensity.

This is a good distinction to keep in mind when thinking about your own gold-making.

I'm sure we all have our own unique positions on the "gold-making knowledge" and "gold-making intensity" scales.

In fact there's a very good chance that our positions on those scales moves around as time goes one. We might even jump around based on what day of the week it is.

All that said, I bet that if you were shipwrecked on your own island and your own "Wilson" was to ask you where you saw yourself falling on the "gold-making knowledge" scale, from "casual" to "hardcore" you could answer him. (Feel free to answer in your head as he is a figment of your imagination.)

As well, if Wilson asked where you saw yourself falling on the "gold-making intensity" scale you would also be able to answer pretty accurately.

So, the next time you hear "casual" or "hardcore" being applied to gold-makers and/or gold-making just keep in mind that there are at least two scales that those designations could apply to.

Why The Ruse?


Now that we have that out of the way, what was with all the "realm of one" stuff? Why make people think that they are stranded on a desert island talking to a volleyball named Wilson?

Why spend the energy to get them thinking like they are alone?

Because it was important to make people consider what they think of themselves in a vacuum. Because this next section is about what happens when we take the same designations we've been discussing above and apply them to a situation where there is more than one person.

This is where things can (and often do) go so horribly wrong.

This is where the designations "casual", "hardcore" start to take on new meanings and where the designation "elitist" comes into play.

A Realm of Many


So, now we move to what I am calling "the realm of many". In this realm more than one person exists. In this realm there are at least two or more individuals involved in every interaction.

This realm exists in many locations whether it be the topics of a forum, the posts of a blog, the comments section of a blog, or twitter. Even the mind of an individual can be a "realm of many".

Any place that two or more individuals can exist, even if it's only the idea of multiple people existing, is a "realm of many".

Just to be clear a "realm of many" is any instance where the existence of two or more entities, real or imagined, can exist.

Your mind can be a "realm of many" of you're judging yourself based on what an imagine what others think of you.

Your mind can be a "realm of many" if you many decisions are based on comparing yourself to others.

By it's very nature as a public document a blog post is always a "realm of many". If the writer was indeed writing for themselves they would simply write in a journal and never show anyone.

A forum is clearly a "realm of many" as is anything posted publicly to twitter or added as a comment on a blog.

As is anything said publicly and privately to another in World of Warcraft.

All communication and the majority of our thoughts involve this "realm of many".

Welcome To The Jungle


Now, let's discuss how the exact same designations we discussed earlier can apply in our "realm of many".

The main difference is that we now have people to compare ourselves against. We can pluck them up and set them on any sort of scale and at any point along that scale we want.

Indeed, your designation for yourself may include someone else. "I'm don't make as much gold as X." "I'm not as hardcore as X when it comes to glyphs."

Do you see what has happened? We've invited people onto our "desert island" and, frankly, Wilson is a bit skeptical of our actions.

Whether we're inviting a full person onto or island by engaging in a conversation with them or are simply inviting a "little devil on your shoulder"-esque version of a real person onto your island.

Either way, the results are the same: the dynamics of perception are different.

When you bring "others" into the situation and create a "realm of many" you can now start to do things like:

  • Compare yourself to them
  • Think you are better than they are
  • Think you are worse then they are
  • Think you are smarter then they are
  • Think you are dumber than they are
  • Think you work harder then they do
  • Think you work less then they do
  • Think you run a market better then they do
  • Think you run a market worse than they do

I could go on but I think you get my point. When another is added to the equation it changes it dramatically.

If I'm on my desert island, metaphorically speaking, what does it matter how much gold I have? Or how long I spend making-gold? Or how much I know about making gold? It doesn't.

Living In A Realm of Many


In this realm of many the designations "casual" and "hardcore" start to take on even more meanings.

Casual? More casual then who? Hardcore? More hardcore then who? 

Indeed, even the two spectrums we discussed earlier take on new meanings when we choose to add others to them.

I may be considered "casual" on the gold-making knowledge scale compared to some, but I'm likely "ahead" of some others on that scale.

(Another fun part about the "realm of many" is that things like scales are relative and differ, not only from person to person, but also from perspective to perspective.) 

If I'm in a room full of my friends and family I'm clearly going to be "top of the totem pole" when it comes to the gold-making knowledge scale. 

But when sitting on a forum dedicated to gold-making? My place on that totem is much more uncertain.

Sitting on a server in World of Warcaft? Also uncertain.

Sitting in a "room" with every person that has ever played World of Warcraft? I'm certainly not near the top of that totem pole.

See how it changes depending on whom you are comparing yourself to? That is an important thing to keep in mind when thinking about an designation issues in a "realm of many".

In the "realm of many" words like "casual" and "hardcore" can be applied in a nearly infinite amount of ways. Different labels may even be applied to the same person by different people. It's all a matter of perspective.

See how messy it can get? See how things change when you invite others onto your "island" and start judging yourself (or others) based on the gaggle of people you've chosen to include (again metaphorically speaking)?

I'll stop here on the topic of how the "realm of many" affects designations because we have one last topic to discuss and it's a nasty one.

You're Just An Elitist Jerk


Now that we've laid the ground work for differentiating gold-making knowledge and gold-making intensity. And we've shown the difference between designations when you are applying them to yourself in a "realm of one" vs. a "realm of many" it's time to take the gloves off and discuss one of the ugliest cancers that affects not only gold-making but human nature in general: elitism.

 How do we come to "elitism" from the discussion of "casual" vs. "hardcore" gold-making?

Plainly put "elitism" can not exist in a "realm of one".

Sitting on my island Wilson would call me an idiot if I said to him "I'm better at gold making than me."

"That doesn't make any sense." he would say and he'd be right. Just as he would if I said "I spend more time making gold than me." or "I have more gold than me.".

Since elitism can't exist in a "realm of one" it then follows that it requires a "realm of many".

Now, I'm sitting on my island and I decide to conjure up a "little devil on your shoulder" version of one of my competitors on the auction house.

"I better at the auction house then the person." I say to Wilson pointing at the figment of my imagination.

If Wilson was being a good friend we would rejoinder "Well, perhaps, But that's really just your opinion."

Or I might tell the imaginary "little devil" version of the competitor "I'm better at the auction house than you!".

To which the "little devil" would reply "…" and just stare blinking at me because they are just a figment of my imagination and can't talk.

Let's say you want to make sure this competitor knows you're better than them so you invite them over to your island.

They show up and you say "I'm better at the auction house than you." to which they reply "That's really just your opinion." to which you think 'Where have I heard that before?'.

It Takes Three


I want to point out something in the metaphorical scenario above that you may have missed. 

When I conjured up for myself the 'little devil' competitor on my shoulder and then turned to Wilson to assert my superiority I demonstrated a key element that goes into elitism: the need for an audience.

In order for the conditions of elitism to flourish you have to have someone watching you as you point to some one else and say "I'm better than them.".

Wilson was the third element that allowed me to be an elitist. So while Wilson was a bit more skeptical of my asserted superiority, Wilson isn't the only one I can have on my island. 

Let's run through another island scenario (aren't these fun!). It's your turn this time.

You first invite some like minded individuals to your island and tell them to sit on the bleachers (apparently you've had enough time while stranded on this island to build bleachers). You then conjure up a 'little devil' version of you competitor and say "I am better at the auction house than you." to which the little devil again says "…" and just blinks at you because, again, this is merely a figment of your imagination and not the actual competitor.

Even though the little devil can't speak you get a hearty cheer from your self-selected audience. In fact, they find this fairly entertaining and cheer "Bravo". 

"But wouldn't it be even better if you were talking to the actual person?" one of the audience members offers.

You then invite the competitor them self to your island and state, "I am better at the auction house than you." to which the competitor answers "That is really just your opinion."

But you're not worried. This time you are prepared.

You turn to the audience and ask "Am I not better than this person at the auction house?" to which the audience all smile a smarmy-toothed grin and then proceed to barrage the competitor with facts and figures, arguments and assertions as to why you are so clearly superior to them.  They state that the competitor might as well cancel their auctions and just go home. It's hopeless. for them.

And man does it feel good to hear them say that and it just happens that the next week one of the audience members invites you to their island to help them "roast" a "casual" who's been trying to muscle into their markets. And you go. And you love it.

And you've become an "elitist".

The Plain Truth


I could conjure up all sorts of "island scenarios" where the toxic combination of "comparing yourself to others" and "audience" can lead to elitism.

You can see it in your own heads right now.

Can you see the island where self-proclaimed "hardcore" gold-makers turn to a new gold-maker asking for gold-making knowledge and state, "Have you even tried to learn how to make gold? Go away and come back when you've put in the time we have. There's no room for 'scrubs' on this island".

Can you see the new gold-maker going from island to island only to find high walls erected with "You must have *this* much gold to enter!" signs hung on the locked door?

Can you see the self-proclaimed "hardcore" gold makers looking down from the walls and chuckling as they say to each other. "Another 'newbie' trying to get to our gold-making knowledge stash? When will they learn. Idiots."

Are you the person sitting on the island asking for help or are you the person sitting in your imagined "fortress of knowledge and hard work" looking down on those you deem inferior?

(Can you tell I've thought about this a lot?)

The Alternative


So, if I feel "elitism" is so toxic then what is the alternative?

Funny you should mention that because as much as I tried to think I couldn't come up with a good antonym for "elitist" or "elitism".

Perhaps "humility" is the closest antonym to "elitism" although there is no such word as "humilitist".

But perhaps I'll invent the word now: humilitist - a person who goes out of their way to help others understand and enjoy a pursuit that they themselves enjoy and have mastered to some degree.

This is opposed to: elitist - a person who goes our of their way to deride and ridicule anyone they find inferior (in their own estimation) and to do so in front of an audience of other elitists to try to break the spirit of said "inferior" individuals.

Now I'm sure you can guess which one I consider myself.

In fact, the spirit is the "humilitist" is something I've striven to infuse into this blog all these years. This is in opposition to the toxic strains of elitism I have observed in various places around the gold-making community.

I see no reason why anyone should be judged, derided or be made to feel inferior or "stupid" about gold-making.

There is just no call for it. 

Using words like "casual", "scrub", "newb" or any other to describe others you feel are some how inferior to yourself is a terrible thing to do.

There are better ways to use your time. There are better things you could be doing and if helping others isn't your thing than at least don't spend energy actively trying to trip up and hinder others.

Sitting On My Island


So here we are. Coming to a close.

I'm sitting on my island with Wilson. I'm asking him what he thinks of what I've written. "You seem pretty passionate about this topic." he states casually to which I reply "I really am."

As I sit there staring into the coals of the fire I hear a twig snap and raise my head to see that I'm now alone.

Around the fire a number of individuals are standing quietly, looking at me.

"Is he the one?" I can hear one of them (someone I've never seen before) ask another (who I have seen before). "Yes. He's the one." the second replies.

I turn to Wilson, "I guess it's about that time again." to which Wilson replies with his usual "Mmmhmm."

I slowly stand, my knees crackling a bit (I'm not as young as I used to be you know.) and look at those around and say "I guess it's about that time. Go ahead and find a seat."

As they all settle in I throw another log on the fire, pull a smoldering branch out of the fire and turn to the "class" and say "I'm not sure why you all chose to seek me out and I'm not the smartest gold-maker around (see what I did there) but I'll help you learn what I can."

I start to use the stick to draw on the large boulder I have used as a make-shift "chalk board" for all these years and turn to the class.

"Welcome to all of you who are here for the first time. If you have any questions be sure to ask. Also, thanks to those returning students who have brought others with you. I'm sure they appreciate it."

As I start the lesson , one I've taught a hundred times before, I look out over the faces of those who have chosen to be here and smile.

I may only have this island and this fire and this stick (and of course Wilson) but I also have those people with whom I can share what little knowledge I've been able to scratch together over the years.

And that's not too bad.


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10 comments:

  1. Wow! What a great post! I second adding humilitist to our shared lexicon. You could change every mention of gold making to any pursuit such as gaming, hearthstone, pvp, and it would still ring true. I'm posting this to Facebook. Thanks for all the help Jim. I've made 26000 gold in six days just by applying the principles I've learned here and on your youtube channel.

    Lee Murdock

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  2. Your thoughtful essay implicitly identifies one of the core challenges in the gold-making/-maker world.

    I'm no economist, but I have made a key assumption: there is a finite sum of gold to be made on a realm at any given time (I know, I know, I flunked Econ 101, OK?).

    If the whole purpose of gold-making is to acquire gold and this artificial assumption is true, then if someone *earns* gold via the AH then someone else *doesn't* make gold. Applying your definitions then an elitist would think that's great---I am making gold and, frankly Scarlett, I don't give a damn if anyone else does. Someone has to make gold, and it ought to be just me. That's the free market spirit at work…

    On the other hand the "humilist" thinks there's room for more here at the trough, saying: I am gold-capped on a bazillion toons across tons of servers, make 30k a day per toon, deal in TCG items at 550k a pop, and consider Avogadro's Number to be a fair approximation of my total inventory. So what's 3k less a day to me if it means some newcomer to the gold-making community gets to earn that 3k to sustain her interest, sell to the players who won't pay stupidly inflated prices for gems or enchants they need (rather than vanity items like xmog or pets), and, God forbid, might actually have fun?

    Whether someone is a casual or hardcore gold-maker is moot. I suppose by general consensus I'm a "casual" gold maker. When I get the urge and there is a void in a particular market I'll toss some gems or leather up for sale, or maybe some Epic drop that will go cha-ching and pad my modest checking account. But when someone puts up a wall to shut out competition and can sustain that for a month or two--that shows not only an elitist worldview but a ruthless one as well, and that is an utterly toxic combination.

    I'd like to make 2-3k a day to afford the repair mount without worrying how long it will take vendoring trash greys to pay off the 20k investment. But when the elitists shut down the market to the point where my daily posting fees exceed my daily gross income, my incentive to participate in the market rapidly approaches zero. They win, and everyone else loses---buyers, other sellers--when it goes from a free market to a command economy dictated by an elite few.

    Maybe some "humilist" will blog about surviving in such a hostile market place beyond searching among tens of thousands of items for a micro-niche market or how to program some esoteric function in TSM.

    Or maybe I'm just expecting something for nothing, and I'll be told to get out of the kitchen or learn to hang with the big dogs. Then again, why would anyone want to be a big dog if they are all elitists?

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    Replies
    1. My Elitist vs. Humilitist ideas here were meant to be applied to things outside the game where gold-making knowledge it requested/offered. In game the idea of a Humilitist isn't as applicable. That said I consider most of what happens inside the game as "It's not personal, it's just business." Outside the game elitism and poor treatment of people is a different story.

      Although now that I think of if a beneficent gold-maker patron on the auction house is an interesting idea. I have heard of "Robin Hood" auctioneers working to keep proxies down "for the people" and the idea is interesting. Forgoing profit for the benefit of the greater good.

      That said I myself am a gold-maker and I like to make as much gold as I can. Maybe my best benefit for my competition is the gold-making ideas I spread.

      Delete
  3. I've been turning the idea of responding to this post over in my mind since I read it the other night. To tell the truth I'm still not sure if it's going to be a net positive to reply, but if there's one thing I like to do it's talk about my opinions, so here comes some word vomit. (I'm going to go a bit out of order and discuss your realm of many idea after the elitism ideas.)

    ===
    On elitism:

    I've taken issue with this post beacuse, at best it's a hypocritical red herring and at worst it's all that combined with an erroneous passage of judgement based on perceived facts of an event of which you have no knowledge.

    I'll get the "at worst" section out of the way first since it will be short and to the point. You've stated this is not about any particular person but also that this is insipired by my blog post. I am willing to believe this is fully hypothetical because of this fact: If you did have my situation with Brongly in mind upon writing this then you completely misrepresented the facts of the case given that I did not mock him, I did not invite other people to mock him, I did not invite him to read the post, and I did not mock him after he had seen the post.

    Now, because all of that is so different from your hypothetical I find it easy to believe that your scenario is based on just what you said, a hypothetical realm for discussing ideas. So let's move on to the "at best" scenario; that is, that this post is a hypocritical argument based upon a red herring.

    First off, for those who aren't familiar with red herrings (you should be, logical fallacies are fascinating!) a red herring is a form of informal logical fallacy in which something is brought up to distract or mislead from the actual topic at hand; esssentially someone discussing an irrelevant or moot point on an issue.

    As I've already established I am willing to stipulate that the "elitism" situation you are discussing here is hypothetical in which case it is irrelevant. I assert that elitism as you've defined it here is largely nonexistent in the gold community and where it does exist the elitist is often shunned and ceases to be part of the community very quickly. If you can provide a real-world example of this elitism being common among gold-makers I would like to see it.

    In fact, while we'll discuss your realm of one/many idea a bit further down, I think it's important to point out that all of your negative views of your own status as a non-gold capped blogger came from within. Even if someone did say you don't have as much gold as them that only mattered to you and only because you felt diminished by it; whether or not they pass judgement on you gold-making only matters if you agree with them that it is an important factor and thus you are as guilty of the thought process of more gold = more relevance as they are.

    That said, I won't say this scenario of elitists refusing to help people learn or mocking people for not having as much gold as them doesn't exist but my inability to picture the situations in your hypothetical taking place makes it difficult for me to see this post as more than a red herring.

    So what of the allegation of hypocrisy? In your post you've laid out that you follow the alternative route, which you called "humilitist" and state the defining characteristic of a humilitist is someone who goes out of their way to help others understand and enjoy a pursuit while the opposite, an elitist, goes otu of their way to deride and ridicule anyone they find inferior while in front of an audience to break the inferior individual's spirit.

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  4. And so, amusingly, you are being elitist about not being an elitist; passing judgement on others for behaving in a manner you see as inferior to your own behavior and attitude and you call the hypothetical elitists out right here, in your realm of many, in front of an audience while asserting that you are doing it right and they are in the wrong. You are performing the exact action of an elitist by your own definition.

    Furthermore, as I stated earlier, I have thought about this all of yesterday and I can't think of a person who fits the hypothetical version of an "elitist." Afterall, if they were not willing to help others we likely wouldn't even meet them. Even people I think are complete douchebag tools still help people. They may not like or help me but that doesn't make them an asshole in a lofty tower.

    And while we're at it, let's discuss returns. A lot of posters post on the Consortium only; so they don't have a blog with ads. Those people are truly altruistic; they are helping others with no return to themselves, except possibly enjoyment in the discussion and learning opportunities for themselves. Compare that to a blogger like you or, to a lesser extent myself, who makes money from helping others. (I'm up to 13 cents this month. Awwwwwwyeah.) I won't ever say that monetizing is a bad thing or that people who monetize are "only" in it for a money but, tell me, if you weren't making a single cent would you livestream for hours every week, manage a blog, pay your domain registration fees, and forego a non-gaming/blogging career just to help people?

    Not likely. I believe you are sincerely interested in helping people and I believe you help a ton of people. But you must admit that being paid to do so makes you much more likely to be interested in helping people than those who make nothing. It also gives you significantly more time to do so. When someone can only talk about gold on forums for an hour in the evening they don't want to spend it teaching 1000 people a month how to use TSM when there's a perfectly good guide on the forums, so they may say they won't help people learn TSM. That doesn't mean they aren't interested in helping, just that they have limited time and don't want to waste it. Hell, check out /r/loseit for a few days and see how many people come in saying "herpderp what diet do I choose" and the countless "Read the FAQ responses." People get sick of helping people who are not interested in helping themselves. The amount of time you can invest in helping others and the incentive you have for answering the same question over and over again allow you to look like the shining example of a humilitist in your scenarios while, at the end of the day, even the most elitist jerks would probably turn into a humilitist if they had the same opportunity.

    ======
    On realm of one:

    So that's that about elitism. Let's talk more broadly about your idea of realm of one/many.I assert that, in life, there is no such thing as a realm of one. The idea is neat on paper but a true vaccuum in which only your opinion matters cannot exist. We are part of a society and who we are is largely the product of socialization by that society. Even when you're singing in the shower you probably think "Man, I sound really good." Well, what's "really good?" Really good is what you think singing should sound like, which is what you've learned from hearing other people sing.

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  5. The standards against which we compare ourselves are ever-present; they may shift or we may try to diminish their influence but we will always look at topics from a point of view that is influenced by the input of others.

    With regard to casual/hardcore I think people confound the issue far too much. Consider hypertonic/isotonic/hypotonic. You cannot say "this solution is hypertonic." Because it can't be described using that word unless compared to another solution. You can only say that "Solution A is hypertonic to Solution B." Words exist in language that are purely for comparison to others and casual/hardcore are two of them. That's why people have so much trouble defining them; because their definition is based on a comparison. You can't say that a solution with 10% [solute] is hypertonic. But you can certainly say that a solution with 10% [solute] is hypertonic to a solution with 5% [solute].

    If we were truly in a realm of one at any point (which I assert is impossible) then the words casual and hardcore cannot have any bearing on thought because they could not accurately describe anything. I think we largely agree that casual/hardcore are comparative words so I'm not really trying to change any minds here, just explaining my view on why I think the realm of one is irrelevant to the conversation.

    ====

    So that's what's been turning over in my mind. Now I've written it down I can stop thinking about it. :D

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    1. I think my antagonism towards "elitism" is like a an animal that's been prowling its cage for a few years now. Like you said now it's written and I can stop thinking about it as much.

      I think the whole post boils down to this: don't be a dick. Don't be a dick to yourself or others. And of course each persons definition of "dick" will vary but I think everyone can understand what it means in general.

      I've read through your comments one time (plan to read them again) and while I agree most stuff in life is done with others in mind one I taught myself to stop allowing external factors affect my happiness I started living a much better life.

      This introspective "realm of one" is really about getting your self worth from within.

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  6. As a first-time visitor, I wasn't expecting to find so much information in one post. I've gone through a couple of gold making phases in the game, but I'm encountering a horrible problem with a couple of players who are cheating the system something fierce.

    It's very discouraging to do everything by hand just to watch the same two robots move back and forth between the mailbox, guild bank, and auction house for hours on end. I've spent thousands across quite a few characters to level up professions just to find that it's impossible to compete against people who manage to undercut you within a minute of posting an auction. I've since moved away from crafted items and am now reluctantly focusing on transmog gear.

    Hopefully your blog will shed new light on alternative ways to rake in the shiny stuff and help banish my discouragement. :)

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    1. If you think they are bots be sure to report them to Blizzard. If they are actual players they won't be banned but if they are botting they may be banned sometime in the future and you might have a better time in the markets.

      As for markets that might have less competition I'd look into flipping markets like 83-84 MoP items and 77-80 Cata markets. These tend to have less competition due to the fact the items are drops and not easily crafted by professions.

      Keep looking and don't get discouraged.

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